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Chapter 2

ECO220Y1 Chapter 2 Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Jennifer Murdock

ECO220Y1 Textbook Notes Chapter 2: Data  Collecting data on customers, transactions, and sales lets companies track inventory and know what their customers prefer.  Transactional data: data collected for recording a company’s transactions.  Data mining (predictive analysis): using data (such as past behaviour of customers) to make other decisions and predictions.  Business analytics (analytics): any use of statistical analysis to drive business decisions from data; whether predictive or descriptive. 2.1 What Are Data?  Data: systematically recorded information, whether numbers or labels, together with its context.  Context: the context ideally tells who was measured, what was measured, how the data were collected, where the data were collected, and when and why the study was performed.  Data table: an arrangement of data in which each row represents a case and each column represents a variable. o A common place to find the who of the table is the leftmost column.  Cases: individual items listed in the rows of a data table.  Respondents: individuals who answer a survey.  Subjects (participants): people on whom we experiment.  Experimental units: companies, websites, and other inanimate subjects.  Records: rows in a database.  Some people refer to data values as observations.  Variables: the characteristics recorded about each individual or case. o Usually the columns of a data table.  If # of cases < # of variables, rows and columns can be interchanged.  Spreadsheet: a general term for a data table. o Great for relatively small data sets.  Relational database: two or more separate data tables are linked so that information can be merged across them. o I.e. looking up a customers name to see what they bought or looking up a product to see who bought it.  In statistics, all analyses are performed on a single data table. 2.2 Variable Types  Categorical variable: a variable that names categories and answers questions about how cases fall into those categories. o Special case of categorical variables is one that has only two possible responses.  Quantitative variable: a variable that has measured numerical value and the variable tells us about the quantity of what is measured.  Units: something that tells how each value has been measured.
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