The term statistics is used in two ways. In the broad context, `statistics' refers to a collection of techniques and procedures for analyzing data . This is what we mean when we say `Statistics 216 is a course in Business Statistics'- the course will cover techniques and procedures for analysing business-related data. In a narrower context, `statistics' refers to the numbers themselves (like the average, median, etc.) that arise out of data analysis. `Baseball statistics' and `financial market statistics' are used in this context.
In this course, `data' refers to any collection of measurements that are made on a number of subjects . These measurements are often stored in a row-and-column display called a spreadsheet . An example is given below of a spreadsheet containing data taken on ten students in a class.
CLASS DATA Student Sex Level GPA Hours Transport Sleep Hrs. Taken Last Night 1 M Sophomore 3.10 32 Car 7.0 2 M Junior 3.20 66 Car 8.0 3 F Senior 3.49 94 Bus 8.0 4 M Senior 2.68 89 Walk 10.0 5 F Junior 3.73 69 Bicycle 8.0 6 F Junior 3.39 59 Car 8.0 7 F Senior 3.80 86 Walk 8.0 8 M Junior 3.11 75 Car 8.0 9 F Sophomore 3.10 27 Car 7.0 10 M Senior 3.10 96 Walk 3.0
Each row represents a subject (or student, in this case), and each column represents a measurement. The measurement columns are also called variables, because the values vary from one subject to another.