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The typical meaning of the term variable in data science is a vector of data, where each element of the vector represents the value of some property of an observation (e.g., the estimated height of a sample of people).

Occasionally, it will be used to refer to either:

  • A variable in a computer program.
  • A variable in maths (e.g., a random variable)
  • A concept.

A variable in Displayr

Within Displayr, a Variable refers to a column in a Data Set. The variable will either be:

  • A variable that was in the original Flat Data File used to create the data set. Typically, the variable will have been modified in some way either during the import process or by the user (see Variable Set).
  • A derived variable has been constructed using some kind of instructions (e.g., functions of existing variables, random numbers).

A variable has:

  • A Name, which is typically relatively short, and is used when the variable is referred to in code (e.g., Age or v23).
  • A Label, such as What is your age? or Cell phone tower location.