# Australian Bureau of Statistics

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 Understanding statistics

Module 1: Producing Data

2. Defining Data

2.2. Variables and units of population

In Table 1, Personnel records for the University of Hard Knocks, the columns represent specific variables such as Employment Status and Leave Entitlement.

For example, Leave Entitlement is a variable because it takes different values.

Table 1 - Personnel records for the University of Hard Knocks
(
variables coloured)

The rows show the data for a specific unit; that is, a specific employee who belongs to the population, the University of Hard Knocks.

Look at how Beaumont, Lee and Smith are measured in Table 1. We have measured variables such as their sex and leave entitlement days.

Table 1 - Personnel records for the University of Hard Knocks
(
units coloured)

Putting variables in columns and units in rows is a common format for tables of data.

 Test your knowledge Question What were the researchers trying to find out? Using the data shown in Table 1, select the units from the choices below. Beaumont Sex University of Hard Knocks Amount Lee Leave Entitlement. Answer Click here for answers

 Test your knowledge Question What were the researchers trying to find out? Using the data shown in Table 1, select the variables from the choices below. Employment status Lee Days Permanents Employee number Answer Click here for answers