ACS FAQ: datasets

What is a dataset?

A dataset is an electronic file with data. These data are collected in trials. An other word for dataset is table or set of tables. This can be rather confusing. Take for instance an Access file: in ACS the Access file is called a 'physical file' or 'dataset'. In the file are one or more tables (and queries and forms, etc.).
Another example of a dataset is an Excel spreadsheet: in a sheet one or more 'ranges' can be defined and in these 'ranges' data can be stored. Such 'excel-ranges' are then ACS-tables.

What is a table, what is a record and what is a field?

You can think of a table as a grid: information is stored in rows and columns. The columns contain the same sort of information, the rows the different cases. For example a table contains a the weight of a group of 20 people. For each person his or her age is recorded plus the weight. This results in a grid of 20 rows (for each individual one row) and two columns(one for age, one for weight). The rows are called 'records' and the columns are called 'fields'.