What is a Base?

The term Base is used in two primary ways regarding our databases. All variables within a database are derived from the Base Variable, referred to as the Base. This Base Variable defines the universe from which all other counts are derived. When referring to Base Count, this is the Base Variable that falls within the Benchmark. When referring to Count, this is the Base Variable that falls within the Variable being used.

For example, a Variable on Alcohol Consumption has a Base Variable of Total Population 19+. If Ontario is selected as the Trade Area, and Canada is the Benchmark, the report will present the Count of the Total Population 19+ in Ontario who Consumes Alcohol compared to the Base Count Total Population 19+ who Consume Alcohol in Canada. In this example, the Variable being compared is Alcohol Consumption. The Base is the Total Population 19+. The Base Count is the Total Population 19+ within the Benchmark of Canada who Consume Alcohol, and the Count would be the Total Population 19+ within the Trade Area of Ontario who Consume Alcohol.

Why does the Base matter?

The Base will influence how you interpret the results of the data or report. Referring to the example above, knowing that the counts only include the population aged 19 or older, there is no concern the values are being skewed by the population that cannot legally consume alcohol.

Additionally, should you want to compare outputs from different databases or reports, it is important to ensure that all data is derived from the same Base, as the conclusions would be skewed by different Base totals.

It is important to note that some databases may use more than one Base Variable. A list of all Bases used is provided here. For more specific details on the Variables, check the data page on our Community for the database you would like to check.