10.25 Reviewing Variable Names

The names of the variables within the dataset as supplied to us may not be in any particular form and may use different conventions. For example, they may use a mix of upper and lower case letters (TempToday9AM) or be very long (Temperature_Recorded_Today_9am) or use sequential numbers to identify each variable (V004 or V004_rainToday) or use codes (XVn34_rain) or any number of other conventions. Often we prefer to simplify the variable names to ease our processing and thinking and to enforce a standard and consistent naming convention for ourselves.

We use base::names() to list the names of the variables within a dataset.

# Review the variables to consider normalising their names.

names(ds)
##  [1] "date"            "location"        "min_temp"        "max_temp"       
##  [5] "rainfall"        "evaporation"     "sunshine"        "wind_gust_dir"  
##  [9] "wind_gust_speed" "wind_dir_9am"    "wind_dir_3pm"    "wind_speed_9am" 
## [13] "wind_speed_3pm"  "humidity_9am"    "humidity_3pm"    "pressure_9am"   
## [17] "pressure_3pm"    "cloud_9am"       "cloud_3pm"       "temp_9am"       
## [21] "temp_3pm"        "rain_today"      "risk_mm"         "rain_tomorrow"

Notice that the names here use a scheme whereby the initial letter is capitalised and each word within the variable name is also capitalised. That’s a reasonable naming scheme and is preferred by some.



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