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What is Data

Data is a collection of facts, such as values or measurements. It can be numbers, words, measurements, observations or even just descriptions of things

Qualitative vs Quantitative Data can be qualitative or quantitative.


Qualitative data is descriptive information (it describes something) Quantitative data, is numerical information (numbers).

Qualitative vs Quantitative Data


Qualitative Data
Deals with descriptions. Data can be observed but not measured.

Quantitative Data
Deals with numbers. Data which can be measured.

Colors, textures, smells, tastes, appearance, beauty, etc.


Qualitative Quality

Length, height, area, volume, weight, speed, time, temperature, humidity, sound levels, cost, members, ages, etc. Quantitative Quantity

Example 1: Oil Painting Qualitative data: *red/green color, gold frame *smells old and musty *texture shows brush strokes of oil paint *peaceful scene of the country *masterful brush strokes

Example 1: Oil Painting Quantitative data: *picture is 10" by 14 with frame 14" by 18 * weighs 8.5 pounds surface area of painting is 140 sq. in. *cost $300

Example 3: Freshman Class Qualitative data: *friendly demeanors *civic minded *environmentalists *positive school spirit

Example 3: Freshman Class Quantitative data: *672 students *394 girls, 278 boys *68% on honor roll *150 students accelerated in mathematics

Quantitative data

And Quantitative data can also be Discrete or Continuous:


Discrete data can only take certain values (like whole numbers) Continuous data can take any value (within a range

Data Collection
Data can be collected in many ways. The simplest way is direct observation. Example: you want to find how many cars pass by a certain point on a road in a 10-minute interval. So: simply stand at that point on the road, and count the cars that pass by in that interval. You collect data by doing a Survey.

Census or Sample
A Census is when you collect data for every member of the group (the whole "population"). A Sample is when you collect data just for selected members of the group. Example: there are 120 people in your local football club. You can ask everyone (all 120) what their age is. That is a census. Or you could just choose the people that are there this afternoon. That is a sample. A census is accurate, but hard to do. A sample is not as accurate, but may be good enough, and is a lot easier.

Types of Data
There are two types of data that are collected and analysed in Statistics. These are 1. Primary data 2. Secondary data

Primary data
The data that are collected first hand by the researcher for the purpose of facilitating the study are known as primary data. Secondary data: Any data that have been gathered earlier for some other purpose are secondary data in the hands of an individual who is using them.