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Types Of Statistical Data

Updated on October 22, 2011

Statistics is the field of science that deals with organization, interpretation and analyzing of a data. The term statistical data refers to the data collected form different sources through methods experiments, surveys and analysis. This data is then interpreted by statistical methods and formulae for their analysis.

There are mainly four types of statistical data:

  • Primary statistical data
  • Secondary statistical data
  • Qualitative statistical data
  • Quantitative statistical data.

Some classifications divide the data into two broad types i.e. primary and secondary and qualitative and quantitative. But in this classification each of the type is divided individually.

The Secondary Statistical Data

The secondary statistical data is the data that is obtained by the researcher from another source. This data may be collected form various sources.

Many important and current data which was initially a primary data can be published in books, research papers, journals or can be kept in record books to be used as the secondary data for another researcher.

The primary data on which the statistical operations have been applied is also defined as the secondary data.

The secondary data can be official i.e. obtained form a ministry or a department for example the ministry of health or the department of health and sciences or the secondary data can be semi official i.e. obtained form books and journals.

Primary Statistical Data

The primary data is the data that is collected directly and is not taken from a source. This data includes the data collected through direct interviews, surveys and experiments. Basically this data comprises of results obtained through surveys on which the statistical operations have not been applied.

The primary data is of following types:

  • Data Collected Through Personal Investigation:

    This data is collected by the investigator or the researcher or the researching team personally. The researcher or the team of researchers collects this data through the surveys that they conduct themselves. This type of data is more accurate as it is collected directly by the researcher.
  • Data Collected Through Workers:

    The researcher or the researching team may hire another person or a group of people for conducting a survey to collect a data.

Qualitative Statistical Data

The qualitative statistical data is the data which is expressed in words rather than in numbers. In other words, the qualitative data is the data in which the measurement of a category is expressed in words. For example in a qualitative data measurement of height will be explained a tall, short or medium.

There are two types of qualitative data:

  • Nominal data which is the data which includes measurements of categories such as gender, religion and sports.
  • The ordinal data which has variable measurements of variable categories such as size, color and behavior.

The qualitative data only tells us about something but does not tell the extent of something.

For example if we make a survey of climate of different cities of a country we may record the climate of different cities as cold, warm or moderate, this data would simple summarize the kind of climate of the city but this would not tell us the average maximum or minimum temperature of the city which would explain the extent of the weather in the city.

Quantitative Statistical Data

The quantitative statistical data is the data in which the measurements are numerically expressed. For example the temperature of a city in this data would be given in accurate measurement like 25 degrees C.

The quantitative data represents measurements taken with a scale includes the variables such as temperature, weight and size that can be measured in a precise scale are expressed in their actual measurements in quantitative data.

Other numeric expressions in the qualitative data can be for example: the number of people in a town, the social security numbers of the citizens or the number of deaths occurring due to a disease.

The quantitative data is more accurate than the qualitative data as it tells us the extent of something.

There are two common scales used the quantitative measures:

  • The ratio scale which is used to measure variables such as age and money. The observations that can be counted are measured by this scale.
  • The interval scale which is used to measure variables such as temperatures, height and weight.


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