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Statistics LibreTexts

2.12: Introduction to Categorical vs. Quantitative Data

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  • What you’ll learn to do: Distinguish between quantitative and categorical variables in context.

    A patient is getting her blood pressure measured.

    In studying real world phenomena, we encounter many different types of data. Some data is a measurement: such as temperature, height, or volume. Other data may be a label: such as male or female, country name, or patient ID number. How we statistically analyze the data depends on the type of data we are collecting. Since quantitative data is numerical, there are clear numerical ways compute “averages”, “spread”, and shape of data when graphed. For qualitative data, we will look at counts and proportions to give a numerical way to measure these qualitative data which do not have a numeric meaning.

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