Understanding Data Types

  • Data types are at the core of understanding data
  • Understanding data is critical when analysing your results
  • Data types dictate:
    • How to verify and validate data
    • How to normalise data
    • how to analysis data
    • How to display data
  • Often they are labelled as:
    • Numerical or Continuous data
      • Discrete – count the number of items
      • Continuous – a measurement (cm, km, litres, kg, etc…)
    • Categorical is grouped data:
      • Male or female
      • Between 0-15, 16-30 etc…
    • Ordinal or rating
      • Typically treated as categorical data

Why is data types so important?

  • By knowing the data type you know what test you can use
  • In statistics this is critical
    • Using the wrong test will give you the wrong answer
    • The wrong answer will lead to the wrong conclusion
    • This means the second half of your report is wrong = FAIL!