R bloggers

Understanding Data

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

When analyzing data, I have often found it useful to think of the data as being one of four main types, according to the typology proposed by Stevens.[1] Different types of data have certain characteristics; understanding what type of data you have helps with selecting the analysis to perform and prevent basic analysis mistakes. The types, or “scales of measurement,” are: Nominal Data identifying unique classifications or objects where the order of values is not meaningful. Examples include zip codes, gender, nationality, sports teams and multiple choice answers on a test. Ordinal Data where the order is important but the difference or distance between items is not important or not measured. Examples include team rankings in sport (team A is better than team B, but how much better is open to debate), scales such as health (e.g. “healthy” to…
Original Post: Understanding Data