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Collecting data: types and classes of data

Collecting data: types and classes of data

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Summary

Collecting data: types and classes of data

In a nutshell

Data can be classified in lots of different ways: discrete or continuous, primary or secondary, qualitative or quantitative. You can also organise data into groups known as classes to make it more organised.



Different kinds of data

Data can be split into a number of different categories, all of which can be useful depending on the situation.


Definitions and examples

Discrete

Whole number data that is counted, not measured

The number of customers at a food stall

Continuous

Measurable data that could take any value in a range

The heights of students in a class: 155cm,155.2cm,145.7cm155cm, 155.2cm, 145.7cm​​

Qualitative

Describes things using words, not numbers

Asking how people are feeling: happy, sad, angry

Quantitative

Measures quantities using amounts

Number of days until a person's birthday

Primary

Data that you have collected yourself

Going around the class and finding everyone's shoe size

Secondary

Data that someone else has collected

Data about UK rivers found on a website



Organising data into classes

To record data in a table, you may need to organise it into classes to make it more manageable. The data classes must not overlap and every part of the data should be covered by a class. For discrete data, these classes should have gaps in between, like you see below. For continuous data, these classes should be written as inequalities.


Example

Mike is collecting data about the ages of teachers in his school. He groups the data in the following way:

Age

Frequency

212521-25​​

77​​

263526-35​​

2222​​

364536-45​​

1313​​

465546-55​​

1818​​

566556-65​​

1717​​
6666  and over

22


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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

What does quantitative mean?

What does qualitative mean?

What is continuous data?

What is discrete data?

What are the different types of data?

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