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Probability and Statistics

Probability and Statistics

Qualitative v. Quantitative Data

There are two general types of data. Quantitative data is information about quantities; that is, information that can be measured and written down with numbers. Some examples of quantitative data are your height, your shoe size, and the length of your fingernails. Speaking of which, it might be time to call Guinness. You've got to be close to breaking the record.

Qualitative data is information about qualities; information that can't actually be measured. Some examples of qualitative data are the softness of your skin, the grace with which you run, and the color of your eyes. However, try telling Photoshop you can't measure color with numbers.

Here's a quick look at the difference between qualitative and quantitative data.

  • The age of your car. (Quantitative.)
  • The number of hairs on your knuckle. (Quantitative.)
  • The softness of a cat. (Qualitative.)
  • The color of the sky. (Qualitative.)
  • The number of pennies in your pocket. (Quantitative.)

Remember, if we're measuring a quantity, we're making a statement about quantitative data. If we're describing qualities, we're making a statement about qualitative data. Keep your L's and N's together and it shouldn't be too tough to keep straight.

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