What is Categorical Data? Categorical Data Explained.
Categorical data, also known as qualitative or discrete data, represent variables that take on values from a specific set of categories or groups. These categories are typically non-numeric and can be nominal or ordinal in nature.
Here are some key characteristics and examples of categorical data:
Nominal data consists of categories without any inherent order or ranking. Examples include:
Country of residence (categories: USA, UK, Canada, etc.)
Ordinal data represents categories that have a natural ordering or ranking. The intervals between categories may not be equal. Examples include:
Education level (categories: high school, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, etc.)
Satisfaction ratings (categories: very dissatisfied, dissatisfied, neutral, satisfied, very satisfied)
Economic status (categories: low-income, middle-income, high-income)
Categorical data is distinct from numerical or continuous data, which consists of numeric values that can be measured on a continuous scale. Categorical data is often represented as labels or codes, and the analysis and interpretation of such data require specific statistical methods and techniques.
Common operations and techniques used with categorical data include:
Frequency distribution: Tabulating the count or percentage of observations falling into each category provides a summary of the data distribution.
Mode: Identifying the most frequently occurring category can help determine the dominant characteristic.
Cross-tabulation: Analyzing relationships between two or more categorical variables by creating contingency tables. This helps identify patterns and associations between the variables.
Chi-square test: Assessing the independence or association between categorical variables using the chi-square statistic.
Bar charts and pie charts: Visualizing categorical data using bar charts (for nominal data) or pie charts (for nominal or ordinal data) to represent the frequency or proportion of each category.
Multinomial logistic regression: Modeling the relationship between categorical dependent variables and independent variables.
When working with categorical data, it is important to ensure appropriate handling and interpretation of the data based on its nature (nominal or ordinal). Incorrect treatment or analysis of categorical data as numerical data can lead to misleading results.
Categorical data are commonly encountered in various fields such as market research, social sciences, healthcare, and customer segmentation. Understanding and analyzing categorical data play a significant role in making informed decisions and gaining insights from qualitative information.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.