Types of Data

Broadly data is categorized in three types namely

  • Numerical - Quantitative
  • Categorical - Nominal
  • Time Series

Numerical - Quantitative

Data that are numbers and are not a function of any other quantity such as time. Data that holds a proportional value of its representation.

Numerical data can be of two types

  • Discrete
  • Continous


Runs in a base ball are discrete (source: unsplash.com)

The data which can hold complete values as in integers such as 10, 25, 47, 82 …etc. is considered as discrete. Lets say a cricketer, a batsman can score only whole number of runs such as 23, 65, 89 ..etc. He/She can not score 43.53 runs. Any type of data which can hold integer values is considered discrete. E.g. Whole numbers ( 2, 5, 6, 23, 534, …etc.)


Weight of any object can be continuous. (source: unsplash.com)

The data which can hold floating point values i.e. continuous values is termed as continuous data. The batting average of a cricketing batsman can be 43.0 or 37.32 …etc. Such type of data which can hold floating values is termed as continuous. E.g. Any value in range (2.0, 4.23, 53.244, …etc.), weight of a person.

Categorical Data (source: unsplash.com)

Categorical - Nominal

Data that represents characteristics, for example a color of a fruit, group of a candidate, position of a cricket fielder, team, …etc. Categorical data can hold numbers but they are representational they don’t have meaning in mathematical sense. For e.g. one can not perform mathematical operations on categorical data, they just represent a characteristic. Although there is something called as ‘ordinal data’.


Ordinal data is ordered categorical data. Best example of ordinal data is grades, e.g. A, B-, B, C, C-, D, F these are representational letters for a group which your score falls in but they do have order in which we know B is better than C- (c minus) and F is fail.

Times Series (source: unsplash.com)

Time Series

In simple words times series data is sample of data collected at regular intervals of time. For e.g. daily recording of the stock index (share market) value for over a year. Time series data is a data collection which is a function of time.

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