Data

Data are defined as individual units of information. It is the basis of numerous areas of study. Data can exist as qualitative or quantitative data. Qualitative data can be comprised of descriptive information, while quantitative data involves numerical information.

Example

When referencing the temperature during the past summer,

Qualitative data: It was hotter this summer than it was last summer.

Quantitative data: The temperature this summer averaged 95 °F. Last summer the average temperature was 87 °F.

Other common examples of quantitative data include a person’s height and weight. The most common eye color within a given area and most popular baby names in the country are other examples of qualitative data.

Data is used extensively in almost all aspects of everyday life involving some kind of organizational activity, from scientific research to business management, finance, and more.

There are many ways to measure, collect, analyze, report, and display data. Data is commonly visualized through use of various types of graphs such as bar graphs, line graphs, scatter plots, and more.

Data is the basis of statistics, as statistics involves collecting, organizing, displaying, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data.