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Data & Analytics

March 9, 2021
In this second article of our series on Data Analysis 101, we will learn about the different types of data you will encounter in data analysis and how they are processed and analyzed, with some examples highlighting their use.
Letâ€™s consider a new user who landed in your online store and began browsing, eventually adding an item or two to their cart and then abandoning it. What data can we get from that user? Some of them are as follows:
How can we make sense of these data? The first step is by classifying them by their type.
There are two primary types of data in data analysis: qualitative and quantitative.Â
Qualitative data is a type of data that is represented by words or a set of numbers that serve as identification. Examples of qualitative data are name, place of residence, and sex. Qualitative data is categorized based on identifiers such as attributes, properties, type, etc.
From our example at the start of this article, we can identify the following as qualitative data:
This information is useful because it gives understanding of what the user wants from your online store and also helps you identify patterns in their behavior, including possible reasons for cart abandonment. (Which data can help you with that?)
Quantitative data, on the other hand, is represented by numbers and is generated through an act of measurement or act of counting. Examples of quantitative data are your height and weight, your annual income, and the number of purchases you made. Statistical methods are often required to extract more information from quantitative data.
From our example at the start of this article, we can identify the following as quantitative data:
With proper data analysis, this data can help in pinpointing the pageâ€™s performance in retaining the user interest, the effectiveness of the page layout, and other related information. You can read our article about the page performance metrics here.
Which is the preferred type of data: qualitative or quantitative? Neither! They are equally important, and the type of data best collected depends on the questions you are asking. In fact, you need both types of data most of the time, as they complement each other in helping you see both the big picture and the tiny details of the situation.
Let us now consider the two types of qualitative data: nominal and ordinal data.
Nominal data is the type of qualitative data that serves as a label. Examples are items ordered, state of residence, and the device used in browsing the online store.Â
Ordinal data is the type of qualitative data that implies an intrinsic order among the possible values. Examples are ratings (whether by words or by number of stars), time of the day, and anything that implies progression.Â
For our example above, we can see that the following are nominal data:
While the following are ordinal data:
What kinds of analysis can we do with qualitative data? One is to check the frequency of each kind of response, and look for the most likely and least likely responses. If, for example, the majority of the users who browse your online store use mobile devices, you should conclude that ensuring the website works well in mobile phones should be the priority. Now if, for example, the majority of the feedback is that your website does not work on mobile devices, then you should start investing in a website that works well on mobile devices.
Let us now consider the two types of quantitative data: interval and ratio data. To make things easier, let us focus on the difference between them. Interval data has no â€śtrue zeroâ€ť while ratio data has a â€śtrue zeroâ€ť.
A â€śtrue zeroâ€ť means that a â€śzeroâ€ť means â€śnothingâ€ť. One good example of this is height. Zero height implies that there is no object or person there.Â
So how does that fit with our two types of quantitative data? It means that for the case of interval data, the zero was set arbitrarily, while that isnâ€™t the case for ratio data. Additionally, this means that interval data can have negative values while this isnâ€™t true for ratio data. To drive this point further, examples of interval data are temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius while examples of ratio data are height, age, and time interval as measured with a stopwatch.Â
Let us now go to our example. The following will fall under interval data type:
While the following will fall under ratio data type:
You can do more types of analysis with these data. One example of these are what is called in statistics as measures of central tendency (you might have heard them in grade school). The measures of central tendency are mean, median, and mode:
There is much more to unpack here, including when should they be used and when should they not be used. For now, however, this is just one example of what we can do with both types of quantitative data.Â
We will encounter two basic types of data in data analysis: qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data is a type of data that is represented by words or by a set of numbers that serve as identification. Quantitative data, on the other hand, is represented by numbers and is generated through an act of measurement or an act of counting.There are two types of qualitative data: nominal data is the type of qualitative data that serves as a label or name to what it describes, while ordinal data is the type of qualitative data that implies an intrinsic order among the possible values. There are also two types of quantitative data, and the difference between them lies on whether a â€śtrue zeroâ€ť exists or not.Â Interval data has no â€śtrue zeroâ€ť while ratio data does.Â
Knowing the types of data that you will encounter will help you in identifying the right types of analysis that you can apply to them. If you donâ€™t want to do them by yourself, however, we have the Lido app.Â Not only does it have integrations with several eCommerce and marketing services and platforms, but Lido can also apply the proper types of analysis and give you the most relevant metrics that you need to acquire and retain customers. Learn more about the Lido app here.Â
The following sources were used as references:
Qualitative vs Quantitative Data â€“ What's the Difference?
Statistics  Qualitative Data Vs Quantitative DataÂ
Types of Statistical Data: Numerical, Categorical, and Ordinal  dummies
Data Types in Statistics. Data Types are an important concept ofâ€¦  by Niklas Donges
4 Types of Data in Statistics â€“ Definitions, Uses & Examples
Quantitative vs Qualitative Data Definition, 13 Differences, Examples
1.2 Data: Quantitative Data & Qualitative Data  Introduction to StatisticsÂ
Qualitative vs Quantitative Data:15 Key Differences Similarities
Understanding Qualitative, Quantitative, Attribute, Discrete, and Continuous Data Types
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