Skip to content
Related Articles

Related Articles

Improve Article
Save Article
Like Article

What is Qualitative Data?

  • Last Updated : 13 Oct, 2021

A collection of information that is collected using observations, measurements, research, or analysis. The collection of data may involve gathering facts and figures, analyzing names and numbers, and illustrating a description of things. The data can be visualized and understood using the usage of graphs, charts, or even tables. Data mining can be used to collect and gather data to form a data set. For instance, the gathered information can be represented as, 

  • A set of natural numbers such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Characteristics of a human being, including, weight and height.

Different Types of Data 

Grouping of data can be based on the qualitative or quantitative aspect of the gathered information. Typically, data can be classified into different types as given below, 

  • Qualitative Data
  • Quantitative Data

Qualitative Data 

The categorical data uses categorical variables, which are used to represent the labels or characteristics of any entity or object. For instance, movies can be represented using genres, for instance, horror, or comedy. The measurements of categorical labels can be illustrated using different natural language descriptions. The labels can’t be illustrated in terms of numbers. The data may or may not have numerical values, but the numbers representing the data may not hold any significance. Categorical data can be instantiated through the following examples: birthdate or travel method to school. 

Qualitative data is not represented through numerical values but through the indicators expressing the characteristics of the data. It is also known as categorical data. It varies from the numerical data since numbers can’t be used to represent them. Average for such type of data values is not possible to compute. For instance, we have three people who describe the taste of their preferred coffee, being sweet, bitter, dark. The average of the coffee taste preferred cannot be computed in this case, nor it holds any type of relevance. Therefore, the aggregate methods like average, mean doesn’t hold for non-numerical data. 

Qualitative data can be grouped based on the categories. For instance, the color of hair can be categorized into three main colors, being, black-brown or blonde. It deals with perceptions. Qualitative data is useful in determining the particular frequency of traits or characteristics.

Features of qualitative data

  • It can be recorded.
  • It can be examined.
  • Collection can be done through observation methods or interviews.
  • Non-numerical in nature.

Nominal categorical data

Nominal categorical data is illustrated using names, as indicated by its Latin language. It includes the usage of named or labeled data. It doesn’t use the numerical values of the data into consideration. For instance, different movie or series’ genres are horror, sci-fi, rom-com. There are nominal categorical data. They are labeled into different forms. 

Ordinal categorical data

Ordinal categorical data used a certain scale or measure for the data grouped together to form categories or groups. The data organized is generally ordered or measured. The scale used to represent the data may not be standard or specific. This type of data contains the presence of numerical values. This type of data displays the properties of both categorical data and numerical data. The categorical data can be analyzed through making groups. It can be visually represented using bar graphs. Ordinal categorical data can be illustrated using surveys that use numbers for computing comparison data belonging to groups under categorical variables.

Advantages of qualitative data

  • The qualitative data can be used to make an in-depth analysis of the data distribution.
  • Collected data can also be used to conduct future researches and deductions. 
  • It is used to draw a better understanding of the market and customers. 

Sample Questions

Question 1. To which category, the game data for the game “name, place animal or thing” will belong?


Qualitative data will be used to illustrate the type of data used to represent the names for the places, animals, things. 

Question 2. Which type of data is used by the evaluator to grade the students using a range of marks?


The marks are expressed in the range, or using perfect integrals. Ordinal data is used to represent the range of data distribution used by the evaluator.  

Question 3. Differentiate between Nominal Qualitative Data and Ordinal Qualitative Data?


Nominal Qualitative Data

Ordinal Qualitative Data

A group of non-parametric and non-ordered data. A group of non-parametric ordered data.
The values are categorized as nominal based on their “names” or ”labels.”The values are categorized as ordinal on the basis of their numerical data.
Used to group similar objects under a similar category.Used to carry out analyses or studies on perceptions.
Examples: Hair color, genderExamples:  people’s views on a survey, etc.

Question 4. The following table depicts the percentage of people who prefer a certain movie genre. Can you represent this categorical data using a pie chart?

SportsPercentage of students


Table Tennis





The above grouped categorical data can be depicted using a pie chart as:

Question 5. The following bar graph depicts the ordinal categorical data of the mobile phones company according to price range.

Answer the following questions according to the bar graph

  • What is the total price if someone buys all three brands phones?
  • Find the average price of all the phones?


Based on the observations made from the bar graph:

  • Total number of students = 30k + 55k + 45k = 130k
  • Average of the price of all the phones = \frac{30k\ +\ 55k\ +\ 45k}{3}=\frac{130k}{3}=46.67k
My Personal Notes arrow_drop_up
Recommended Articles
Page :

Start Your Coding Journey Now!