What Is Discrete Data?

Discrete data refers to data that has values that are different and separable from one another. This form of data typically represents items that can be counted. Some examples of discrete data include eye color and the number of pushups that someone can perform. This form of data is one of three main data types, along with continuous and categorical data.

Discrete data can be divided into three forms. The first form is discrete numerical data, which consists of numerical measurements or counting. This form is quantitative and contains numbers. These numbers may be in the form of decimals or fractions.

The second form is discrete ordinal data. This data can be arranged or ordered but can not be compared to one another. An example of this would be comparing people to one another. While the people can be compared to each other, saying that one person is better than another lacks any statistical significance.

The final form of discrete data is qualitative or nominal data. This type of data can not be arranged in any order, and rankings can not be assigned. Typically, this form of data is not in numerical form. Examples of qualitative data include gender or group affiliation.