Establishing the nature of data

When asked about the objectives of statistical analysis, one often refers to the process of describing or establishing the nature of a data source.

Establishing the nature of something implies gaining an understanding of it. This understanding can be found to be both simple as well as complex. For example, can we determine the types of each of the variables or components found within our data source; are they quantitative, comparative, or qualitative?

Using the example transactional data source used earlier in this chapter, we can identify some variables by types, as the following:

  • Quantitative: quantity
  • Comparative: sale_type
  • Qualitative: sales_region
  • Categorical: product_name

A more advanced statistical ...

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