## Data/basics of data

# What do I need to know about Data — Data 101

## Data basics — This post covers the aspects such as, what is data, why do we need data, and how is the data collected.

## What is data?

Data is a collection of facts and dimensions.

## Types of data

- Qualitative — Non numerical data
- Quantitative — numerical data

## Qualitative data

It is the **non-numerical data** that is used to classify and categorise things/elements. For instance, let’s talk about coffee !!

*Coffee has a strong aroma, tastes good, topped with cream and chocolate powder, the cup is made of ceramic and is round in shape. Coffee also contains milk and sugar.*

Let’s consider, you have a box of T-shirts and you can classify data of T-shirts based on the size — Small, medium, large, and based on colour. All blues, all whites.

## Quantitative data

It is the numerical data that can be measured.

*For instance the latte contains 12 ounces of milk, 2 spoons sugar, It costs 4 euro. It is served in a cup with dimensions — 12 X 15 X 16*

**Two types of quantitative data**

**A discrete data which involves counting whole numbers**. For instance, a family that has 2 children and 1 pet. This family cannot have 1.5 child and 2.5 dogs.**Continuous data**— any numerical data of a certain range. For instance, a person’s height or temperature.

## How is the data collected ?

**Primary sources**— Data collected by researchers by conducting interviews, surveys, case studies, observations, questionnaires.**Secondary sources**— web info, govt info, previous research papers.

## Why do we need data?

Data can be used to tell a story, find patterns, analyse and predict, provide insights and help make impactful decisions in all industries.

For example, students that spend a lot of time on social media have poor grades.

To Tell a story on climate change using data — you need data about global temperature patterns, cycles etc.