What is an Ordinal Variable?
Ordinal variables are those variables which have discrete values but has some order involved. The variables do not have to necessarily directly correlate to a specific value, but is often used as a qualitative way of understanding data.
How does an Ordinal Variable work?
Imagine, for example, a patient is at the doctor because they have a sprained ankle. The doctor may come in an ask "On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain?" This is an example of an ordinal variable. Naturally, pain is not usually measured internally on a discrete basis, however the answer to the question is informative nonetheless. If the patient indicates a 7, the doctor would be able to infer that they are in more pain than if they reported a 4 out of 10. Ordinal variables, while not necessarily directly correlated to the associated data they represent, are nevertheless informative due to the order of the values.