Quantitative Statistics

What are Quantitative Statistics?

Data are divided into two main sections, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative statistics only describe things in terms of discrete, measurable values. Qualitative statistics describe things in terms of features or characteristics, but not numbers. Quantitative statistics may be nominal, ordinal, intervals, or ratios. Furthermore, quantitative statistics can be defined as either discrete or continuous. An example of quantitative continuous data is a set of weights, where each value can take on any real number in a range of numbers. A pound can also be described in ounces, or a fraction of a ton, depending on the context.

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How do Quantitative Statistics work?

Quantitative Statistics work by using numerical data to describe objects or situations. As mentioned above, quantitative statistics can be nominal, such as the number of cars in a parking lot. Quantitative can also be used to describe ordinal variables, such as first and second place. Intervals are also described by quantitative statistics, such as a temperature range in which increases in temperature are not linear (i.e. 100 degrees is not twice as hot as 50 degrees). Lastly, a ratio is a form of quantitative statistics, wherein data can not only be ordered and subtracted, but also divided. Data at the ratio level has a zero value or starting point, such as temperature in Kelvin, defined at its lowest point as "absolute zero."

Examples of Quantitative Statistics

Any statistics that are described in terms of numerical measurement. Some examples of this include:
  • The number of years one spends in a city or state.
  • The weight of suitcases processed through an airport on a specific day.
  • The values of homes in a town.
  • The heights of a group of teenagers.
  • The percent of students who have cell phones in elementary school.