Nominal Data

Nominal Data Definition

Nominal Data is derived from a Latin word called “Nomen,” which means name and also can be termed as labeled data or named data, which is again basically the process of classifying categorical data where we cannot assign any quantitative value against the same.

Characteristics

  • No Quantity can be Assigned to it – We cannot assign any quantitative aspect to nominal data. It will always be in the form of nomenclature where statistical, logical, and numerical analysis is impossible, which means the researcher cannot perform any addition, subtraction, or multiplication with the data.
  • No Order Present – This data has no specific order present as when we deal with data like gender, marital status, and demography, it doesn’t matter how we look at these data.
  • Qualitative Aspect – This data collected will always have this qualitative feature where the options provided for answering the questionnaires are qualitative in its own attribute.
  • Mean calculation not Possible – We cannot calculate the mean when we deal with nominal data. Even if the data set is arranged in alphabetical order, the calculation of mean is not possible.
  • Mode Calculation Possibility – The most common answer for this data submitted from a large group of respondents is the mode. Suppose if any one kind of answer for a particular question is provided by a majority of the respondents, that particular answers are assumed to be the mode of the study.
  • Data mostly in the Alphabetical Format – In most cases for nominal data, the data is primarily in alphabetical order and not numerical.
Nominal Data

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For eg:
Source: Nominal Data (wallstreetmojo.com)

Example of Nominal Data

Here we have taken an example of 3 college students studying at a university and have their aggregate marks studied for three consecutive trimesters. Here the data collected are alphabets or text, and we cannot assign any calculation for it. However, we can group the data in excel to arrive at the aggregate of the marks by finding the average of each number assigned to the unique text fields.

Nominal Data Example 1
Nominal Data Example 1.1
Example 1.3
Nominal Data Example 1.2

How to Analyze Nominal Data?

  1. Nominal data are generally collected using questions that respondents must answer. Questionnaires are provided to the respondents, which include the questions which can be either open-ended or multiple-choice based where there are a lot of options to choose from.
  2. So basically, there are three ways to collect the data. First open-ended question, second multiple-choice question, and third a part of the multiple-choice question where the respondents will choose a different category as “others,” which means the closest choice of answer is not present in the list of options give and thus respondent chooses “Other” and mentions the answers as an open-ended type.
  3. This data is then analyzed with the use of percentage and mode, which means out of all the responses gathered for a question, which is the answer which is most common among all of which is the option which the majority of the respondents have chosen. This becomes the model of the study.
  4. For a specific question, there can be more than one modal response if there are two options or answers which share an equal number of percentage or choice over the others. Multiple choice question helps the researcher with the ability to create a metric variable which he/she can use in further studies.
  5. Nominal data can help the researcher create a profile of his/her respondents, which, although may not help in statistical studies but can help the researcher to get a deeper understanding of his/her respondents.

Advantages

  • It offers the freedom to respondents to freely express their opinion.
  • The research has a lot of ease to be conducted when there is a presence of close-ended questions.
  • A large number of answers to questions can be collected very quickly.
  • It has increased reliability as it is solely dependent on the choice of answers made by the respondents.
  • It is not time-consuming and can be done by anyone with a minimum level of expertise.
  • It is also cost-effective as only what is needed is a set of questions and a questionnaire.

Conclusion

Nominal data is a beneficial method used by researchers to get collect their responses for their surveys and used it in their study. It is cost-effective and not a time-consuming process. From the respondent’s point of view, it offers greater flexibility to make their choices and answer the questionnaire.

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This has been a guide to Nominal Data and its definition. Here we discuss characteristics, an example of nominal data, and how to analyze it, advantages, and differences. You can learn more about finance from the following articles –

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