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Data & Statistical Resources at the UTM Library

Types of Data used for Research

  • Quantitative Data  (Numerical Data)
    • Continuous  --measurable data within a certain range
      • Examples: height, weight
    • Discrete--has values, whole numbers, counts
      • Examples: Number of visits to a coffee shop per week; number of courses taken this term
  • Qualitative Data (Non-Numerical)
    • Nominal --data has no specific order
      • Examples: eye colour, blood type
    • Ordinal --data has a specific order
      • Examples: position in a race, Letter grade in a course.

Finding Quanitative Data: Microdata vs Aggregated Data

Available data is typically found in a raw unprocessed microdata format, or in a processed aggregated format.

Microdata    -Individual survey responses are collected as microdata which can then be processed or analyzed by a user in statistical software such as SAS or SPSS. At the University of Toronto, users can also access survey microdata with tools such as <odesi>.

Figure 1. A sample of microdata from the 2011 survey on the Vitality of Official Language Minorities

Aggregated data  --is typically microdata only combined with several measurements to create a summary statistical table.

Figure 2. Part of a aggregated 2016 Census data table for the City of Mississauga and "Mississauga-Erin Mills" electoral district which includes UTM.