# What Is Discrete Data?

Discrete data can only take certain values. It can (often) be counted.

Discrete data is a type of quantitative data. It is described in numbers.

#### Dictionary Definition

The Oxford English Dictionary defines discrete as "quantity composed of distinct units, as number, in contrast to continuous quantity or magnitude."

# Real Examples of Discrete Data

• A teacher collects the test scores of their class.

The test scores of the pupils are discrete data. Pupils can only get a whole number of marks. 5 marks or 8 marks make sense, but 51/8 marks does not make sense.

• Different shapes have different numbers of sides.

The number of sides are discrete data. You can only have a whole number of sides. It doesn't make sense to have ½ a side.

# More Real Examples of Discrete Data - Not Just Whole Numbers

From the examples above, we see that when we count a whole number of items, we get discrete data.

However, values do not need to be whole numbers to be discrete, as the following examples demonstrate.
• A cake shop sells slices of cake. Each slice is an 1/8th of a cake. Customers can only buy multiples of 1/8ths of a cake.

• Shoes come in different sizes. Shoe sizes usually come in whole numbers, but occasionally come in ½ sizes.

The discrete data does not have to come in whole numbers, but it does come in certain, indivisible values.
##### Interactive Test
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Here's a second test on discrete data.
Here's a third test on discrete data.

# Other Types of Data

The types of data are given below:

# Discrete and Continuous Data

Discrete date is a type of quantitative data.

The other type of quantitative data is continuous data.

Whereas discrete data can only take certain values, continuous data can take any value (within a range).

Discrete data is restricted to certain values (1, 2, 3 etc) and can't take any values in between. Continuous data can take values in between (1, 1.1, 1.25 etc).

# Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Discrete date is a type of quantitative data, which means it is described in numbers.

There is also qualitative data, which is described in words.