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.

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## 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 5
^{1}/_{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}/_{8}^{th}of a cake. Customers can only buy multiples of^{1}/_{8}^{ths}of a cake. - Shoes come in different sizes. Shoe sizes usually come in whole numbers, but occasionally come in ½ sizes.

## Note

## Other Types of Data

The types of data are given below:## You might also like...

statisticsunderstanding quantitative dataunderstanding continuous dataunderstanding qualitative data

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