Ordinal Data


Ordinal data are data that can be ordered on an ordinal scale in order to rank them.

  • Each ordinal data can therefore be translated into a number .
  • This is a functionality/behavior of the data type than a new type of data.


Natural order can be found in all primitive data type:

Complex data type needs to compute a primitive in order to convey order. For instance:

  • if you want to sort a table of columns, you need to give the columns
  • if you want to sort a file, you need to give an attribute (by size, length, …)


For instance, ordering data numerically (ranking):

  • from largest to the smallest.
  • from first to last
  • from Like to Dislike via Like Somewhat, Neutral, Dislike Somewhat (Likert scale)


In a temperature scale, there is meaning to the values between the ordinal numbers (i.e. 1/2 degree can be interpreted)


The Ordinal Measurement involves collecting information in which the order is significant and is used to rank order cases. The name of this level is derived from the use of ordinal numbers

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