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Data refers to the actual pieces of information collected through your study. For example, if you ask five of your friends how many pets they own, they might give you the following data: 0, 2, 1, 4, 18. The major ways of expressing data are:-

(a) Nominal scale: This type of scale Nominal data has no order and thus only gives names or labels to various categories such as ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ and maybe use grades, e.g. A, B, C, D and so on. Nominal scale may also include numerical values. For example one may decide to let 1, 2, 3 and 4 stand for ‘excellent’, ‘good’, ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ or vice versa.

(b) Ordinal scale: Is the data that involves rank orders or positions among events or objects. These statistics attempt to provide quality or position. For example, if Faustine scored 7% in Geography Test while Mariam scored 96%, then we can say that the former ranked number 19 while the latter ranked number 1 out of 20 students. Sometimes, values such as ½ of the class scored below 50% in Geography may be included in the ranking.

(c) Interval scale: This type of scale employs truly quantitative values and allows the use of mathematical operations such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. At no time is zero present in this scale. For example, the range of temperature in which rice grows well is 25°C and 45°C; most livestock keepers get between 10 and 15 litres of milk per cow per day.

(d) Ratio scale: This is a type of scale that is used to make comparisons between values or quantities. For example, Mr. Joseph harvested 50 sacks of maize which is twice Mr Paul obtained from the same acreage because the former applied fertilizer and good farming practices while the latter did not.

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