Im doing the Data Analysis Course and I just got the the part that says this:
“variables can typically be classified as quantitative (i.e., numeric) or categorical (i.e., discrete).”

That came after this:


So now I’m a bit confused, is a discrete variable a numerical variable or is it a categorical variable?

1 Like


A discrete variable is a variable whose different values have a distinct separation, example 0, 1, 2, 3 or 54, 56, 58.

Whereas continuous variables can take every single value in the interval they are defined on, with possibly infinite number of decimals. For example between 1 and 2 you have an infinite number of values because there is no limit to the number of decimals you can have ex. 1.111115 or 1.00000000001 or 1 +X millions of decimals.

So continuous variables are necessarily numerical, discrete variables can be numerical, like in a count, but they can also be categorical, like in a rating. In fact categorical variables can only be discrete because the notion of categories involves to put values “in cases” which is opposed to the idea of continuity.

I hope this helps.

1 Like