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What is Nominal Data? Definition and Examples

In this blog, we’ll talk about nominal data and all the reasons why it’s important, how it works and many other interesting topics to it.

The following subjects are listed below and will be covered:

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What is Nominal Data?

Data that is used to categorize and identify data points is known as nominal data in the field of Data Science. It is used to categorize data into categories but has no related numerical value.

Nominal data, also known as qualitative data, is frequently used to record the qualities or names of individuals, communities, or objects. Nominal data examples include gender, nation, state, race, profession, product category, and any other categorization.

In Data Science, nominal data is utilized to comprehend intricate connections between data types. For instance, examining the relationship between gender and profession might reveal which jobs are more likely to be held by men and women.

Customer groups based on nationality are another instance of nominal data utilization. This may be utilized to better comprehend the variations among clients from other nations and how they engage with a company’s goods or services.

Nominal data types are widely used in a variety of fields and are often used in the construction of contingency tables and other methods for comparing proportions and frequencies of different categories.

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Why do we need Nominal Data?

One of the most often utilized forms of data in the field of Data Science is Nominal Data.

Data such as gender or work titles are a form of data that is used to categorize data.

It offers a method for contrasting several types or categories of data. Because it enables researchers to spot patterns and trends in huge data sets, this kind of data is crucial to data science.

Data is divided into multiple groups using nominal data. For instance, a researcher would utilize nominal data to divide data into groups for men and women if they wished to examine how gender affects success at work.

This would enable them to determine whether the success rates for the two genders varied in any way. Similar to the previous example, nominal data may be used to compare the salaries of persons with various educational backgrounds in order to evaluate the effect of education level on pay.

Nominal data is also important for classification tasks. For example, a researcher might use nominal data to classify items into different categories, such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

This type of data can also be used to identify relationships between different classes of data. For instance, a researcher might use nominal data to identify relationships between different job titles and salaries.

Nominal data is a very important type of data for data science. It helps researchers identify patterns, trends, and relationships in large datasets.

It also allows researchers to classify data into different categories and make predictions about future outcomes. By using nominal data, researchers can gain valuable insights into how different variables impact their research results.

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How does Nominal Data Function?

Nominal data is a crucial component of data science since it enables researchers to learn more about a community or group of individuals.

It is a flexible technique that may be applied to provide predictions and provide answers to many different kinds of queries.

Data scientists may more effectively interpret and analyze data by being aware of how nominal data functions and how it may be used.

Nominal data can be used to answer questions such as how many people belong to a certain demographic, the different types of occupations within a population, or the different kinds of products people buy.

It is also used to measure opinion or attitude, such as how people feel about a particular issue or brand. Nominal data is often used in surveys and other forms of market research.

Nominal data is useful in data analysis because it allows data scientists to analyze the data in a structured way. For example, by categorizing a dataset into nominal data categories, data scientists can easily identify trends, correlations, and other patterns.

It is often used in fields such as marketing, sociology, and psychology, as it provides a convenient way to categorize and analyze data. When working with nominal data, it is common to use frequency tables, bar charts, and pie charts to visualize the distribution of categories.

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Difference between Ordinal vs Nominal Data

The main distinction between ordinal and nominal data is that the former has a predetermined order, whilst the latter does not. While categorizing and labeling variables may be done using any type of data, their measurement and visualization methods differ. Here is a table showing the differences between ordinal and nominal data:

Feature Ordinal Data Nominal Data
Definition Categorizes observations into distinct, ordered groups. Categorizes observations into distinct, non-numeric groups.
Nature Has an inherent order. Does not have any inherent order.
Example Likert scale responses (Strongly Agree, Agree, Neutral, Disagree, Strongly Disagree). Gender (Male, Female), Favorite Color (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow).
Measurement Ordinal measurement. Nominal measurement.
Visualization Bar graphs, line graphs, box plots, and histograms. Pie charts, bar graphs, frequency tables.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nominal Data

Let’s go through each of nominal data’s benefits and drawbacks individually to better grasp both their advantages and their drawbacks:

Advantages of Nominal Data:

Here are the following advantages of Nominal Data that are used in Data Science:

Disadvantages of Nominal Data:

We’ve seen the different benefits that nominal data offers. Now let’s take a  look at its disadvantages:


Since nominal data enables data scientists to learn more about a community or group of individuals, it is a crucial component of data science. It is a flexible tool that may be used to provide forecasts and respond to a range of inquiries. Data scientists may better interpret and analyze data by having a solid grasp of nominal data’s operation and potential applications.

If you have any queries related to this domain, then you can reach out to us at Intellipaat’s Data Science Community!

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