*Ordinal *data is data where there are labels, and there is a meaningful ordering between the labels. For example, consider asking people to rate their happiness, with choices of *Unhappy*, *Somewhat happy, *and *Happy. *If we asked five people to rate their happiness, we might get the data: *Happy, Unhappy, Somewhat happy, Happy, Unhappy.*

In addition to all the comparisons we were able to perform with the *nominal *data:

- We can make
*relative comparisons.* For example, persons 1 and 4 are equally happy (based on the data) and both are happier than persons 2, three, and 5.
- When we have two variables that are both ordinal, we can compute
*nonparametric correlations* between these variables.
- We can summarize variables based on their
*median*. For example, the median level of happiness in this data is *Somewhat happy.*

Ordinal data is sometimes referred to as being *ordered categorical.*

Often ordinal data is assumed to be either *nominal *or *interval *when performing data analysis. This is because more powerful techniques have been developed for these measurement scales.

## See also

Overview of Data Types

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