Nominal data, as a subset of the term “Data /deɪtə/ or data /dətə/”as you may choose to call it, is the foundation of statistical analysis and all other mathematical sciences. They are individual pieces of information recorded and used for the purpose of analysis.
When studying data, we consider 2 variables – numerical and categorical. Numerical variables are classified into continuous and discrete data, while categorical variables are broken down into nominal and ordinal data.
In data analysis, proper classification and consumption of data is highly dependent on one’s understanding of what data is. Therefore, in this article, we will be explicitly discussing Nominal data and how you can use Formplus for seamless Nominal data collection.
Nominal data (also known as nominal scale) is a classification of categorical variables, that do not provide any quantitative value. Coined from the Latin nomenclature “Nomen” (meaning name), it is sometimes called “labelled” or “named” data. In some cases, nominal data may qualify as both quantitative and qualitative.
Unlike ordinal data, which includes something like “critical” or “low” in the case of bug severity, it includes examples like gender, country, marital status etc. Due to its lack of quantitativeness, Nominal data classification can only be done using mode and not mean.
Nominal data collection techniques are mainly question-based due to its “nominal” nature. It is collected via questions that either requires the respondent to give an open-ended answer or choose from a given list of options. For example:
This technique provides the respondent with the opportunity to give a nonrestrictive answer to the question. In this case, the question is usually followed by a text box.
Although, the text box may be given other restrictions like the length of words or characters, input type, language etc. These restrictions serve more as a guide to answering correctly than a limitation placed on the respondent’s answer. For example:
Some other open-ended questions are; “What is your name?”, “What is the name of your favourite pet?”, “Who is your hair colour?”, etc.
Open Ended Questions [ Nominal Data]
Pros of Open-Ended Questions
Cons of Open-Ended Questions
This technique gives room for more than one answer to a question. It puts into consideration the fact that humans may fall into different categories of classification at a time.
This technique is usually implemented with the use of checkboxes. The questionnaire asks a question with a prompt like, “Choose the one that applies to you”.
However, in some cases, the responders are given some restrictions like, “you can only check not more than 3 boxes”. That way, the responders can only check 3 boxes. Below are some examples of Multiple Response Choice questions with and without restrictions.
Multiple Response Questions
II. What toppings would you like on your pizza?
In example I. above, the respondent is restricted to choose only 3 out of the 5 available courses. However, the second example gives the respondents the opportunity to choose as many toppings as they like.
Pros of Multiple Response Questions
Cons of Multiple Response Questions
This technique combines the characteristics of open-ended questions and multiple response choice questions to make up its own. In other words, we can say Close-Open ended questions are close (multiple choice) questions with an open end.
The open end, in this case, is an option for “Others” where respondents can write their response if it’s not on the list. The hybrid nature of this technique makes it the most flexible of the three.
Similar to the first 2, the close-open ended technique may also have some restrictions. Below are some examples of Close-Open ended questions.
E.g. Which of the following African countries do you reside in? Others, specify
Close-Open Ended Questions
In this example, there are no restrictions placed on the response.
A restriction was placed on the multiple response section of this example. Here, the responders can only check 3 boxes out of the 5 available options.
However, there is no restriction on the open-ended section.
Pros of Close-Open Ended Questions
Cons of Close-Open Ended Questions
With Formplus’ data collection tool, you can use any of the above techniques to collect Nominal Data with online surveys or questionnaires.
Nominal data can be analysed using the grouping method. The input nominal variables are grouped together and classified into different categories. For each category, we calculate the percentage or frequency (mode) of the input variables. After this analysis, nominal data can now be interpreted as a bar chart or pie chart.
The analysis of Nominal Data is based on the percentage and frequency distribution due to its qualitative nature. Even if arranged in ascending or descending order, the mean cannot be calculated.
When analysing Nominal data, we summarise it into a frequency distribution table, that shows the categories and their counts. That is, the table lists the responses and the number of times they appear in the data set.
The table can be analysed through some graphical techniques, namely; pie chart and bar chart. These techniques are applicable for both the entire data in the table and a sample selected from it.
A bar chart is mainly used for analysing Nominal data. It graphically represents the frequency of each response as a bar rising vertically from the horizontal axis.
The height of each bar is directly proportional to the frequency of the corresponding response.
The pie chart is also used to analyse Nominal data. It is used to represent the percentage frequency of each sample in a set of Nominal data.
Although, both the bar chart and pie chart is used for analysing nominal data, they are used in different cases depending on the factor that is being considered.
The pie chart is mainly used when the researcher is considering the percentage (or fraction) while the bar chart is used when the researcher is considering frequency (mode) of the distribution.
When analysing Nominal data, it is important to classify the data into different categories, according to their differences and similarities. This way, researchers are able to match analysed data sets with similar unanalysed data sets against whom the analysis can be assessed.
Nominal data variables with similar characteristics are called Matched samples, while unrelated variables are Unmatched samples. These 2 samples are what make the categories of Nominal Data Variables.
In this category, the samples are paired up (or matched together) so that each member of the sample share similar characteristics except for the one under investigation. By matching investigated samples to similar uninvestigated samples, we enable the comparison of outcomes among these samples to estimate the effect of the investigation.
The main purpose of matching is to get better statistics by controlling the effects of other unwanted variables. For example, when investigating the effects of cancer in women between 25-40 years old, you can control the age-related health effects by matching “age-similar” participants.
There are 2 different types of tests done on the Matched category, depending on the number of sample groups that are being investigated.
This is the opposite of the matched category. It is an independent sample of unrelated groups of data.
Unlike matched pairs that are deliberately chosen, unmatched pairs are usually chosen at random. For example, when investigating whether if certain pregnancy prevention pills are effective or not. Then, you select 100 patients at random without considering their age or any health challenges they might be suffering from.
Nominal data is a very useful data type for research, business and economy analysis. Physical (paper) forms are traditionally used to collect nominal data.
With the advent of technology and an increasing number of online businesses, we now have Formplus – the best tool for collecting nominal data. Formplus is an easy to use form builder that allows you to create powerful forms within minutes on any device.
Collect data in remote locations or places without reliable internet connection with Formplus. Offline forms can also act as a backup to the standard online forms especially in cases where you have unreliable WiFi, such as large conferences and field surveys.
When responders fill form in the offline mode, responses are synced once there is an internet connection. Using conversational SMS, you can collect data on any mobile device without an internet connection.
Formplus gives you the flexibility and freedom to choose how you want your form to look like. With the easy to use customisation options, you can create stylish forms tailored to your brand. Migrate from boring old school questionnaires to stylish forms that depict your brand identity. There is also a custom CSS feature that gives you extra flexibility.
With Formplus, you can receive and route email notifications. Email notifications are sent to you and your team members whenever respondents make submissions. Formplus allows you to choose team members or collaborators that should receive this notification. You can also send a custom confirmation email to responders as a confirmation of their successful submission.
Formplus allows you to choose how you want to store your responses. You can choose to store them on Formplus server, your personal server or a third-party server. You have the freedom to choose one of Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. With unlimited file uploads, users can submit files, photos, or videos via your online forms without any restriction to the size or number of files that can be uploaded
If you run an online business, then you definitely need a gateway that allows you to easily receive payment from any part of the world. With Formplus, you neither have to deal with payment gateway integration nor need a software developer’s assistance. You even have the ability to choose one of Stripe, Paypal and Flutterwave when setting up payment for your business. Start receiving payments from around the world with just a click.
With Safe and secure forms, you and your responders don’t have to worry about security breaches or information leaking to a third party. Through data encryption, CAPTCHA and GDPR compliance, Formplus promises utmost security 100% of the time. The forms are SSL enabled, with an extra layer of security that keeps you safe from spammers and bots.
Gather useful insights that inform great business decisions with Formplus. There is an Analytics dashboard which reveals information like the total form views, unique views, abandonment rate, conversion rate, the average time it takes to complete a form, top devices, and the countries your form views are from. This information can be useful for both business and academic research purposes.
Your responders no longer have to go through the tedious process of scanning and uploading their signature in order to fill online forms. With the E-Signature option, you can get legal consent or endorsement from responders easily. The online signature form is very responsive and easy to use on any device – laptop, tablet or mobile phone. It doesn’t matter whether these devices have a digital pen or not. All received signatures will appear as images in your cloud storage once they are submitted.
With the user’s consent, the location feature allows you to determine the physical location of the person who is filling out your form. This feature uses Google Maps Web Services to pinpoint the nearest physical address. The obtained coordinates are converted to an address and are both included with each submitted response data.
Most times when filling out forms, respondents don’t have answers to the questions immediately. But they are forced to fill it once because coming back to it means losing their previous responses. With Formplus, you can give your form users the opportunity to save partially filled forms and continue filling it at a more convenient time from any device or browser. You don’t have to pressure your respondents to fill out your form at once, they can always return to it when you enable the save and continue option.
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