GCSE Maths Unit 1 - Data Handling

January 19, 2016

GCSE Maths – Data Handling

How is data classified and what are examples of data collection?

How is data classified?

Data can be qualitative or quantitative.

  • Qualitative data is descriptive information
  • Quantitative data is numerical information
  • Quantitative data can be discrete or continuous
  • Discrete data can take certain values (like whole numbers)
  • Continuous data can take any value (within a range)

Primary data is data collected by the investigator himself/herself for a specific purpose. Secondary data is data collected by someone else but used by the investigator.

‘The Data Handling Cycle’

What is the Data Handling Cycle?

The actual question that is being investigated in this process is referred to as a ‘hypothesis’.

There are many possible ways of collecting data: phone/internet/postal survey, interview, and questionnaire – even the ballot box!



1) Amina asks 50 people, “What is your favourite pet? Choose from cat, dog, rabbit or other.”

Which two words describe the type of data she collects from each person?

The data is qualitative (descriptive information) and primary (collected first-hand).

2) A researcher wants to compare the ages of viewers of BBC 1 and Sky 1.

i) Write a suitable hypothesis.

ii) He writes a 4-stage plan to investigate the hypothesis. Use the Data Handling Cycle to put these components of his plan in the correct order.

A Work out the mean age for each channel.

B Select some television viewers to ask.

C Compare the results and comment on the hypothesis.

D Collect data about the ages of the television viewers

i) A suitable hypothesis would be “BBC1 viewers are older than Sky1 viewers.”

ii) The correct order is first B (Specify and Plan) then D (Collect Data) then A (Process and Represent) and finally C (Interpret).

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