Discrete data usually involve counting a number of items, such as the number of books, computers, people, etc ...
For discrete data, numbers between two data values will make no sense. For example, suppose that the cost of producing a car is 20000 dollars. This situation will give discrete data only since you cannot produce half of a car, three-fourths of a car or two and a half car.
The table below shows the costs of producing 1, 2, 3, or 4 cars.
Number of cars 1 2 3 4 |
Cost Point 20000 (1, 20000) 40000 (2, 40000) 60000 (3, 60000) 80000 (4 , 80000) |
Number of cars Cost Point
1 20000 (1, 20000)
2 40000 (2, 40000)
3 60000 (3, 60000)
4 80000 (4, 80000)
If the company could produce 1.5 car, it will cost 30000. However, there is no such thing as 1.5 car. Here is what the graph of a discrete data will look like. Notice that we cannot connect the points since the numbers between 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4 do not exist.
On the other hand, a continuous data can have numbers between any two data values that make sense. Suppose the cost of grapes is 3 dollars per pound. The number of pounds you buy could be 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 3.5, 4.
Notice that 1.5 is a number between 1 and 2. By the same token, 3.5 is a number between 3 and 4. You do not have to buy exactly 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 pounds, etc...
Here is what the graph of a continuous data will look like.
In the graph above, we show the points (1 3), (2, 6), (3, 9), and (4, 12). (3, 9) of course means that 3 pounds cost 9 dollars. Notice how any number of pounds could be chosen between 0 and 1, 1 and 2, 2 and 3, 3 and 4.
Nov 20, 17 11:18 AM
What is a linear parent function? Crystal clear explanation.
New math lessons
Your email is safe with us. We will only use it to inform you about new math lessons.
Nov 20, 17 11:18 AM
What is a linear parent function? Crystal clear explanation.
Our Top Pages
Formula for percentage
Compatible numbers
Basic math test
Basic math formulas
Types of angles
Math problem solver
Algebra word problems
Surface area of a cube
Finding the average
Scale drawings
Everything you need to prepare for an important exam!
K-12 tests, GED math test, basic math tests, geometry tests, algebra tests.
Real Life Math Skills
Learn about investing money, budgeting your money, paying taxes, mortgage loans, and even the math involved in playing baseball.