What is the difference between continuous and discrete data?

1 Answer
Nov 6, 2015

If a variable can take on any value between its minimum value and its maximum value, it is called a continuous variable; otherwise, it is called a discrete variable.


For example, gathering daily temperature data of a fresh water lake over 30 days. Temperature is a continuous variable since it can be any value from 0 degrees Centigrade or higher including any fraction of a degree (such as, 28.38591 degrees).

Tossing a die with faces equal to 1 through 6 is an example of a discrete variable. The toss can only result in one of those 6 values and nothing in between (that is, you can't roll a 3.5). So, gathering data on 3 tosses of a die is an example of discrete data.

hope that helped