What Type of Data Does Logistic Regression Use?


Larry Thompson

What Type of Data Does Logistic Regression Use?

Logistic regression is a powerful statistical technique used to model the relationship between one or more independent variables and a binary dependent variable. It is widely used in various fields such as medicine, finance, and marketing to predict the probability of an event occurring.

The Binary Nature of Logistic Regression

Unlike linear regression, which is used for continuous dependent variables, logistic regression is specifically designed for binary outcomes. The dependent variable in logistic regression can take only two values, typically represented as 0 and 1. For example, predicting whether a customer will churn (1) or not (0) in a telecommunications company.

Types of Independent Variables

In logistic regression, the independent variables can be of different types:

  • Numeric Variables: These are continuous variables that can take any numerical value. Examples include age, income, or time spent on a website. These variables are used as-is in logistic regression without any modification.
  • Categorical Variables: These are variables that represent different categories or groups. Examples include gender (male/female), education level (high school/college/graduate), or product type (A/B/C).

    To use categorical variables in logistic regression, they need to be transformed into dummy variables using techniques like one-hot encoding.

  • Ordinal Variables: These are categorical variables with an inherent order or hierarchy among their categories. For example, rating scales like “poor,” “average,” and “excellent” have an ordered relationship. Ordinal variables can be directly used in logistic regression after assigning appropriate numeric values to their categories.
  • Interaction Terms: Logistic regression also allows the inclusion of interaction terms, which are created by multiplying two or more independent variables together. These interaction terms capture the combined effect of the interacting variables on the dependent variable.

Assumptions of Logistic Regression

Before applying logistic regression, it is important to consider the following assumptions:

  • Independence: The observations should be independent of each other. This assumption ensures that there is no relationship or dependency between individual observations.
  • Linearity: The relationship between each independent variable and the log-odds of the dependent variable should be linear.

    If a non-linear relationship exists, transformations can be applied to meet this assumption.

  • No Multicollinearity: The independent variables should not be highly correlated with each other. Multicollinearity can lead to unstable parameter estimates and difficulties in interpreting the results.
  • No Outliers: Outliers in either the dependent or independent variables may have a significant influence on the estimated coefficients and can result in biased predictions. Identifying and treating outliers is crucial for accurate logistic regression modeling.


Logistic regression is a versatile statistical technique that can handle various types of data. It is particularly well-suited for predicting binary outcomes based on a set of independent variables. By understanding the types of data logistic regression uses and ensuring that its assumptions are met, you can effectively apply this method to analyze and make predictions from your own datasets.

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