What Type of Data Is Ranked Data?


Heather Bennett

What Type of Data Is Ranked Data?

When working with data, it’s essential to understand the different types of data that exist. One such type is ranked data. Ranked data is a specific form of categorical data that involves ordering or ranking items based on a particular characteristic or attribute.

The Nature of Ranked Data

Ranked data is often derived from surveys, questionnaires, or rating scales, where respondents are asked to assign a numerical value or rank to a set of options. This type of data allows for comparisons between items and provides insight into preferences, opinions, or performance.

In ranked data, each item is assigned a position or rank based on its relative standing compared to other items in the dataset. The ranking process typically involves assigning numbers in ascending or descending order to indicate the position of each item.

Examples of Ranked Data

One example of ranked data is a customer satisfaction survey where respondents are asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5. Each rating corresponds to a specific level of satisfaction, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. The resulting dataset consists of ranked responses that can be analyzed to measure overall customer satisfaction levels.

Another example could be an employee performance evaluation process where managers rank their team members based on their performance. By assigning numerical rankings, managers can identify high-performing individuals and those who may need additional support or development opportunities.

Analyzing Ranked Data

To analyze ranked data effectively, several statistical techniques can be employed:

  • Mann-Whitney U Test: This nonparametric test compares two independent groups’ ranks to determine if there is a significant difference between them.
  • Kendall’s Rank Correlation: This method assesses the strength and direction of the relationship between two ranked variables.
  • Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test: It is used to compare two related samples and determine if there is a significant difference in their ranks.


Ranked data provides valuable insights into preferences, opinions, and performance. It allows for comparisons and analysis of items based on their relative rankings. By understanding the nature of ranked data and employing appropriate statistical techniques, researchers and analysts can make informed decisions and draw meaningful conclusions from this type of data.

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