What Type of Data Is Used for Multiple Regression?


Heather Bennett

What Type of Data Is Used for Multiple Regression?


Multiple regression is a statistical technique used to study the relationship between a dependent variable and two or more independent variables. It helps us understand how changes in one variable can impact the value of another. However, before diving into multiple regression analysis, it is important to understand the type of data that is suitable for this analysis.

Data Requirements

To perform multiple regression analysis, we need the following types of data:

  • Numerical Data: Multiple regression requires numerical data for both the dependent and independent variables. Numerical data consists of quantitative measurements such as age, income, temperature, etc. These variables can take on any numeric value and are essential for calculating correlations and making predictions.
  • Continuous Data: Continuous data refers to variables that can take on any value within a certain range. For example, height, weight, time, etc., are continuous variables as they can have decimal values.

    Since multiple regression relies on mathematical calculations, continuous data provides more accurate results compared to discrete or categorical data.

  • Independent Variables: Multiple regression requires at least two independent variables. These are variables that are believed to have an impact on the dependent variable. Independent variables can be either numerical or categorical in nature.

Data Assumptions

In addition to the type of data mentioned above, multiple regression also makes certain assumptions about the data:

  1. Linearity: There should be a linear relationship between the dependent variable and each independent variable. This assumption implies that changes in the independent variables will result in proportional changes in the dependent variable.
  2. Independence: The observations in the data set should be independent of each other. This means that the value of one observation should not influence the value of another.

    Violation of this assumption can lead to biased and unreliable results.

  3. No Multicollinearity: The independent variables should not be highly correlated with each other. High multicollinearity can cause problems in multiple regression analysis, such as unstable estimates and difficulties in interpreting the coefficients.
  4. No Autocorrelation: Autocorrelation refers to the correlation between the residuals (the differences between the observed and predicted values) in a regression model. In multiple regression, it is assumed that there is no autocorrelation present, as it can affect the accuracy of statistical tests and lead to incorrect interpretations.


To perform multiple regression analysis effectively, it is crucial to have the right type of data. Numerical and continuous data are essential for accurate calculations, while independent variables help us understand relationships and make predictions. Additionally, ensuring that the data meets assumptions related to linearity, independence, multicollinearity, and autocorrelation is vital for obtaining reliable results.

By considering these factors, researchers and analysts can confidently apply multiple regression analysis to their data sets and gain valuable insights into complex relationships.

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