Understanding Nominal Scale— Benefits & Examples   

nominal scale
nominal scale

It is rightly said that data is the new currency. It is an invaluable information source that paves the way for improved decision-making.  

Well-organized data can aid us in comprehending a variety of concepts and gaining perspective if used properly. These days, people are using data in a variety of fields and applying the conclusions drawn from it to real-world situations. Leveraging a nominal scale is one way to firmly measure your collected data and make its best use. 

The two main categories of data are quantitative and qualitative. The latter is any non-numerical info, whereas the former is related to numbers. We must measure whatever it is that we are researching to use this evidence for deliberate actions.  

In the following article, we will look at the significance of the nominal scale and gauge its benefits compared to other scales. Let’s get started! 

What is The Nominal Scale? 

This is the most basic scale used to categorize data or determine its identity. As its name implies, it categorizes variables into various groups and is also referred to as the category variable scale.  

The nominal scale uses names to categorize items into several groupings. When there is information that cannot be expressed in numerical terms, it is frequently employed in statistics. For instance, we might use it to classify people based on their preferred cuisine or hair color.  

These items cannot be arranged in a logical sequence like numbers can. We simply give them names and place them in separate groups. There can only be one group for each thing; thus, we make sure to give each group a name. Using the nominal scale, we can make sense of information that isn’t quantified in numbers. 

Calculations like multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction are not feasible in nominal scale because the data used for it needs numerical digits. Some nominal scale examples are nationality, the eye color or hair color of people, religion, etc. The nominal scale can be further broken down into: 

  1. Nominal with order: the nominal data which is classified and sub-classified in order. For example- low, medium, and high. 
  1. Nominal without order: the nominal data which is classified and sub-classified without any order, such as male, female, transgender, etc.  
  1. Dichotomous: this type of data has only two levels or classification levels, for example, true or false, right or wrong, etc. 
ALSO READ: Nominal, Interval, Ordinal Scale: A Guide to Measurement & Data Scales 

A Closer Look at Ordinal Scale 

The primary goal of this variable measurement scale is to depict data according to the order of the variables. The ordinal scale’s main application is order, as its name suggests. Although the variables on this scale are ranked, there is no indication of how the variables vary from one another. It only concentrates on the factors’ order.  

Measurements of non-mathematical concepts, such as feelings and opinions, are made using the ordinal scale. This scale has descriptive characteristics, and, like the nominal scale, it groups the variables while also indicating their relative positions, which the nominal scale omits. 

Data on marathon runners’ satisfaction levels make an excellent ordinal scale example. The winner will be happy, the runner-up will contend, and the losers will be dissatisfied. 

Nominal Scale Vs. Ordinal Scale  

Both of them are used in polls, surveys, and other statistical data analyses. The two are a little similar and sometimes create confusion among people.  

A nominal scale is used to gather information or data related to identity or characteristics like age, job, native place, etc. In contrast, the ordinal scale collects data on the experience, rating, or feedback. A nominal scale classifies people, whereas the ordinal scale also considers order and rank. 

RELATED: Nominal VS Ordinal Scale: Explore The Difference  

Benefits of Nominal Scale 

The nominal scale has multiple advantages, especially when it comes to research.  

  • An example of nominal scale in research could be if a researcher is conducting a survey to collect data on people’s favorite colors. In this case, the nominal scale would be used to categorize the responses into different groups based on color, such as red, blue, green, yellow, and so on. The data obtained from this survey would be qualitative and categorical, with no inherent order or ranking among the colors. 
  • The credibility of this scale is increased because it is straightforward and makes it easier to generate answers using closed-ended questions. You can gather many responses in less time using this scale. 
  • Since they are simple and straightforward, nominal scales are simple to use. They offer distinct categories that aid in sorting data and simplifying it. When studying data that may be divided into distinct categories, like different kinds of fruit, nominal scales are very useful.  
  • They can be applied to data analysis without assuming the distribution of the data. When working with vast amounts of data, nominal scales are helpful because they help organize it. They are frequently used in surveys to categorize respondents’ responses.  
  • Finally, the categories are objective and unaffected by human beliefs because they are predetermined. 


Data is also playing a significant role in business research and development, which is essential for the development of any organization or company. Data scientists use various scales to measure or quantify data for deriving useful findings. A nominal scale is an effective way to navigate your need for accurate data measurement.  

We utilize nominal scales more often than we realize in daily life. People often use them to organize clothes by color or books by category. We can also categorize our responses when we complete surveys or forms.  

Nominal scales are used in medicine to categorize diseases or symptoms. In the classroom, we utilize them to categorize kids as passing or failing a grade level. Marketers employ nominal scales to categorize consumers based on what they prefer or purchase. In our daily lives, nominal scales assist us in classifying and comprehending information. 

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