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Data transformation is the process of changing the data in some way. More formally, a transformation involves creating a new variable or set of variables from an existing variable or set of variables.

Objectives of transformation

Data transformation is undertaken with the following objectives:

Standard transformations of a categorical variable

A categorical variable can be transformed in one of two ways:

  1. It can be turned into a numeric variable, by coming up with some rules about the numeric interpretation of categories. For example:
  2. The categories of a categorical variable can be combined. Most commonly, small categories are merged into larger categories. For example:
    • When a question asks for reasons for a particular behavior, any reasons that are selected by a small number of respondents can be classified as Other.
    • Variables that collect data on Rating Scales may be converted to Binary Variables to make further analysis simpler.

Standard transformations of numeric variables



See also