What Are Measures?

Measures are facts about reality that can be expressed in numbers. They can be quantitative, qualitative or a combination of both. They are usually characterized by their type, magnitude and unit.

A measurement strategy is a useful tool for analyzing the success of your marketing efforts. It also helps establish clear communication between marketers across the company.


The quantitative approach to research hinges on collecting and analyzing data. It involves a number of different steps, including designing and conducting experiments. Quantitative research also relies on collecting a variety of numerical observations, such as the length of a plant’s stem or the number of bees in a hive.

In order to evaluate the validity of a quantitative measure, researchers must look at several factors. One important factor is reliability. This includes assessing whether the measure is accurate, consistent and can be reproduced. Another is criterion validity, which considers the extent to which the scores on the measure reflect the construct that they are supposed to.

Other aspects of the validity of a quantitative measurement include its ability to produce statistically significant results, and whether it produces a valid interval or ratio variable. Examples of interval level variables are mode, median and mean, while ratio level variables include indices like the Rosenberg self-esteem scale, which is a composite score that combines multiple items into a single numeric value.


Quantitative measures rely on numbers and values to convey information. Qualitative measurement delves deeper into concepts and feelings. It involves interviews with open-ended questions and observation in real world settings. The goal is to gather detailed descriptions of people’s reactions, perceptions and experiences.

For example, an assessment might focus on a specific community’s level of empowerment or how well it relates to local culture. These are results that cannot be tallied or neatly fit into a quantitative framework, but they’re important to measure.

Using qualitative methods to collect data can help you better understand how and why people react as they do in a certain setting. Qualitative assessments involve observing a situation and taking notes, either as a participant or as an outsider (for example, in a hospital’s intensive care unit). This type of research is iterative and may include multiple sessions of observation and interviewing. Observations are analyzed thematically to identify trends and patterns.


Measures are the numbers that can be summed or averaged, such as sales, leads, distances, durations and temperatures. They are used alongside dimensions, which categorize data into categories like sales reps, cities and products.

Combinations are selections of objects that can be made from a larger collection. The mathematics of combinations is known as combinatorics and includes the nCr formula for enumerating all possible combinations of a set n with r objects selected at random.

You can create views that combine multiple measures by adding them to the Rows or Columns shelves. When you do this, the marks for each distinct measure are displayed on the same axis. You can then customize the mark properties for each measure—for example, the shape, size and color encoding. You can also compare the results of two different measures using dual axes—two independent axes that are layered in the same pane.


The unit of measurement is a standardized quantity for a physical property. It serves as a factor for measuring occurring quantities of that property, such as length or mass. Often, different units for a same quantity exist. They may be converted to each other through multiplicative conversion factors, i.e. a kilogram divided by one meter is equal to 1,000 milliliters.

Many traditional systems of measurement were based on dimensions of the human body, such as the cubit based on the length of the forearm and the pace based on the width of a stride or the foot and hand. Such units, referred to as anthropic, are still used in some cultures.

Currently, scientifically-defined and internationally agreed upon units are used worldwide. These are known as the SI (International System of Units). They consist of seven base units: the metre for length, the second for time, the kelvin for temperature, the mole for the number of atoms in an object, the candela for brightness and the kilogram for weight.

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