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Thread: Zero vs missing data

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    Zero vs missing data




    Hello

    I have a question regarding 0 (=zero) vs missing data.

    If I have an observation that have many variables but one of the variable is not relevant to this observation (but relevant to other observations), should the value of this variable be 0 (=zero) or missing data (as I found there is a big difference between them in correlation matrix)

    Thanks a lot for any help!

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    Re: Zero vs missing data

    I'm not clear on your exact situation. Keep in mind though that as obvious as it sounds that zero is an actual value. If you use zero you're saying "the value is one less than one". You aren't saying "I don't know what this value should be" out "I don't know what this value is".
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    Re: Zero vs missing data

    Well, I think in this situation it is neither, but should be "NA". It is not missing, and its not zero, because you are not recording it for that given data set.
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    Re: Zero vs missing data


    Quote Originally Posted by bugman View Post
    Well, I think in this situation it is neither, but should be "NA". It is not missing, and its not zero, because you are not recording it for that given data set.
    Second this. What you could do is just to recode the variable and assign a value that reflects its non-relevance.

    But be careful, some applications or software will show missing as "NA".

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