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What Is The Difference Between Time Series Data And Cross-section Data?

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Greg Allen Profile
Greg Allen answered
To explain the difference between time series data and cross-section data it is necessary to explain the two elements first.

• Time series data

Time series data is data that is measured using a sequence of certain points at particular times. The Dow Jones Index is an example of data that is measured using time series data, as the data collected is listed at a certain time on each day. Line charts are used to plot time series data and these enable the viewer of the data to analyze the data with ease, and to compare and contrast the differences between one set of data at a particular time and another set of data at a particular time.

• Cross-section data

Cross-section data is data that is collected by analyzing different sets of data from different sources at a particular time. This type of statistical information is useful when observing habits within a country, such as eating habits, voting habits, and drinking habits. Applying a certain set of questions to a certain number of people in different areas, and collating the information to achieve a realistic picture that is relevant to a nation or an area as a whole makes this data useful. Another example of cross-section data is business data collected to see the popularity of certain products at a particular time, and this is known as market research.

The major difference between time series data and cross-section data is that the former focuses on results gained over an extended period of time, often within a small area, whilst the latter focuses on the information received from surveys and opinions at a particular time, in various locations, depending on the information sought.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Cross-sectional data refers to data collected by observing many subjects (such as individuals, firms or countries/regions) at the same point of time. Time series data follows one subject's changes over the course of time.

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