Textual and Tabular Presentation of Data

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Textual and Tabular Presentation of Data in Detail

The presentation of data is essential. A tabular presentation of data helps the viewer to understand and to interpret the information better. Take, for example, your annual report card that is presented in a tabular format. You have your subjects written in one column of the table and your grades on the other. The third column mentions any teachers’ remarks. A single glance at your report card lets you read through the grades and subjects as well as the remarks with ease.

Now think, what would have happened if the same information was presented to you in the form of a paragraph. You would have to go through each line to know the grade that you got and the teachers’ remark on a particular subject. This would make it tedious and also confusing to understand the report card.

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Presentation of Data

Data must be presented properly. If the information is pleasing to the eyes, then it immediately gets attention. Data presentation is about using the same information to exhibit it in an attractive and useful way that can be read and interpreted easily. Data presentation is of three broad kinds. These are:

  • Textual presentation.

  • Data tables.

  • Diagrammatic presentation.

On this presentation of data Class 11 page, you will get to understand the textual and tabular data presentation or the data tables.

Textual Presentation

Data is first got in a textual format. It is a vague and raw format of the data. The data is mentioned in the text form, which is usually written in a paragraph. The textual presentation of data is used when the data is not large and can be easily comprehended by the reader just when he reads the paragraph.

This data format is useful when some qualitative statement is to be supplemented with data. The reader does not want to read volumes of data to be represented in the tabular format. Neither does he want to understand the data in a diagrammatic form? All that the reader wants to know is the data that provides evidence to the statement written. This is enough to let the reader gauge the intensity of the statement.

The textual data is evidence of the qualitative statement, and one needs to go through the complete text before he concludes anything.

Like for example, the coronavirus death toll in India today is 447. The reader does not need a lot of data here. The entire text of the state-wise breakup is cumulated to arrive at the national death figure. This is enough information for the reader.

Data Tables or Tabular Presentation

What is Data Presentation?

If the reader has to interpret a lot of data, then this has to be organized in an easy to read format. The data should be laid out in rows and columns so that the reader can get what he wants at a single glance. Data tables are easy to construct and also easy to read, which makes them popular.

Components of Data Tables

Below are the key components of the data table.

  • Table Number - Each table has a table number that makes it easy to locate it. This number serves as a reference and leads one to a particular table.

  • Title - The table should also have a title that lets the reader understand what information the table provides. The place of study, the period, and the nature of data classification are also mentioned in the title.

  • Headnotes - The headnotes give further information. It provides the unit of data in brackets which is mentioned at the end of the title. The headnote aids the title to offer more information that the reader would need to interpret the data.

  • Stubs - These are the titles that tell you what the row represents. In other words, the stubs give information about what data is contained in each row.

  • Caption - The caption is the column title in the data table. It gives information about what is contained in each column.

  • Body or Field - The body or the field is the entire content in the table. Each item that is present in the body is the cell.

  • Footnotes - Footnotes are not commonly used, but these are used to supplement the table title if needed.

  • Source - If the data used in the table is taken from a secondary source, then that has to be mentioned in the footnote.

Construction of Data Tables

Tabular presentation can be constructed in many ways. Here are some ways that are commonly followed.

  • The title of the table should be able to reflect on the table content.

  • If two rows or columns have to be compared, then these should be placed adjacent to each other.

  • If the rows in the table are lengthy, then the stub can be placed on the right-hand part of the table.

  • Headings should always be in the singular.

  • Footnotes are not compulsory and should be provided only if required.

  • The column size should be symmetrical and uniform.

  • There should be no abbreviations in the headings and the subheadings.

  • The units should be specified above the column.

The Advantages of Tabular Presentation

  • Makes representation of data easy.

  • Makes it easy to analyze the data.

  • Makes it easy to compare data.

  • The data is represented in a readable manner which saves space and the reader’s time.

Classification of Data and Tabular Presentation

Qualitative Classification

In qualitative classification, the data is classified based on its qualitative attributes. This is when the data has attributes that cannot be quantified. These could be boys-girls, rural-urban, etc.

Quantitative Classification

In quantitative classification, the data is classified based on the quantitative attributes. These could be marks where the data is categorized into 0-50, 51-100, etc.

Temporal Classification

In this tabular presentation, the data is classified according to the time. Here the data is represented in varied time frames like in the year 2016, 2018, etc.

Spatial Classification

In this method of classification, the data is classified according to location, like India, Pakistan, Russia, etc.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What do you Mean by the Tabular Presentation of Data?

Ans: When data is presented in a tabular form, it makes the information easy to read and to engage. The data is arranged in rows and columns. The tabular method of presenting data is the most widely used. The tabular representation of data coordinates the information for decision making, and any presentation of data in statistics use. Data in the tabular format is divided into 4 kinds. These are the Qualitative (based on traits), Quantitative (based on quantitative features), Temporal (based on time), and spatial (based on location) presentation of data.

Q2. Explain the Difference Between the Tabular and Textual Presentation of Data.


  • In the tabular representation of data, the data is presented in the form of tables and diagrams. The textual presentation uses words to present the data.

  • Tabular data is self-explanatory as there are segments that depict what the data wants to convey. The textual data need to be explained with words.

  • The key difference thus is that the textual representation of data is subjective. In a tabular format, the data is mentioned in the form of tables. This makes tabular data perfect for the vast amount of data which makes it easy for the reader to read and interpret the information.