Tabulation: summarizing the raw data

When the mass of data has been assembled it is arranged in some logical order known as the process of tabulation. It thus means that tabulation is the process of summarizing raw data and also to display the same in compact form.

Reasons for importance of tabulation are:

  • It preserves space and also helps in reduction of explanatory and descriptive statement to a lesser level.
  • It helps in comparing the data.
  • The summation of items and the detection of errors and omissions become easier.
  • It provides a basis for various statistical computations.
  • Tabulation could also be done by hand or by electronic devices, the choice depending upon the size and type of study, cost considerations, time pressures and also the availability of tabulating computers.

Tabulation can also be classified as-

Simple and complex tabulation.

We get information about one or more groups of questions that are independent. While on the contrary, complex tabulation gives information about the division of data in two or more categories and the researcher designs it to get information concerning one or more sets of inter-related questions. Simple tabulation helps in supplying answers to questions through one way tables about one feature of data only. Whereas, complex tabulation through he help of two-way tables or higher order tables gives information about few interrelated features of data.