What is a Table?
Tables are designed to organize and display information, with data arranged in columns and rows. Tables make it easier to understand, read, and compare numbers and text.
Tables have been used for centuries in many industries, including media, research, education, data analysis and communication.
View more examples of tables.
Infogram is a free online chart maker that lets you create and customize tables.
When to Use a Table
When choosing between a table or chart to communicate your message, always ask yourself how the information will be used. Tables communicate with our verbal system, while charts interact with our visual system.
Data visualization expert Stephen Few suggests you use tables in the following scenarios:
- The display will be used to look up individual values.
- It will be used to compare individual values but not entire series of values to one another.
- Precise values are required.
- Both summary and detail values are included.
Infogram’s interactive tables help your audience drawn better conclusions as they search and sort through data. You can add icons, images, and flags to cells for more engaging content.
How to Create a Table
You can make a table in 5 easy steps:
- Join Infogram to make a table.
- Select the chart type ‘table’.
- Upload or copy and paste your data.
- Customize table layout and style (add icons, changes fonts, and colors).
- Download your table or embed on your website.
Best Practices for Creating Reporting Tables
- Ask yourself how your table will be used and define your audience.
- Make your table as simple as possible, and stay data-focused.
- Label your column and row headers. It makes your information easier to navigate.
- Try to avoid merging cells and nesting tables, unless it makes your data easier to read.
- Consider removing grid lines to increase readability.
- Always include the source(s) of your data.
- Arrange your data into groups whenever it applies.
- Information should have a clear sequence (e.g. show Q2 after Q1).
- If you want to display ratios, they should appear after the value they represent.
- If you show aggregated values, visually separate them from the rest of the data.
- Use a subtle fill color to help the reader scan your table.
- Numbers should be aligned to the right, because it makes easier to compare. Text can be aligned left, but you might prefer to center it for readability.
- Use color or formatting to draw the viewer to specific values (cells) in your table.