Volume 4 Issue 3 March 2012

Researchers’ Corner

Preparation for Tabular Presentation: Tally Marking and Frequency Table
We have noted in a previous issue (Feb. 2012), that to make voluminous data readily usable and easily comprehensible three forms of presentation, namely textual (descriptive), tabular and diagrammatic (graphical), are possible. Summarising and displaying data in a concise/ compact and logical order for further analysis is the purpose of tabulation. It is a statistical representation summarising and comparing frequencies, determining bases for and computing percentages, etc. and usually presented in rows and columns as simple or complex table with cells containing data based on accepted general principles. Table-1 is conceptualised as data presented in rows and columns along with some explanatory notes. With cells containing data, table organises data for further statistical treatment, drawing inference and decision-making.
Table-1 : Frequency distribution of number of references in technical reports No. of Tally Frequency references (No. of (citations) technical reports) <6  2 6-10  4 11-15  5 16-20  4 21-25   7 >25   8 Total 30

Tabular presentation of data presupposes tally marking to prepare frequency table. Both preparation of frequency table by tally marking and what are the parts of a table have been taught to us in schools. But novice researchers need to recapitulate the same before handling their data.

Frequency of an observation is the number of times a certain observation occurs in the raw data of observation. Determination of frequency of each class is done by marking a vertical line in tally sheet for each observation and a diagonal across for the fifth score so that frequencies are easily consolidated by looking at the group of five as shown in the table.

Frequency table gives the class intervals and the frequencies associated with them in a summarized way.

1

Parts of Table i) Table number for identification purpose at the top or at the beginning of the title of the table. Whole numbers are used in ascending order subscripted numbers are used if there are many tables. ii) Title, usually placed at the head, narrates about the contents of the table. Title should be clearly, briefly and carefully worded so as to make interpretations from the table clear and free from ambiguity. iii) Captions or column headings are column designations to explain figures of the column iv) Stab or row headings (stab column) are designations of the rows. v) Body of the table contains the actual data in cells vi) Unit of measurement is stated along with the title of the unit and it does the not change If
Table 2: Frequency distribution of price of school books Price (in Rs.) Frequency (No. of books) 1 9 15 13 4 4 2 1 Cumulative less than or equal frequency 1 10 25 38 42 46 48 49 Percentage Cumulative percentage

throughout

table.

different units are used for rows or columns, the same are stated in row or column heading. If stated figures are large, they are rounded up and indicated. vii) Source note at the bottom of the table is to indicate the source of data presented.

1 11 21 31

-

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80

2 18 30 26 8 8 4 2

2 18 50 76 84 92 96 98

41 -51 61 71 -

81 - 90 0 49 0 98 91 1 50 2 100 100 Total 50 Note: Data collected from 50 random sample vernacular text books in the year 2002

viii) Foot note is the last part of the table to explain the specific feature of the data content, which is not self explanatory and has not been explained earlier

It is wrong to presume that statistical software on its own ensures a sensible good tabular presentation. One needs to properly perceive and plan necessary ingredients of desired and suitable good tabular presentation. Tabulation can have one-way, two-way, or three-way classification depending upon the number of characteristics involved. We will discuss four steps to tabulation in the forthcoming issue.

M S Sridhar
sridhar@informindia.co.in 2

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