The term “tabular” refers to data that is displayed in columns or tables, which can be created by most BI tools. These tools find relationships between data entries in one or more database, then use those relationships to display the information in a table.

How Data Can Be Displayed in a Table

Data can be summarized in a tabular format in various ways for different use cases.

The most basic form of a table is one that just displays all the rows of a data set. This can be done without any BI tools, and often does not reveal much information. However, it is helpful when looking at specific data entries. In this type of table, there are multiple columns, and each row correlates to one data entry. For example, if a table has a column called “NAME” and a column called “GENDER,” then each of the rows would contain the name of a person and their gender.

Tables can become more intricate and detailed when BI tools get involved. In this case, data can be aggregated to show average, sum, count, max, or min, then displayed in a table with correlating variables. For example, without a BI tool you could have a simple table with columns called “NAME,” “GENDER,” and “SALARY,” but you would only be able to see the individual genders and salaries for each person. With data aggregation from using a BI tool, you would be able to see the average salary for each gender, the total salary for each gender, and even the total number of employees by gender. This allows the tables to become more versatile and display more useful information.