A table is a communication object in which data is arranged in two dimensions, i.e. (vertical) columns and (horizontal) rows. The row header (row name) describes the content of a row, the column header (column name) the content of a column. The data are positioned at the intersections of rows and columns called table cells.
“One-dimensional tables” (tables with one or more columns but without row headers) are called lists and are not covered here. Table types are defined by a set of columns and a set of rows in order to fulfill specific analytic and/or reporting purposes.
Table types are distinguished by their analytic purpose in time series tables, variance tables and cross tables. Tables serving more than one analytic purpose are called combined tables.
Time series tables
Time series tables are used for time series analyses, combining time columns with measure rows or structure rows. A typical example for a time series table is a sales analysis by countries (rows) and years (columns).
Variance tables are used for scenario analyses, combining scenario columns and variance columns with measure rows or structure rows. A typical example for a variance table is a sales analysis by countries (rows) showing different scenarios and different variances (columns).
Cross tables are used for structure analyses, combining structure columns with structure rows. A typical example of a cross table is a sales table with countries in rows and products in columns.
Combined tables are used for multiple analyses. A combined table uses more than one column type and/or more than one row type presented either side by side or nested (see nested columns and nested rows).
The first combined table shows a hierarchical structure of countries on three levels in the rows. The columns are nested: scenarios and variances are the same for both time periods November and January_November.
The second combined table shows the measures of a calculation scheme in the rows. The columns are nested: The four quarters and the annual total are the same for both years.
The third combined table shows the same rows as the second one (measures of a calculation scheme). The nested columns now show PY and AC data as well as absolute and relative variances for two markets.
About Tobias Riedner
Tobias Riedner foundet WYCDWD.com in 2015. He works and worked as innovator, consultant, analyst and educator in the fields of business intelligence and data warehousing. He learned a lot from the best consultants, managers und educators in the past and shares his knowledge worldwide. He works for a steady growing traditional company which is a leader in industry 4.0.