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Data Interpretation problems on TABLES - 1 Introduction data tables in data interpretation: Data Table is one of the most frequently...

Data Interpretation - Tables

Data Interpretation problems on TABLES - 1

Introduction data tables in data interpretation:
Data Table is one of the most frequently asked questions in the data interpretation section of most of the competitive examinations like CAT, Bank Tests, GRE, and GMAT. Usually questions are asked on single data type and multiple data type questions.
Tabulation is a very common method of representing data.
Tables are one of the easiest and most accurate ways of representing the data in non-graphical manner. Tables are very easier than other graphs (pie charts, bar charts, line charts etc) to extract information.
Any numerical data relating to any type of business or real-time situation can be generally represented in the form of a table.

Table: A  table is the easiest, simplest and efficient for users to summarize data in a meaningful way. A table consists of rows and columns; it presents data systematically in the form of rows and columns.

Arrangement of data in tables:
 In the tabular form of the data, information or the facts and figures are arranged in the chronological or alphabetical order.
A table consists of several boxes with information inside. The first row and the first column are generally used to denote the titles.

Important points to observe in the data table :
Students must observe the following parts of the table while reading the data or contents of the table in data interpretation questions:
Title of the table: Study the title of the table carefully that gives you a description of the contents of the table, kinds of data and the period for which it occurred.
Column heading: Column heading defines the information contained in various columns and also specifies the unit of measurement in a few cases.
Head Note and footnotes: The unit of measurement is specified in the headnotes, footnotes are used to point out any exceptions in arriving at the data and the description given about the table in headnotes or footnotes are very important to solve the given questions accurately. And also, the description given in head or footnotes is very prominent to solve the given questions in data interpretations section.
Blanks or Dashes: This is one important thing a student must observe very carefully. A dash or the blank indicates that corresponding data is not available
If you are arranging data in the form of a table, remember that the zero is always indicated by 0. A dash or blank should never be indicated as zero

Tips and techniques to solve the questions on Data Table Chart in Data Interpretation section of a competitive examination:

1.    Read instructions carefully before you begin solving the questions :
Test takers should understand the instructions or head notes are given so that, students can save time by not making calculations when they are not necessary and  also to get exactly what is the answer that is sought? And reading instructions may help students to know more about the table and its contents.
2.    Read the contents of the data table carefully   :
 Read the contents of the given data table very carefully because the smallest detail may change the meaning of the question completely. And the units of content given the table is also very important.
3.    Understand the data carefully:
Test takers should understand the data given in the table, before going to answer the problems on that data table in data interpretation questions. Test takers may get direct questions and some questions may be indirect questions. Sometimes the questions are made to be deceptive and proper understanding of the data and understanding the of the questions is a must. If more than one chart is given in the data interpretation question, try to understand the relation between the charts. (If two tables are given, the student should try to understand the relation between the tables and contents before going to attempt questions)
For Example, one table may talk about the total number of students appeared, while the other table may talk about the ratio of male and female students qualified. Hence, any question on the number of students qualified will require data from both tables.
4.    Be careful  of units of the data in the tables :

Students should be very careful of the units used in the tables, and the units in which the answers (options) are provided. A mistake in the units may give an entirely different answer. For example, the speed of the vehicles may be in kmph in tables but in mps in answers. And the length of the object may be in meters but in cm in answers.