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3. Presentation-friendly tables

The tables produced for some international quantitative projects can sometimes include literally millions of numbers, of which only a very small proportion would actually be required for the presentation of results. What this means is that the research executives tasked with producing a presentation have to sift through a big deck of tables for just the handful of numbers that they require.

Usually the tables are not the end-deliverable. and the way we typically work is to produce the minimum required number of tables which can then easily be incorporated into a Powerpoint presentation or other reporting device. There are a few tricks to doing this, such as providing the tables in Excel and separating raw counts from percentages. We also like to work closely with the analyst in the exact definition of the tables, describing how the data looks like and producing a first run of the tables for comments.

A more strategic reason for using providing tables in Excel is that is evolving as the standard data platform for popular business  visualization tools and analytic approaches. Since Powerpoint 2007, the data entry sheet has become an Excel format, with easier ways to transfer data directly from Excel to Powerpoint. The SAP Crystal Dashboard Design software relies on Excel to store and work with the underlying data. There are also numerous other analytic approaches common to market research – such as modelling, forecasting, and conjoint – which are also based on Excel.