Table design

Almost every research paper and the­sis in sta­tis­tics con­tains at least some tables, yet stu­dents are rarely taught how to make good tables. While the prin­ci­ples of good graph­ics are slowly becom­ing part of a sta­tis­ti­cal edu­ca­tion (although not an econo­met­rics edu­ca­tion!), the prin­ci­ples of good tables are often ignored. Per­haps peo­ple think they are obvi­ous, although the results I see in papers and the­ses sug­gest otherwise.

Lately the topic seems to have been get­ting some much-​​needed atten­tion and the fol­low­ing resources may be useful.

These two older books are also extremely use­ful ref­er­ences on good table design.

Finally, tables can often be replaced with graph­ics to bet­ter effect, a point argued by Gel­man, Pasar­ica and Dod­hia (2002) — this one is not satir­i­cal!

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