How to Make a Data Table

Laptop on a table with keys, toys and a mobile device.
Data tables keep your information organized and aid in making graphs and charts. William Andrew / Getty Images

Data tables help you keep information organized. If you're collecting data from an experiment or scientific research, saving it in a data table will make it easier to look up later. Data tables can also help you make graphs and other charts based on your information. Best of all, you don't need a fancy computer program to make a data table; all you need is a pen and paper!

Here's how to make a data table:


  1. Name your table. Write a title at the top of your paper. Make sure the title relates to the data you will put in your table. [Scholastic]
  2. Figure out how many columns and rows you need.
  3. Draw the table. Using a ruler, draw a large box. Make the necessary number of columns and rows. Don't forget to leave the top row blank. This is where you will label your columns.
  4. Label all your columns. The leftmost column should be reserved for your independent variable. For example, if you're researching how much rain fell in the past year, your independent variable would be the months of the year. Thus, your leftmost column would be labeled "Month" and the next column would be labeled "Rainfall."
  5. Record the data from your experiment or research in the appropriate columns. You want the information in your table to be clear and obvious to anyone who sees it. When you're finished there should be a number in every space. If there is an average or derived result from your data, that number should be recorded in the rightmost column.
  6. Check your table. Look over your work to make sure everything is correct and clear. [SEDL]

Frequently Answered Questions

How do you make a nice data table?
A nice data table is one that is easy to read and understand. It should have clear headers and be organized in a way that makes sense.