Create a summary of data in text

Graphs and tables requires interpretation. That takes time.
Sometimes you could save the users some time by giving them a summary of the data in text form.

Here's an example of how this is done using a crosstab.

This crosstab shows some absence percentages in previous month compared to same period the year before:


Let's try and turn this into text - first we are going to hide the table  by using a (premade) crosstab styling where everything is made transparent (this takes a little while) but then you can reuse this theme every time you want to create a summary.

So now my table is blank and I enter Crosstab Styling and the tab call Title (notice the small drop-down arrow under the plus sign - that will come in very handy as we proceed:



Now we are going to make a combination of typing in text in the title and picking up variables from the drop-down arrow and work with those variables to create a quick summary of the data shown.


First we type a little leading text and then hit the drop-down on the right hand side.
From the list we pick lookup for Absence hour Percent.



When you pick a lookup value it will appear in the text window, but also below as a variable that can be worked with:



Let's hit the pencil next to the variable and rename it to something better (remember no spaces in names for variables):



Now notice also in the tabs in the dialogue we now have an extra tab called lookup (it appears when you introduce the first lookup variable).


Pick the lookup tab and finetune your variable by choosing fixed column and set it to 1 which is the first column:



Back to the title tab and add some more leading text and repeat the process (insert lookup, rename lookup, finetune lookup) - only this time set the fixed column to 2.
 Now your text might look like this:

Now you know how to work with lookup variables (did you notice that you can used fixed rows as well as fixed columns by the way?).


Let's add the growth (that can just be the value - there's only one growth) after some more leading text.



Finally we will add some conditional text to the last sentence:


The conditional text variable makes you able to make an if sentence - like this... (remember to hit the apply checkmarks every time)



...and then do the else (the number 1 just means all other outcomes - you can actually also do nested if's with this):



Now your text box sentence might look something like this:



And you resume like this: 



You can add as many lookups and conditional text as you like.

Sometimes it could also be great to prepare the table behind with a few calculations (average, max, min) so you are able to add these as well in the resume.

Please comment this article with your own best ideas for using text resumes.


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