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The Value of Table Visuals

Shannon Holck gives us several scenarios in which tables are a good choice of visual:

Exact numbers are needed
If your report goes to a customer and you need an exact quantity or price or total, absolutely, a table is likely needed.

Displaying a few discrete values
If you need to display 5-10 things and they all represent unique values, a table may be appropriate.

Need to establish trust in the data
If you don’t trust the data (yet) and want to verify data, you can sometimes compare data at a roll-up level to a known source.  This is a great way to test not only the data but that the calculations are accurate.  

Click through for more reasons, followed by cases in which you want to avoid table visuals, and finally a few ways to improve tables. I’m not the biggest fan of the improved tables (because I want simpler and denser), but this is good food for thought.