Classifying versus summarizing

Classifying and summarizing are similar methods of grouping data, but they have different options and process data in different ways. You must summarize instead of classify if you are working with a datetime key field, want to use multiple key fields, or want to include non-key fields in the output table. You can classify or summarize sorted or unsorted tables.

Table 1. Classifying versus summarizing

Requirement

Classifying

Summarizing

Calculates and reports the number of times a key field value appears in a table

Yes

Yes

Computes and displays subtotals for selected numeric fields

Yes

Yes

Computes and displays average, minimum, and maximum values for subtotaled numeric fields

Yes

Yes

Computes and displays percentages

Yes

No

Key field can be character

Yes

Yes

Key field can be datetime

No

Yes

Key field can be numeric

No

No

Multiple key fields allowed

No

Yes

Include non-key fields in output

No

Yes

Primary processing location

RAM

Hard disk

Length restriction on key field

Yes

(maximum 64 characters)

No

Sorts output results

Yes

Yes (Presort selected)

No (Presort not selected)

Output to screen

Yes

Yes

Output to table

Yes

Yes

Output to graph

Yes

No

Related concepts
About classifying
About summarizing


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