Tabulation Engine: Getting Started

The Tabulation Engine is a powerful tool for quickly creating analytical tables or building data extracts for visualizations. There is a lot of functionality packed into one screen, so read through or save this as a reference to learn about all of the features that can make life (at least the data wrangling part) a little easier.


  • Data Products: In RDS, a data product refers to a data set and its associated metadata. To see more information about a data product, you can either navigate back to the data product selection screen using the top icon in the left sidebar, or quickly view details and change data products on the fly, using the data product bar at the top (shown here in blue).

  • Themes: Dark mode enthusiast? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. With six themes to choose from, there’s one to fit every mood (or desktop setup).

  • Downloads and Data Extracts: Once you’re happy with your tabulation, click the download button above the tabulation table, and you’ll be asked to specify your preferred format. Your download will then start processing, and you can either download straight away, or keep tabulating. Your data extracts for the current session will be available to download at any time by going to the data extracts icon on the left sidebar.

  • API Query & Code Snippets: The Tabulation Engine can serve as a great companion to the RDS API and our other SDKs. Once you’ve built a tabulation, clicking “Show RDS Query” bracket icon in the top bar will display the current tabulation as a ready-to-use API call, as well as code snippets that you can copy and paste to use with your JavaScript, R, and Python (coming soon) apps.

  • Variable Explorer: Learn more about the variables available to use in tabulations by viewing their metadata and codes, if available, in the variable explorer view.

  • Rows, Columns, Measures, and Filters: These menus are the core of the tabulation process and allow fine-grained control to structure the tabulation you need. Click anywhere in the associated section to add or edit selections, or click the “x” on a selected token to remove it. Changes made in these sections won’t be applied until you click the “Tabulate” button. Selections from the Options menu will be applied immediately.

  • Display Options: The tabulation gives you total control over how the table is displayed. Once you’ve built a tabulation, the formatting bar above the table allows you to sort rows and columns by different criteria, and customize decimal formatting, which totals are displayed, and more.