Now Playing: Column Labels (3:09)
Hello, and welcome to this tutorial on using column labels in NCSS. The example dataset we’ll use in this tutorial contains responses to a survey from 15 individuals, along with some personal information.
Since column names can’t have spaces or special characters, you may want to use column labels instead of column names in reports and plots to make them easier to interpret. For example, you might be tabulating survey data questions such as that in our example dataset. The column names containing the survey responses are named Question 1, Question 2, etc. When you tabulate the results, the column names that are displayed are really not very informative. The tabulation report would be much more readable if the variable names were replaced by labels, perhaps containing the actual questions on the survey.
To enter or change a column label, click on the Column Info tab to display the Column Info Table. Select a cell in the row or column titled Label and type in the label. The label can have as many characters as you want and may contain spaces and mathematical symbols. If you make the labels too long, however, it may negatively affect the appearance of the output in some instances. If the Column Info Table is not showing, you can double-click any column headings to load the label editor tool. Type in the new label and click OK to apply the change. You can also load the label editor tool using the Data menu.
Once you’ve entered column labels, you still need to activate them using the procedure window prior to generating a report. If they are not activated, they won’t be displayed in reports and plots even though they have been entered on the Column Info Table. To activate the labels, click on the Report Options tab on the procedure window and change the selection for Variable Names from Names to Labels. As a side note, the same type of thing must be done here to activate value labels in the report. Let’s go ahead and activate those as well.
With the column labels activated, let’s run the procedure again to generate the report. As you can see, the labels containing the actual questions are much more informative here than the names. It helps to see the value labels in the report as well.