Field and tab

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Field and tab refers to a limited set of services provided in the marketing research industry. The name refers to the task of fielding a questionnaire (that is, interviewing consumers or whomever is the target market, to get their response data to an array of questions), then tabulating the resulting data into convenient two-dimensional tables (called "cross-tabulations"), based on answers to at least two of the questions included in a survey.

An example of a cross-tabulation (simple)
Answer choices All Respondents Males Female
Voted for Democrat 55% 50% 60%
Voted for Republican 45% 50% 40%

A field and tab research vendor will typically not be responsible for drafting a questionnaire or assisting on high-level sampling design discussions. Likewise, after the data has been collected and tabulated, the vendor will typically not interpret the resulting data nor prepare a deck of presentation slides. These responsibilities fall on the client (the research buyer) or on a consultant that the client may hire.

Field and tab is always a part of the offering of a full service research vendor. A full-service firm will sometimes offer only their field and tab component when the budget for a particular study is limited.


  • Hague, Paul N., Market research: a guide to planning, methodology & evaluation (3rd edition), Kogan Page publisher, 2002.