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How to Solve Missing Data Interpretation Questions

Now a days, Missing Data Interpretation questions is asked frequently in exams. These involve tabular DI questions where certain fields are missing data. Students are required to either find out what these missing blanks stand for, or try to work around them and answer questions. But most students consider these the toughest questions precisely because they don’t know which approach to take.

Remember that DI questions will give you easy marks. This fear of Missing Data Interpretation questions is only a mental fear. All we have to do is do one extra calculation only to find the missing data.

Let us understand it with an example.

Example of Missing Data Interpretation Questions

Directions: Some data is missing in the table given. Calculate the missing data and solve the questions based on the table.

The table given below shows the total revenue (in Rs. Millions) generated by six different super stores and the percentage contribution of different categories of products – Packed Food, Health Care, Cosmetics, Electronics, Stationery and Garments – in the respective total revenue generated by the six super stores.

Total Revenue generated by all the six super stores = Rs. 125 millions


Q1. What is the percentage contribution of stationery products in the Total Revenue generated by the six super stores together?

(a) 10.75%
(b) 10.8%
(c) 10.5%
(d) 10%
(e) 10.2%

Ans: (e)

Here we can see that, some data are missing. But the trick is that it only looks like data is missing. In reality, all the data are already there; they are just hidden.

For example, in the table, how much revenue Kubhiksha generated is not given. But they have given total revenue and revenue of all other stores, so we can easily find the revenue generated by Kubhiksha by subtracting all the other stores’ revenues from total revenue.

Similarly, this is the case for Percentage Contributions also.

Since, total revenue generated for every company is 100%, so we can easily fill in the missing data. All we need to take care of is whether we have to calculate vertically or horizontally.

We can do this by entering an extra column and extra row at the right and bottom respectively. The bottom row will tell us the total revenue generated by all the stores. The column on the right tells us at the total percentage contributions of every segment adds up to 100% for each store.

Note: Do not waste time adding up quantities that are not related. Since we are talking about percentage contribution, each segment will not add up for different stores. That is, it is meaningless if you add up the Packed Food percentage contributions for different stores.

Filling in the missing data from the given information

Now the table has become fully filled, like you want. See how easy it was? These questions are just like the other simple tabulation problems with some extra calculations added.

Now, Let us solve a problem.

General formula:

formula - missing data


First we must individually calculate the contributions of different sectors in each company’s total revenue. Once you have all the contributions from different companies towards a particular sector, you can find the contribution of that sector in the total revenue generated (Rs. 125 million, in this case).

Hence percentage contribution of stationery products in the total revenue generated by the six super stores together = (12.75/125) × 100 = 10.2 %

Note: Here we have shown the individual revenues of each sector from every store. But in the exam, do not sit and calculate everything. First read what is asked, figure out what all data you will need to know for that, and then calculate only the required ones.

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