I have a data table and currently there are too many columns so I want to reduce the number of columns. I noticed that two columns are mutually exclusive i.e. if a row contains one column, it won't contain the other. I want to try and combine them so that in the header, it would be combined (ex: ColumnType1/ColumnType2) and each row would contain information that relates to either column 1 or column 2 under that single column, depending on the data in the row. How can i differentiate the data points so that users understand they are looking at either type1 or type2 when looking at each individual row?

Edit: We have two types of accounts, business and individual. Business accounts contain organizations, while individual accounts contain partners. Both account types appear on the same data table, so we have a column for both organizations and partners, but only one of them is being used per row due to the restrictions mentioned above.

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    It's a great question, but it would be much easier to answer if you disclosed some more details about the columns :). In cases like this it's the specific content of the columns that provides the solution, they can't be answered in a generic way. Aug 19, 2023 at 12:30
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    I think this would depend on the type of value because how you present data needs to be logical and easy to understand for the user. Without more details I think it would be hard to comment on this.
    – Michael Lai
    Aug 20, 2023 at 23:12
  • @VitalyMijiritsky Edited with more detail
    – Gene
    Aug 22, 2023 at 17:30
  • @MichaelLai Edited with more detail
    – Gene
    Aug 22, 2023 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Most table components will let you insert an icon inside a table cell without splitting it into two cells. This way you can have the column contain an "organization" (e.g. a briefcase or an office building) icon with the org name, or a "person" icon with the partner name. Another approach is having a column specifying the account type and another for specifying the org/partner name, but then you're back at two columns.

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