Microsoft Excel: Getting Started With Pivot Tables

Excel’s pivot tables are often more simple and direct than other available programs, meaning you’ll save time and effort. In this video, we discuss how to get started using pivot…
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Microsoft Excel: Getting Started With Pivot Tables

Using pivot tables in Microsoft Excel is a great way to make analyzing data for your business easier. Excel’s pivot tables are often more simple and direct than other available programs, meaning you’ll save time and effort. In this video, we discuss how to get started using pivot tables, and what they can do for you and your business.

Pivot tables organize and analyze large amounts of data, making it easier to understand. With pivot tables, you can examine differences, similarities, highs, and lows in datasets. The data a table is based on is called its “source data”. A pivot table has four different areas: row labels, values, column labels, and the report filter. Different categories of information are represented by columns in the table.

How To Prep Your Data

When first starting with a pivot table, you should begin by preparing your data. You should organize the data into rows and columns, with no blank areas except for cells. Then put similar data in the same columns. Column headings should be formatted differently than your data so that the system can tell which is which. Try bolding or centering the data to do this. Lastly, create a data island to separate unnecessary information from the data.

How To Create A Pivot Table

To create a pivot table, go to “insert”, either “recommended pivot tables” or “pivot table”, confirm the range you are using, hit “new worksheet” and then “ok”. To further build your pivot table, go to “pivot table fields” and choose the fields you wish to include. To pick which values are shown, hover over a cell, right-click, select “number format”, choose the category, and make any changes you need. Here you can also change how data is represented.

More Helpful Tips

Two tabs will be shown in the ribbon (“pivot table analyze” and “design”) when a pivot table is open. Here you can refresh the table. Refreshing is important because it keeps the data you are working with up to date. Please note that this does not happen automatically. To refresh, go to “pivot table analyze” and select “refresh” or use shortcut Alt + F5. If you are working with multiple tables, use “refresh all”.

If you are working with a dataset that changes often and you need to update the range, go to “change data source” and change the range. You can also extract specific rows by double-clicking on a value. After this, a new pivot table will be created.

Excel creates groups out of multiple values in the pivot table. Beside each group, there will be the “-” option. This collapses the details of the group, hiding them. This can also be done by pressing “collapse field” in the ribbon.

To change the way the pivot table looks, go to “design”. Here you can also change how totals are displayed.

If you need to filter through a pivot table, use the row or column dropdown and select the categories you would like to see. Right-clicking on a value and choosing what to include also filters the pivot table. You can use a value to filter the data even if it was not included in the table.

How Will Using Pivot Tables Help You?

Pivot tables are an easy and convenient way to analyze data from your business. If you have questions about pivot tables, Microsoft Excel, or other IT solutions for your company, we are here to help. At EasyIT we have professionals ready to assist you with all of your technology needs. Reach out to us today!


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