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Microsoft Excel: Getting Started With Pivot Tables

One of Microsoft Excel’s standout features is pivot tables. Pivot tables make understanding, organizing, and using data significantly easier, as well as improves the quality of your business. In the following video, we discuss how pivot tables can be used in the workplace.

Understanding Pivot Tables

Pivot tables offer the ability to interpret and arrange statistics by examining the dataset for similarities, differences, highs, and lows. Before getting a pivot table started you should be aware of a few things. The data that is arranged by the pivot table is known as “source data”. Pivot tables are composed of four different areas, which are “row labels”, “column labels”, “values”, and the “report filter”. Furthermore, every column that exists in a pivot table symbolizes a different section of data. This helps improve the organization of the data.

How To Prep Your Data

All data should be prepared before entering it into a pivot table. First, make columns and rows leaving only blank areas for cells. Any similar data should be grouped in the same columns. The column heading should be formatted differently than your data. This can be done by bolding or centering column headings. This is important because it helps the system separate the two and improve processing. Lastly, make sure to separate unnecessary information from other data by creating a data island.

How To Create A Pivot Table

To create a pivot table, click on “insert”, choose “recommended pivot tables” or “pivot table”, then select the range you want to use, click “new worksheet”, then click “okay”. To continue expanding the pivot table go to “pivot table fields” and select the fields you want to include. To choose a category and determine which values are shown, hover over a cell, right click, and then select “number format”. This will also allow you to change how data is represented.

More Helpful Tips

Both “pivot table analyze” and “design” will be shown when a table is open. To keep your data updated, regularly refresh your pivot table by selecting “pivot table analyze” and hitting “refresh”. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt + F5. Also, to refresh more than one table at once, use “refresh all”. By choosing “change data source” you can control the range as well. Lastly, if you double click on a specific value within a table, you can create a new table with that specific value.

When multiple values exist, Excel will automatically create groups. A “-” option will appear next to each created group. This option allows you to hide the details of the group. This can also be done by selecting “collapse field”, which is located in the ribbon. By selecting “design” you can also change the display of the totals and the appearance of the table.

By using the column or row dropdowns, you can filter through a table. To view specific categories while using a dropdown, just select the ones you want and the unselected categories will be hidden. You can filter categories by right-clicking on a value and selecting it. Doing this will exclude all values that were not selected, however, they can still be used to filter as well.

How Will Using Pivot Tables Help You?

By using pivot tables, your time in Microsoft Excel will be much easier and more efficient. For further information on pivot tables or Excel, reach out to us at OnServe. We’re here to help your business succeed. Contact us online or by phone today.