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Microsoft Excel: Getting Started With Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are a great way to maximize efficiency in Microsoft Excel. With them, you can organize and analyze data with ease. In this video, we will help you get started with pivot tables, so that you can start saving time and hassle.

Understanding Pivot Tables

Pivot tables help you keep track of your business through data analysis. You can examine differences, similarities, highs, and lows in your datasets. Before you begin using pivot tables, here are some things you should know. The data the pivot table is based on is called “source data”. The four different areas of a pivot table are row labels, values, column labels, and the report filter. Each column in a pivot table represents a different category of data.

How To Prep Your Data

Before creating a pivot table, you should always prepare your data for use. This means it should be organized into rows and columns, with no blank areas except for cells. All similar data should be placed in the same columns. Column headings need to be formatted differently than your data so that the system can tell it apart. This can be done by bolding or centering the column heading. You should also separate unnecessary information from the data by creating a data island.

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 build your pivot table further, go to “pivot table fields” and choose the fields to include. Hover over a cell, right-click, select “number format”, and choose a category to pick which values are shown. How data is represented can also be changed in this section of Excel.

More Helpful Tips

When a pivot table is open, the tabs “pivot table analyze” and “design” will be shown. Under “pivot table analyze”, you can refresh your data. This is not an automatic function, so make sure to do it manually. 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 need to update the range, go to “change data source” and change the range. Double-click on a value to create a specific, new pivot table.

When multiple values are present in a pivot table, Excel will create groups out of them. Next to each group, there will be the “-” option. This collapses the details of the group so that you don’t have to see them. This can also be done by pressing “collapse field” in the ribbon. To change the appearance of the pivot table and how totals are displayed, go to “design”.

To filter through a pivot table, use the column or row dropdown. Once you are in the dropdown, select the categories you would like to see. You can also filter by right-clicking on a value and choosing what to include. Note that you can filter with values that weren’t included in the table.

How Will Using Pivot Tables Help You?

There are many ways to use pivot tables, making them the perfect, versatile feature. Microsoft Excel is full of great features like this, and is a valuable program to have. If you would like more help with pivot tables, or would like to learn more about Excel, reach out to us. Acom Integrated Solutions is dedicated to making sure you have all the programs you need to be successful. Contact us online or by phone today.