A Pivot Table is a powerful Excel tool that allows you to explore large sets of information quickly and easily without the need for complex formulas.
Most people that use Excel never discover the power of Pivot Tables. Unfortunately, they’re missing out on something amazing.
Using formulas to analyze data can be difficult and time consuming. If your data changes in some way, it may require you to update your formulas or change the structure of your analysis.
What is a Pivot Table – Explained
If you work with large sets of information in Excel, then Pivot Tables are a great way to make sense of it all.
Let’s see what we can do with a Pivot Table
Download the workbook to follow along.
Imagine I work for a beer distribution company that sells craft beer to restaurants and bars throughout my region. I receive a data extract from our sales database that contains all sales so far this year.
Now I’m tasked with trying to identify key information from the data.
Our Sales worksheet contains the following fields.
|Sales Rep||the employee that’s responsible for the sale|
|Customer||the restaurant or bar that placed the order|
|Brewery||the brewery that made the beer|
|Beer||the name of the beer|
|Order Date||the date the order was placed|
|Value||the value of the order|
If we scroll down to the bottom of the data set, we can see that there are over 350 rows of data.
Now if we want to start exploring our data, we can go to the Pivot Table sheet and take a look.
I’ve already created a simple Pivot Table on this sheet to get us started. The value of all sales is more than $278,000. We can now start selecting fields from our Pivot Table Fields area to group the data by whichever field we select.
As you can see, Pivot Tables are a great way to summarize large sets of information. They’re easy to use and a lot faster than using other methods.