Pivot table in excel tutorial: 5 Key Steps

Pivot tables are a technique in data processing. They arrange and rearrange data in order to highlight the useful information. This leads to finding figures and facts quickly making them essential to data analysis. This ultimately leads to helping businesses or individuals make wise decisions. It  is a summary of a outsized dataset that generally includes the overall figures, average, minimum, maximum, etc. For example, you have got a sales data for various different regions, with the help of a pivot table, you can summarize the data by region and evaluate the average sales for every region, the maximum and minimum sales per region, etc. Pivot tables permit us to analyze, summarize and display only relevant data in our reports.

Use of pivot table in Excel

The use of a Pivot Table is to summarize, sort, reorganize, group, count, total or average the data stored in a table. It permits us to transform columns into rows and vise versa (rows into columns). It also permits grouping of data by any field (column), and using advanced calculations on them.

Another advantage of pivot tables is that it helps in summarizing data in a quick and easy manner. The table helps in creating a brief summary out of thousands of rows and columns of unorganized data into organized data. With the help of these tables you can sum up wide range of information into a small space.

Step by Step tutorial for Creating Pivot table in excel

Step 1: Preparing the data. In the below example, we need to find the total number of units of each item sold by each representative, in each area.

Step 2: Select the data range, then on the insert tab in the tables group, click Pivot table and then click Pivot table again.

Step 3:The Create Pivot Table dialog box opens. The box shows the range of the selected data (the data we selected in step 1). Select the desired location of the Pivot Table. The location can either be New Worksheet or Current Worksheet, then click OK.

Step 4: The worksheet now shows the layout for the Pivot Table and Pivot Table Field List. Column titles from the source data are also reflected here.

Step 5: The Pivot Table is created by moving fields from field list to layout area. You need to drag the field name directly to the layout area.

Although pivot table is a generic term, there will be instances when you will be required to analyze large amounts of data and produce easy to read and understand reports. Pivot tables permit us to examine such data and generate reports that meet our business reporting requirements.

Also read our other blog about how to learn excel in 8 simple steps

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