Advances in technology have made it possible to store ever increasing amounts of data. Along with this, the need to analyze that data and gain actionable insight is greater than ever. You may already have experience working with Excel and creating basic PivotTables to summarize data. Did you know Excel is capable of doing much more? A PivotTable is Excel's premier analytical tool for quickly creating summary information that you can easily drag-and-drop to manipulate and show multiple levels of totals in a variety of layouts. You can only go so far with sorting, filtering, and inserting subtotals. PivotTables add the ability to create multiple totals in columns and rows, quickly swap, add or delete fields, and sort without formulas or sequences. PivotTables offer total flexibility.
According to support.office.com, you can use a PivotTable to summarize, analyze, explore, and present summary data. PivotCharts complement PivotTables by adding visualizations to the summary data in a PivotTable, and allow you to easily see comparisons, patterns, and trends. Both PivotTables and PivotCharts enable you to make informed decisions about critical data in your enterprise. You can also connect to external data sources such as SQL Server tables, SQL Server Analysis Services cubes, Azure Marketplace, Office Data Connection (.odc) files, XML files, Access databases, and text files to create PivotTables, or use existing PivotTables to create new tables.
What is a PivotTable
A PivotTable is an interactive way to quickly summarize large amounts of data. You can use a PivotTable to analyze numerical data in detail, and answer unanticipated questions about your data. A PivotTable is especially designed for:
Querying large amounts of data in many user-friendly ways.
Subtotaling and aggregating numeric data, summarizing data by categories and subcategories, and creating custom calculations and formulas.
Expanding and collapsing levels of data to focus your results, and drilling down to details from the summary data for areas of interest to you.
Moving rows to columns or columns to rows (or "pivoting") to see different summaries of the source data.
Filtering, sorting, grouping, and conditionally formatting the most useful and interesting subset of data enabling you to focus on just the information you want.
Presenting concise, attractive, and annotated online or printed reports.
For example, here's a simple list of household expenses on the left, and a PivotTable based on the list to the right:
For more information on ways to work with PivotTables, learn about PivotCharts and more, visit support.office.com. To gain hands on experience with PivotTables, join one of our Excel Experts in an upcoming class.