Introduction to Pivot Tables

A pivot table is a program tool that allows you to reorganize and summarize selected columns and rows of data in a spreadsheet or database table to obtain a desired report. A pivot table doesn't actually change the spreadsheet or database itself.

The user sets up and changes the summary's structure by dragging and dropping fields graphically. This "rotation" or pivoting of the summary table gives the concept its name.

There are a number of differences between pivot charts and regular charts . The most obvious difference is that pivot charts contain field buttons. These can be used to change the layout of the chart. 

PivotTables can also be developed from an external data source such as an Access database.  This can be advantageous for many reasons but the major ones are

a) Use the computing power of Excel to compute performance measures of the data.
b) Use the concomitant charting features to display results.

Points to remember while creating  " Pivot Table"

 1. At least three columns of data are needed to create a pivot table.

2. Leave no blank rows or columns when entering the data. This includes NOT leaving a blank row between the column headings and the first row of data.

3. Pivot Tables must have at least one data variable with values that it can manipulate arithmetically, e.g., sum, or can count as unique values

4. Be careful when adding new series to existing charts, always ensure that the Category Labels exist / are copied over to your new series formula.

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