You know the saying, “a picture is worth a 1000 words”? Well, I’m hoping that this post can convey to you in a quick, easy and visual fashion how to create a pivot table. Please do not be shy and share it with everybody you know – or just post it on your social media accounts and maybe even your office cork board (do they still exist?). Even though I use pivot tables on a daily basis, I thought it would be a good idea to get a little bit of help from our friends over at Five Minute Lessons. I used them as a reference/source to make sure I made every effort to capture the important stuff when it comes to creating pivot tables. Creating Pivot Tables 101: A How-To InfoGraphic is of course a condensed version of how you will go about creating a pivot table but you can definitely use it as a quick reference. Let’s have a look.
Whether you are just starting out or you are a seasoned veteran in Excel, there are a few things that you want to remember before building your pivot table to summarize a large set of data.
- Make sure your data set is tabular with column headings.
- Make sure there are no empty columns/rows within your data set.
- Make sure that the data type for each column/field is the same across the board. All fields that are dates need to be dates, all fields that are numbers need to be numbers (and not text).
- Realize that the possibilities with pivot tables are endless. You have the opportunity to play and summarize your data in ways that you didn’t even realize would be useful to you.
Before you go, what’s your favorites pivot table feature?
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