Pivot table reports, or pivot tables as they are often called, can help you answer questions about your spreadsheet by analyzing the numerical information in various ways. If you work with spreadsheets with a lot of data, pivot tables can be an extremely useful tool. Pivot table reports give you power because you can quickly find the answer to many different questions, and manipulate your data in many different ways.
In this lesson, you will learn the basics of inserting and working with pivot table reports.
Why are They Named Pivot Tables?
You may be wondering why it is called a pivot table. Basically, pivot tables allow you to pivot, or move, data so that you can produce answers to questions. Once you create a pivot table, you can very easily see what effect pivoting the data has on the spreadsheet information.
To Create a Pivot Table Report (Part I):
Select the cells in your spreadsheet that you want to use in the pivot table report.
Select the Insert tab.
Click the PivotTable command.
Click PivotTable again. Excel selects cells in the actual spreadsheet and the Create PivotTable dialog box opens.
Select a table or range is already selected and the Table/Range field shows the range of the selected data. New Worksheet is also selected by default as the place where the report will be placed.
Click Existing Worksheet and select a worksheet, if you do not want the pivot table to appear in a new worksheet.
Creating a Pivot Table Report
If you use the sample spreadsheet to create a pivot table, you can see that the column headings are salesperson,region, account, order amount, and month. When you create a pivot table, each column label in your data becomes a field that can be used in the report. The Field List appears on the right side of the report, while thelayout area appears on the left.
To Create a Pivot Table Report (Part 2):
Determine what question you want your pivot table report to answer. For example, using the sample spreadsheet, you might want to know which salesperson sold the greatest dollar amount.
Determine the fields that are necessary to answer this question. In this example, salesperson and order amount.
Select the check box next to the Salesperson field in the PivotTable Field List. The field will appear in the drag and drop area at the bottom of the field list and in the layout area. The order amount data appears on the right. This is a default setting in Excel – data with numbers will always appear on the right.
Select the check box next to the Order Amount field in the PivotTable Field List. The field will appear in the drag and drop area at the bottom of the field list and in the layout area. All of the salesperson data appears on the left side as rows.
You can now see the answer to your question in the report on the left.
To Add a Report Filter:
Select a field in the Field List. In this example, choose Region. By default, it will appear in the Row Labels group.
Click and drag Region into the Report Filter section.
Release the mouse button. The region appears at the top of the report as a filter.
The arrow by the Region fields shows (All). To show just the data for a specific region, click the drop-down arrow and select the region. To see multiple regions, click the Multiple Regions box, select the regions to display, and then, click OK.
Moving, or Pivoting Data:
Click and drag a field from one area to another.
Release the mouse button to drop the field in the new area. In this example, we move Region from Report Filter to Column Label. The pivot table report will change.
Right-click one of the rows. A menu will appear.
Select Move and then select a move option.
To Create a PivotChart
Select the Pivot Chart command from the Options tab. The Insert Chart dialog box appears.
Select the chart you’d like to insert.
Click OK. The chart will now appear on the same sheet as the Pivot Table.
The information in the chart includes the information in the pivot table, rather than all the original source data.
Imagine you have a spreadsheet with thousands of rows of data. It would be extremely difficult to see patterns and trends just from examining the raw data. Excel gives us several tools that will make this task easier. One of these tools is called conditional formatting. With conditional formatting, you can apply formatting to one or more cells based on the value of the cell. You can highlight interesting or unusual cell values, and visualize the data using formatting such as data bars.
In this lesson, you will learn how to apply, modify, and delete conditional formatting rules.
The Conditional Formatting Options
You have many conditional formatting rules, or options, that you can apply to cells in your spreadsheet. Each rulewill affect selected cells differently. Before you choose a formatting rule, you need to identify what questions you are trying to answer. For example, in a sales spreadsheet, you might want to identify the salespeople with lower than average sales. To do this, you need to choose a conditional formatting rule that will show you this answer. Not all of the options will provide you with this information.
Some of the Conditional Formatting Options Include:
Highlight Cell Rules: This rule highlights specific cells based on your option choice. For example, you can choose for Excel to highlight cells that are greater than, less than, or equal to a number, and between two numbers. Also, you can choose for Excel to highlight cells that contain specific text, including a specific date. If you choose this option, a dialog box will appear, and you will have to specify the cells to highlight, and the color you would like to highlight the cells.
Top/Bottom Rules: This conditional formatting option highlights cell values that meet specific criteria, such as top or bottom 10%, above average, and below average. If you choose this option, a dialog box will appear, and you will have to specify the cells to highlight, and the color you would like to highlight the cells.
Data Bars: This is an interesting option that formats the selected cells with colored bars. The length of the data bar represents the value in the cell. The longer the bar, the higher the value.
Color Scales: This option applies a two or three color gradient to the cells. Different shades and colors represent specific values.
To Apply Conditional Formatting:
Select the cells you would like to format.
Select the Home tab.
Locate the Styles group.
Click the Conditional Formatting command. A menu will appear with your formatting options.
Select one of the options to apply it to the selected cells. A cascading menu will appear.
An additional dialog box may appear, depending on the option you choose.
If so, make the necessary choices, and click OK.
To Remove Conditional Formatting Rules:
Click the Conditional Formatting command.
Select Clear Rules. A cascading menu appears.
Choose to clear rules from the entire worksheet or the selected cells.
To Manage Conditional Formatting Rules:
Click the Conditional Formatting command.
Select Manage Rules from the menu. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box will appear.
From here you can edit a rule, delete a rule, or change the order of rules.