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Frequently, it's easier to look at your data visually then it is to analyze numbers in a report. Access 2010's PivotCharts allow you to make charts of your data in an interactive interface. Let's look at the same product table, this time as a Chart. Click once on Products, go to the Create tab, come over to More Forms, drop it down and choose PivotChart. In the Show/Hide Group, on the left-hand side of the Ribbon, click on Field List until you get a list on the left. Drag Product down across the bottom where it says Drop Category Fields Here, and then drag Profit here where it says Drop Data Fields Here.
We now see a column chart breaking down the total Profit margin by type of oil for all sizes. If we right-click on Sum of Profit, we can also change it. Hold your cursor over AutoCalc and drag down to Average. Now we're looking at our Average Profit by Product. If we want to break them out by size, we can do it in two ways. First, drag Size, down here, next to Profit, and it will split the products into all five sizes. Now you can see everything at once.
But if that's too much info at once, let's take a different approach. Drag Size from here up to the Drop Filter Fields Here and let go. Now if nothing appears, click over on the Design View button and then toggle it back again, and your chart will redraw itself. Click on the Size dropdown, and you can turn off the check marks for the ones that you don't want to see. The blue triangle indicates that you do have a filter applied. Click on All to bring them all back into the equation. You can even switch the two.
Drag Size down to the bottom, and pull Product up to the Filter. Now I can see my bottles by Size and choose which oil type I would like to see. That's why PivotCharts are interactive. So as you can see, Pivot tables group your data graphically, allowing you to analyze your information in a completely flexible manner.
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