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Formatting data for use in a PivotTable report

From: Excel 2008 for Mac: Pivot Tables for Data Analysis

Video: Formatting data for use in a PivotTable report

Pivot Tables enables you to summarize and reorganize your data dynamically, but you can't summarize just any data set. In most cases, your data needs to be laid out as a data list. The source data must be laid out as a table, with column headers and no extraneous data surrounding the table. The data I have in this worksheet fits that description. I have five columns: Year, Quarter, Month, Company and Revenue. Also notice that I have no other values in the column to the right of the data list. So, for example, if I were to type just anything, even just a stray value, when I create the Pivot Table, Excel will try to include this entire column of blank values except for the number 50 into the Pivot Table.

Formatting data for use in a PivotTable report

Pivot Tables enables you to summarize and reorganize your data dynamically, but you can't summarize just any data set. In most cases, your data needs to be laid out as a data list. The source data must be laid out as a table, with column headers and no extraneous data surrounding the table. The data I have in this worksheet fits that description. I have five columns: Year, Quarter, Month, Company and Revenue. Also notice that I have no other values in the column to the right of the data list. So, for example, if I were to type just anything, even just a stray value, when I create the Pivot Table, Excel will try to include this entire column of blank values except for the number 50 into the Pivot Table.

That's not what I want. So, I will delete the value. And now, Excel will create the Pivot Table using only the values from these five rows. Also when you create a Pivot Table from data contained in the data list, you should make certain that the headers, in this case Year, Quarter, Month, Company and Revenue are formatted differently from the values in the body of the list. My favorite formatting to use is Center and Bold, so you'll notice that I have these values centered within the cell and formatted using bold face. You can also create your Pivot Table from an Excel list.

To create a list, click any cell in your data collection. Go up to Insert and click List. You can use the controls in the List Wizard to create your list. First you should verify whether Excel correctly identified the cell range that contains the data for your list. In this case we have A1 through E49, which I know is correct, and because I've formatted my headers differently, Excel correctly identifies that my list does contain headers. I am not using an external data source. And I want to create the list or in existing sheet. There are other options for creating a list, but I don't need to use them in this case, so I would just click Finish.

Excel creates my Excel list and it also displays the List toolbar. I won't go into every aspect of what you can do with List, but there are two items that I would like to tell you about. The first is filtering the data that appears within your Excel list. So lets say, for example, that I only wanted to see values relating to the month of January. To display just those values, I could go to the Month header, click the filter arrow, and select the values that I want to display. In this case, I was only interested in let's say January.

When I click that item, Excel displays only those values from the month of January, both from FirmA and FirmB, and for the year 2008 and 2009. You can also display what's called the Total Row. You'll see that button here on the List toolbar. If I click Total Row, Excel includes a Total Row at the bottom of the list. By default the Total Row finds the arithmetic sum of the visible values in the column above it. So, for example, in this case, these values total up to 414. If you want, you can change the summary operation that the Total Row applies.

If I click the cell in the Total Row and then click this arrow, I can select the summary operation that I want to apply. So if I wanted to find the average, I could click Average, and I see that the new value is 103. Changing it back to Sum. I get my value of 414. If I want to get rid of the Total row, I can just click the Total Row button on the List toolbar and it goes away. Once you have your source data arranged in a data list, you can create a Pivot Table. I cover the other case in the lesson entitled 'Consolidating Data from Multiple Sources,' found later in this chapter.

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Excel 2008 for Mac: Pivot Tables for Data Analysis

26 video lessons · 5249 viewers

Curt Frye
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