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In Excel 2008 for Mac: Pivot Tables for Data Analysis, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Curt Frye helps dispel the common fear of the Pivot Table feature, demonstrating how to use this powerful tool to discover valuable business intelligence. Curt shows how to create Pivot Table reports from internal Excel data and outside data sources, use filters to focus on the most important data in the sheet, and prepare a Pivot Table report by applying formats and rules. Exercise files accompany this course.
Excel 2008 enables you to build Pivot Tables from data found both inside and outside the workbook where you create the Pivot Table. If your current data source resides in a file outside your current workbook, you can import the data into Excel. To bring data into Excel, you start on a blank worksheet and then on the File menu click Import. In the Import dialog box, you can select the type of file that you want to bring in. You can have a CSV file, which is Comma-Separated Values. You can also bring in data from a FileMaker Pro database, from an HTML file, or from a Text file.
In this case, the data I want to bring in is in a comma-separated values file. The option is selected, so I will click Import. I can now choose a file. In the Exercise Files folder under Chapter01, I have OutsideSource.csv. I'll click it and click Get Data. When I do, Excel displays the Text Import Wizard. The first thing you should do is select the type of file that you're bringing in, whether the data you're bringing in was Delimited, meaning that there are characters such as commas or tabs that separate each field's values, or Fixed width.
In a Fixed width file, the fields are aligned in columns and there is a definite number of spaces or characters between each field. For example, the first field could be five characters long, the second could be nine and so on. In this case, the file is Delimited, so I will continue on. I do want to start the import at row 1. The file origin is on my Macintosh and the Data preview appears to be normal. So I'll click Next. Now you can identify the Delimiters contained within your dataset. In this case, the data contains Commas, which is selected, and then Tab is also selected.
Tab is another common delimiter. There are no tabs in our dataset, so we can leave it selected or we can clear it. It doesn't really matter either way. Looking again at the Data preview pane, we see that Excel has identified the columns correctly: Year, Quarter, Month, Company and Revenue. So we can click Next. You can use the controls on this screen of the Text Import Wizard to assign data types to each of the columns. In this case, we don't need to assign any data types because Excel would do that when we create our Pivot Table. So I can just once again ensure that the different columns are correctly outlined and click Finish.
The Import Data dialog box appears asking where I want to put the data. I'll put it on the existing sheet, in cell A2, which is the one currently selected and click OK. And there is the data. Now that I've created my data list, I want to format the column header separately so Excel knows that they are column headers when it creates the Pivot Table from this data. So I'll increase my zoom level a little bit, just to make things easier to handle. Drag the toolbar out of the way. Select those cells and then on the Formatting palette, Bold and Center Alignment. There we are.
Click there, and save my work. Now that I have my data list in place, I can create my Pivot Table. Again, it's Data>PivotTable Report and I've already worked through the PivotTable Wizard before and I know that all the default selections are what I'm going to use anyway. So I'll just click Finish. There is my Pivot Table. I can go back to the familiar configuration of Year and Month in the Row area, Company in the Column Fields area, and Revenue in the middle.
It's important for you to understand that when you import a data file, you create a snapshot of the data source at the time you downloaded it. If the data in that file might change, be sure to download a current copy of the file before starting your analysis.
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