Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Importing data from an external source

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

Video: Importing data from an external source

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.

Importing data from an external source

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

26 video lessons · 5341 viewers

Curt Frye
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Excel 2008 for Mac: Pivot Tables for Data Analysis.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.