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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.
The real power of the Pivot Table comes out when you want to rearrange your data dynamically. A task that would take several minutes if done by hand takes just a few seconds when you summarize your data in a Pivot Table. The row and column headers provide the basic outline of your Pivot Table data. In this case, we have Year, and then we have companies: FirmA and FirmB. And the data in this cell represents FirmA sales for the year 2008. If you change the row and column header positions, you change the organization of data in your Pivot Table. For example, if I pivot the Company field header beside Year, then we'll see a different arrangement.
To do that, I move the mouse pointer over top of the field header. You see the grab-hand. Press down the left mouse button and drag the field until you see the vertical I-bar here to the right of Year. When I drop it, we're organized by year and now by company. If I wanted to organize the data by company and then by year, I would drag the Company field header to the left of Year. And you see half of an I bar there, right at the edge of the Pivot Table. So dropping it, we now have our data arranged by company and then by year. I'll put the Company field header back up to the top.
If you add a second row or column header, you create subdivisions within your data. So, for example, if I were to bring down Quarter, which is a period of three months, put it to the right of year, and drop it, you now see your data arranged by year and by quarter, and the values are further broken down. So we have FirmA's revenue for quarter number 1 of 2008, and so on, with the same value selected for 2009. You can continue adding subdivisions, such as by adding month to the right of quarter. Now you see quarter number one, total there, broken down again by individual month within quarter number one.
If you want to remove a field from a Pivot Table, you can't just drag the field header to the PivotTable toolbar. You end up dropping it in the Page Fields area. Instead, what you need to do is select any cell within the field and then, on the PivotTable toolbar, click the Field Settings button. Verify that the field you're going to hide appears in the Name box and click Hide. Changing the Pivot Table's arrangement shifts the data's emphasis, enabling you to examine the data from different perspectives quickly and easily.
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