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Connecting to an external data source

From: Excel 2010: Pivot Tables in Depth

Video: Connecting to an external data source

Excel enables you to build PivotTables from data found both inside and outside the workbook where you create the PivotTable. If you want to create a PivotTable from a data source you either can't or don't want to import into Excel directly, you can create a connection to that data source and work with it in place. So let's say that you want to create a PivotTable using data from another Excel workbook. To do that, you go to the Insert tab and click the PivotTable button. Then in the Create PivotTable dialog box you select the Use an external data source option and then click Choose Connection.

Connecting to an external data source

Excel enables you to build PivotTables from data found both inside and outside the workbook where you create the PivotTable. If you want to create a PivotTable from a data source you either can't or don't want to import into Excel directly, you can create a connection to that data source and work with it in place. So let's say that you want to create a PivotTable using data from another Excel workbook. To do that, you go to the Insert tab and click the PivotTable button. Then in the Create PivotTable dialog box you select the Use an external data source option and then click Choose Connection.

Then in the Existing Connections dialog box, if the connection or the data source that you want already appears, then you can click it and then click Open. In this case, I haven't created any connections yet so I will click the Browse for More button and this displays a version of the Open dialog box. In this case, it's named Select Data Source. The data that I want is in my Exercise Files folder and that is on my Desktop and it's in Exercise Files Chapter 01 and the file that I'm using for this exercise is called OutsideSource.

So, I can click that file and then click Open. Then the Select Table dialog box appears and the Select Table dialog box shows you the different data sources that you can use within that target data source to create your PivotTable. In this case, there's only one and that is named Sheet2 so it is selected. You can see it's highlighted here in blue. And then I happen to know from working with this data before that the first row of the data does in fact contain column headers, so I can leave that box selected and then, I can click OK, and Excel accepts that choice and sends me back to the Create PivotTable dialog box.

Now I want to create a PivotTable on an existing worksheet. So in this case, I have Sheet1, cell A1, which is selected here, and when I'm ready I can click OK. After I click OK, Excel creates the PivotTable on the Sheet1 and now I can create the PivotTable as I would normally. So let's say for example that I want to have my Company field in the Column Labels area and then the Year and Quarter in the Row Labels area and then the Revenue in the values area, and it's a PivotTable just like any other PivotTable. You can pivot it, filter it, add styles to it, and so on.

One important thing to note is that if you use an Excel workbook as your data source, you can't open that workbook while the workbook that contains the PivotTable is open. So in other words, if I display my Excise Files folder and I double-click Outside Source to try to open it, then Excel displays an Error dialog box indicating that the files in use and that it can't open it. In this case, the error is at the file format or file extension is not valid, but that's not the real error. In this case, the file is just in use by another file.

So we can click OK to close that dialog box and now if I close the external workbook and I'll do that by pressing Ctrl+W and I will not save my work and then,go back to my Excise Files folder, if I double-click Outside Source then the file opens normally. If possible you should always draw the data for a PivotTable from the original source so that any changes to that source are reflected in the PivotTable that use to analyze your data.

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Excel 2010: Pivot Tables in Depth

66 video lessons · 38870 viewers

Curt Frye
Author

 
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  1. 1m 38s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      43s
  2. 38m 8s
    1. Introducing PivotTables
      4m 2s
    2. Formatting data for use in a PivotTable
      4m 31s
    3. Creating a PivotTable
      4m 20s
    4. Pivoting a PivotTable
      3m 47s
    5. Configuring a PivotTable
      3m 23s
    6. Connecting to an external data source
      3m 30s
    7. Connecting to an Access database
      2m 11s
    8. Consolidating data from multiple sources
      4m 37s
    9. Updating and refreshing PivotTable data sources
      4m 21s
    10. Managing PivotTables
      3m 26s
  3. 23m 33s
    1. Adding, removing, and positioning subtotals and grand totals
      3m 27s
    2. Changing the PivotTable data field summary operation
      4m 35s
    3. Summarizing more than one data field
      3m 16s
    4. Creating a calculated field
      2m 27s
    5. Grouping PivotTable fields
      3m 17s
    6. Using PivotTable data in a formula
      4m 47s
    7. Drilling down to the underlying data
      1m 44s
  4. 28m 9s
    1. Sorting PivotTable data
      2m 0s
    2. Creating a custom sort order
      2m 48s
    3. Filtering a PivotTable field by selection
      2m 59s
    4. Filtering a PivotTable by rule
      2m 56s
    5. Filtering a PivotTable using a search filter
      3m 10s
    6. Filtering a PivotTable using slicers
      4m 2s
    7. Formatting slicers
      3m 43s
    8. Filtering a PivotTable with report filter fields
      5m 2s
    9. Clearing and reapplying PivotTable filters
      1m 29s
  5. 15m 2s
    1. Applying a PivotTable style
      5m 5s
    2. Creating a PivotTable style
      4m 37s
    3. Changing the PivotTable layout
      3m 20s
    4. Changing the data field number format
      2m 0s
  6. 24m 33s
    1. Highlighting cells by applying a rule
      2m 54s
    2. Highlighting the top or bottom values in a PivotTable
      3m 30s
    3. Formatting PivotTable cells using data bars
      3m 50s
    4. Formatting PivotTable cells using color scales
      3m 40s
    5. Formatting PivotTable cells using icon sets
      2m 45s
    6. Editing conditional formatting rules
      2m 15s
    7. Controlling how multiple rules are applied
      3m 28s
    8. Deleting a conditional formatting rule
      2m 11s
  7. 24m 0s
    1. Creating a PivotChart
      3m 29s
    2. Pivoting a PivotChart
      3m 5s
    3. Filtering a PivotChart
      3m 45s
    4. Formatting a PivotChart
      3m 35s
    5. Changing a PivotChart layout
      3m 14s
    6. Changing a PivotChart chart type
      4m 30s
    7. Adding a trendline to a PivotChart
      2m 22s
  8. 9m 27s
    1. Printing a PivotTable
      4m 2s
    2. Printing each item on its own page
      3m 30s
    3. Printing a PivotChart
      1m 55s
  9. 13m 30s
    1. Recording and reviewing a macro
      4m 10s
    2. Running a macro
      5m 57s
    3. Creating a simple PivotTable presentation kit
      3m 23s
  10. 19m 17s
    1. Introducing PowerPivot
      2m 9s
    2. Downloading and installing PowerPivot
      2m 36s
    3. Importing PowerPivot data
      3m 14s
    4. Managing table columns
      4m 1s
    5. Adding tables to a PowerPivot model
      2m 27s
    6. Creating relationships between tables
      4m 50s
  11. 24m 30s
    1. Introducing the DAX language
      2m 58s
    2. Using DAX operators
      4m 44s
    3. Surveying DAX functions
      2m 40s
    4. Adding calculated columns and measures
      4m 22s
    5. Using aggregate functions
      4m 24s
    6. Using filters in aggregate functions
      5m 22s
  12. 59s
    1. Additional resources
      59s

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