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PivotTables are powerful and flexible Excel analysis tools. A PivotTable lets you arrange, sort, and filter a data set on the fly, so you can analyze it from several different perspectives with a minimum of effort. In this movie, I'll show you how to create a PivotTable from a data list that's stored in the same workbook. To begin you need to have a data list such as the Excel table I have here. We have five columns Year, Quarter, Month, Company and Revenue and each of the rows inside of this Excel table contains a value for each one of those columns.
To create the PivotTable, click the Insert tab on the ribbon and then click the PivotTable button. When you do, Excel displays the Create PivotTable dialog box. First you should verify that Excel has identified your data correctly and in this case it's Table1 and you can see the marquee outline around that selection inside of the workbook. So we know everything is right, and then you need to decide where you want the PivotTable report to be placed. I always place my reports on the new worksheet and you can see that the New Worksheet option has been selected by default, because that's the most common choice.
However, if you did want to create your PivotTable on an existing worksheet, say for example starting at cell G2 on this worksheet then, you can select the Existing Worksheet option and then click the collapse dialog box button, and I want to click cell G2 as my target, and then click the expand dialog box button and you see that location is identified within the Create PivotTable dialog box. So that's how you do it if you want to create it on an existing worksheet.
I'll go back to my original choice of creating on a New Workshee, to avoid crowding and then click OK. When I do, Excel creates a New Worksheet and displays a blank PivotTable and also displays the PivotTable Field List. If for any reason, you don't see the PivotTable Field List task pane over here on the right, then you can click any cell inside the PivotTable and then on the Options contextual tab on the Ribbon you can click the Field List button. So clicking the Field List button while the field list is displayed will hide it and clicking the button while the field list is hidden will display.
Now, you can move your data into place to create the PivotTable. So, let's say for example that I wanted to have my Year as my color labels. So in other words along the top of the PivotTable. I will have the Years, in this case 2009 and 2010, and then I will have the Company field provide the values for the row labels. So I can drag the Company field header down to the Row Labels area and now I have 2009, 2010, FirmA, and FirmB.
Now I can add the Revenue field to the Values area and that provides the values for the body of the PivotTable. If I want to add another field to the report then I can do that. So let's say for example that I want to add Month below Company in the Row Labels area. So now my PivotTable has data for FirmA and then each Month and then along the columns we have 2009 and 2010, and then we have FirmB with the data laid out exactly the same way. I always make one change to the default PivotTable layout.
When Excel creates a PivotTable, it puts the subtotals for each first level grouping at the top of the group. So for example here, we have FirmA and then in 2009 the total was 963. In 2010 it was 961 with a grand total of 1924. I personally prefer the subtotal positions to be at the bottom of the group. To make that change, click any cell in the PivotTable and then on the design contextual tab click the Subtotals button and then click Show all Subtotals at Bottom of Group.
It's simply a matter of personal preference, but I like two things about this. First I would like to see the individual values before I see the total. And secondly, I like that Excel puts a blank row beside the name FirmB instead of having all the data run together. So to me, visually this is a little easier to understand. Now that you've learned how to create a PivotTable, you can move forward and discover how to rearrange your data dynamically.
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