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Pivot Tables are great tools for summarizing large data collections. But sharing hundreds of individual values isn't always the best way to discover trends in your data. Creating a Pivot Chart helps you visualize your data while allowing you to change the data's arrangement within the chart. Now there are two ways to create a Pivot Chart. You can either create a Pivot Table and a Pivot Chart at the same time from the same data source, or you can create a Pivot Chart from an existing Pivot Table. You can't create a Pivot Chart by itself without an underlying Pivot Table. The program just doesn't setup to work that way.
You need to have the Pivot Table with its attendent data objects before the Pivot Chart to work properly. If you do want to create a Pivot Table and a Pivot Chart at the same time, you can do so by clicking any cell in your data source, usually an Excel table. And then on the Insert menu, go over to Pivot Table, and you'll notice that the Pivot Table button is separated into two. There is an upper-half and a lower-half. If you click just the upper-half, you will create a Pivot Table, but if you want to create a Pivot Chart, you click the bottom-half, and then click Pivot Chart, and then you can jump in to the procedure as I'll show you in just a few seconds.
But since I already have a Pivot Table on this worksheet, I'll go here, click any cell in the existing Pivot Table, and then again on the Insert menu, you can click the type of chart you want to create. So in this case, I'll click Line to create a line chart. Select the type of chart that I want and Excel creates the Pivot Chart. Now by default, Excel creates the Pivot Chart on the same worksheet as the Pivot Table. So I'll just rearrange things here, there we are. So there is a Pivot Chart and it shows the revenue in thousands of dollars for FirmA in blue, and FirmB in red, over the course of these two years and you can see where the months are delineated along the bottom.
So there is the chart. So when you have a Pivot Chart, you can do all of the things that you can with the Pivot Table, you can pivot it and you can filter it. So if you want to filter a Pivot Chart, then you can select the field from within the Pivot Chart Filter pane, click the Down Arrow, next to the field by which you want to filter, and in this case, we'll go by year, and since we only want to see 2008, we'll clear the 2009 check-box, click OK, and Excel resizes the chart, so that the data you've chosen to display fills the available area.
Once again, the Pivot Chart Filter pane indicates that we have an active filter by placing a funnel icon, as part of the down arrow. So to clear the filter, just click Clear Filter From "Year", and the Pivot Chart returns to its original value. Pivot Charts help you summarize your data visually. Combining the ability to change the Pivot Charts arrangement on the fly with the detailed-oriented analysis in a Pivot Table, you've a powerful tool in your financial analysis arsenal.
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