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Companies generate new sales, budget, and operations data all the time. So PivotTable data sources rarely remain static. In this movie I'll show you how to manage your data connection to ensure your PivotTable contains the most recent data available. You can display your PivotTable's data connection by clicking any cell in the PivotTable, as I've done here, and then on the Options contextual tab click the Change Data Source button. When you do, the Change PivotTable Data Source dialog box appears and in this case you can see that this PivotTable draws its data from a table with the name of Firm Data.
If you want to change the data source you can select a new data source within the Workbook. But notice that the Use an external data source option is grayed out. The reason that's the case is because you can change a data source to another one of the same kind. That is, you can swap one internal data source for another or one external data source for another but you can't change from one type of connection to another. If you want to use external data for a PivotTable when you've already created it using internal data, then you will need to create a new PivotTable instead of editing the current one.
Now let's go back to the PivotTable that I displayed earlier, so I'll click Cancel. This PivotTable draws its data from an Excel table and one of the major benefits of using an Excel table as your data source is that when you add a row to the table and refresh the data connection, the new data appears in the PivotTable automatically. So the data for this PivotTable is on the Table Data Worksheet and if I scroll down using my scroll wheel to the last row then I can add another row to the table and have that data appear in the PivotTable.
So let's say that I click this last cell and press Tab to add a new row to the table and then we'll put in data from 2011 so it will be 2011 Quarter 1, Month of January for FirmA, and then for revenue we'll just make it 200 so it stands out from all the other data and press Enter. Now when I go back to the FrontTable Worksheet you don't see any change in the PivotTable yet and I'll scroll down to the bottom of 2010 so you can see the change when it occurs.
Now there is new data in the table. So if I click the Options contextual tab and then click the Refresh button, the data that I just added to the Excel table appears in the PivotTable automatically. By comparison, if you build your PivotTable based on a data list as opposed to an Excel table, then that data does not appear when you refresh the connection. So I have another PivotTable on the FromList worksheet. It's exactly the same table based on the similar data and this data is on the ListData worksheet, and you'll notice that this is simply a worksheet list.
It hasn't been turned into an Excel table. If I use my scroll wheel to scroll down and then in the next available row, type in the exact same data we had before, 2011 Quarter 1, for January, FirmA, and then Revenue of 200 and press Enter. If I go back to the PivotTable on the FrontList worksheet and I'll scroll down using my scroll wheel again, then on the Options contextual tab click Refresh, nothing happens.
What I need to do is update the data source manually. So to do that, again on the Options tab I can click the Change Data Source button and then you'll see the definition here in the Table/Range box. I added another row and that increments in number. So now instead of having the table or range end on cell E49 it actually ends on cell E50. So I'll Backspace over 49, type in 50, click OK, and now you see that the PivotTable updates reflect the new definition.
Whenever I view a PivotTable I always click the Refresh button to include any updates to the data source. If you create PivotTables based on Excel tables the new data will appear automatically when you refresh. However, if your PivotTable draws its data from a data list, you should examine the source data list to identify any new rows and edit the data source to reflect the change.
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