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Using PivotTable data in a formula

From: Excel 2010: Pivot Tables in Depth

Video: Using PivotTable data in a formula

When you create a formula, it's usually a good idea to draw the formula's values from the original data source. That way if the source changes, your formulas result will update the next time Excel recalculates your workbook. But what you do if your PivotTable contains data drawn from an outside source and you can't get at the original tables? In that case you can refer to a cell within the PivotTable using a GetPivotData formula. Let's say that you want to use the data in a PivotTable cell in your formula and for that we will make it the value in C6, which is the value for January 2009 for FirmB.

Using PivotTable data in a formula

When you create a formula, it's usually a good idea to draw the formula's values from the original data source. That way if the source changes, your formulas result will update the next time Excel recalculates your workbook. But what you do if your PivotTable contains data drawn from an outside source and you can't get at the original tables? In that case you can refer to a cell within the PivotTable using a GetPivotData formula. Let's say that you want to use the data in a PivotTable cell in your formula and for that we will make it the value in C6, which is the value for January 2009 for FirmB.

To create this formula, you start typing another formula such as Sum, so click any cell outside the PivotTable and then type equal and then name of the function, Sum, and then a left parenthesis and now you click the cell that you want to use the data from inside the PivotTable. So in this case I will click cell C6 and you see that Excel creates a GetPivotData function, which has a bunch of information inside of it. This information refers to the cell that I just clicked inside the PivotTable and I will walk you through step by step to show you what it's doing to identify that cell.

The first thing it's doing is indicating the field that contains the value,. That field name is Revenue and you can see that the sum of Revenue field is what's summarized within the body of the PivotTable, so that's the first part. The second part is the cell A3. A3 is the first cell at the top left corner of the PivotTable. Year indicates the Year field and 2009 is the year that is applied to the cell in C6. So as you can see, the year is 2009 and cell C6 clearly falls within that part of the PivotTable.

Next the month is January and you can see that here it is in fact for January, and then finally you have the Company, which are the columns, and it is FirmB, and cell C6 is under FirmB so it is that company's data. Now you can close out the formula by typing a right parenthesis and then pressing Enter. Normally you wouldn't create such a simple formula as I have here. Instead you would use your GetPivotData function as part of a larger calculation, but I wanted to keep it simple just for demonstration purposes.

So I'll click a cell in the PivotTable to bring the PivotTable Field List back. When you pivot the PivotTable, as long as the cell that contains the data you want still appears within the PivotTable, then the formula won't change. So let's say that I put Company below Year and Month in the Row Labels area. When I do that, even though the arrangement of the PivotTable has changed the value of the formula remains the same, because the value is still displayed within the PivotTable. And you can see that value here. It's currently in cell B7.

And if were to pivot the PivotTable back by putting Company back in the Column Labels area, the value goes back to C6 instead of B7 and the formula remains the same. Even though you can pivot your PivotTable and have the formula retain its value, if you hide one of the fields that the GetPivotData formula uses to identify the proper cell within the PivotTable, then the formula will generate an error. So let's say for example that instead of having Company within the Column Labels or the Row Labels area that I remove it from the PivotTable. When I do, the formula in cell F1 which refers to the PivotTable cell generates a reference error and that's because it no longer has the information that it needs to identify the proper cell within the PivotTable, and also the value for January 2009 for FirmB no longer exists within this particular range within the PivotTable.

You can see that all we have is the sum of revenue for both companies and it's not broken out by individual company. If I drag the Company field header back to the Column Labels area, then the formula gets restored to its proper order and it can identify the cell it needs to return a value. Now if you find that clicking a PivotTable cell doesn't generate a GetPivotData formula, then it's possible you or someone else might have turned off the option that enables you to do that. To make sure you can use PivotTable data in the formula, click the File tab, then click Options, and then on the Formulas tab of the Excel Options dialog box, make sure that the GetPivotData functions for PivotTable References check box is selected.

When it is, you can create your GetPivotData functions the way that I did in this movie. The GetPivotData function makes it easy to summarize PivotTable data in your worksheets. If it's not practical to draw the data from the original source, you could always use the PivotTable reference instead.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010: Pivot Tables in Depth
Excel 2010: Pivot Tables in Depth

66 video lessons · 38615 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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