PivotTables are an interactive table that allow the user to group and summarize large amounts of data in a concise, tabular format for easier reporting and analysis. They can sort, count, and total the data, and are available in a variety of spreadsheet programs. One advantage of this feature in Excel is that it allows you to rearrange, hide, and display different category fields within the PivotTable to provide alternate views of the data. Read on to find out how to create your own pivot table in Excel.
Brush up on key terms. There are several terms which may seem unclear upon cursory glance of the Excel pivot tables. Report filter. This area contains the fields that enable you to page through the data summaries shown in the pivot table by filtering out sets of data. They act as the filters for the report. For example, if you designate the Year field from a table as a Report Filter, you can display data summaries in the pivot table for individual years or for all years represented in the table.
- Column labels. This area contains the fields that determine the arrangement of data shown in the columns of the pivot table.
- Row labels. This area contains the fields that determine the arrangement of data shown in the rows of the pivot table.
- Values. This area contains the fields that determine which data are presented in the cells of the pivot table — they are the values that are summarized in its last column (totaled by default).
- Page field. A field from the source data that you assign to a page (or filter) orientation in a PivotTable report.
- Data field. A field from the source data that contains values to be summarized. For example, Sum of Sales is a data field.
- Column field. A field from the source data that you assign to a column orientation in a PivotTable report. For example, Type is a column field.
- Item. A subcategory of a row, column, or page field.
- Row field. A field from the source data that you assign to a row orientation in a PivotTable report. For example, Region and Salesperson are row fields.
- Data area. The cells in a PivotTable report that contain summarized data.
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