Techie Tip of the Week: PivotTable Basics

PivotTables are used to organize and summarize data in numeric form. If you have a large Excel spreadsheet with lots of information stored in it, a PivotTable can make the data easier to comprehend and manage.


To create a PivotTable:

  1. Select a cell in your spreadsheet.
  2. In Excel 2007, 2010, or 2013, click Insert, and then click PivotTable.
    In Excel 2008 or 2011, click Data, and then click PivotTable.
  3. Select the range of data you wish to be included in your PivotTable. Then, choose where you wish the PivotTable to be displayed (a new Worksheet or an existing Worksheet). Click OK.
  4. Select the fields you wish to be included in your Pivot by dragging them to the Row, Column, and Values sections. Be sure to put numeric data in the Values. The Report Filter can be used as a way of further filtering out the data.


For example, from this spreadsheet (fake data taken from the Sample Human Resources Report found in ReportMart1):


the following PivotTable was created by dragging the Salary to Values, the Dept Name to Column, and the Range to Row:


And this PivotTable was created by dragging the Dept Name into Column, the Employee Number into Values (changing it from Sum to Count by clicking the i button), and Range and Job Title to Row:


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