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Excel 2003: About PivotTables & PivotCharts

Excel 2003: About PivotTables & PivotCharts

PivotTables and PivotCharts are ways to quickly summarize your worksheet data. Let’s talk about PivotTables first.

PivotTables make querying large amounts of data extremely user-friendly. So user-friendly, in fact, that you could set it up once and your boss could query the report on his or her own.

With PivotTables, you can subtotal numeric data by category and subcategory and you can even create custom calculations and formulas on your PivotTable data. Plus, you can expand and collapse levels of your data to quickly focus your results, and, when needed, you can easily drill down to details. Finally, all you need to create a PivotTable is a well-formed list. You heard me right – just a list with data and numbers.

Figure 31. Sample PivotTable

Now, let me fill you in PivotCharts.

A PivotChart is just like a PivotTable but in graphical form. And, it’s just as easy to modify the data a PivotChart displays as it is the PivotTable.

PivotCharts have all the same display options as PivotTables. This means, each has four sections: Report, Row, Column and Data.

The Report filter field is the field you use to filter data by specific items. The Report filter essentially controls the data you can filter in the other areas.

Each Row & Column filter field is considered a series. And, this one is pretty literal. Whatever field you assign to Row will display in rows and whatever field you assign to Column will display in columns.

And, finally – Data. This is field that you want your PivotTable and PivotChart to summarize.

Figure 32. Sample PivotChart