In This Chapter
An introduction to pivot tables
How to create a pivot table
How to create a pivot chart
Differences between pivot charts and standard charts
Pivot chart examples
Many people (author included) consider pivot tables to be the most innovative and powerful analytical feature in Excel. A pivot table can instantly convert a mass of data into a nicely summarized table. Pivot tables have been around since Excel 5. Beginning with Excel 2000, this feature was augmented to include charting capabilities. And, in Excel 2007, pivot charts are better than ever.
This chapter starts out with an introductory overview of pivot tables (for the uninitiated) and then moves on to cover pivot charts. If you're already familiar with pivot tables, you can skip the introductory material and jump straight to the section "Working with Pivot Charts," later in this chapter.
A pivot table is essentially a dynamic summary report generated from a database. The database can reside in a worksheet (in the form of a table) or in an external data file. A pivot table can help transform endless rows and columns of numbers into a meaningful presentation of the data.
For example, a pivot table can create frequency distributions and cross–tabulations of several different data dimensions. In addition, you can display subtotals and any level of detail that you want. Perhaps the most innovative aspect of a pivot table is its interactivity. After you create a pivot table, ...