Chapter 3. The Pivotal Pivot Table

I know what you're thinking. Am I supposed to be jumping right in with pivot tables? My answer is an emphatic yes!

In Chapter 2, you were introduced to the concept of reporting models that separate the data, analysis, and presentation layers. As you will discover in this chapter, pivot tables lend themselves nicely to this concept. With pivot tables, you can build reporting models that not only can be easy to set up, but can be refreshed with a simple press of a button. This allows you to spend less time maintaining your dashboards and reports and more time doing other useful things. No utility in the whole of Excel allows you to achieve this efficient data model better than a pivot table.

For those who are new to pivot tables, relax a bit. After going through this introduction, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to create and use pivot tables. Later, you'll find some time-saving techniques to help create some useful pivot-driven views for your dashboards and reports.

An Introduction to the Pivot Table

A pivot table is a robust tool that allows you to create an interactive view of your dataset, commonly referred to as a pivot table report. With a pivot table report, you can quickly and easily categorize your data into groups, summarize large amounts of data into meaningful analyses, and interactively perform a wide variety of calculations.

Pivot tables get their name from their ability to drag and drop fields within the pivot table report ...

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