Chapter 34. Introducing Pivot Tables


An introduction to pivot tables

Types of data appropriate for a pivot table

Pivot table terminology

How to create pivot tables

Pivot table examples that answer specific questions about data

The Pivot Table feature is perhaps the most technologically sophisticated component in Excel. With only a few mouse clicks, you can slice and dice a data table in dozens of different ways and produce just about any type of summary you can think of.

If you haven't yet discovered the power of pivot tables, this chapter provides an introduction, and Chapter 35 continues with many examples that demonstrate how easy it is to create powerful data summaries using pivot tables.

34.1. About Pivot Tables

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, you can rearrange the information in almost any way imaginable and even insert special formulas that perform new calculations. You even can create post hoc groupings of ...

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