IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding what makes a pivot table so invaluable
Creating a pivot table via the Quick Analysis tool and Recommended PivotTables command
Manually creating a new pivot table
Formatting your new pivot table
Sorting and filtering the pivot table data
Modifying the structure and layout of a pivot table
Creating a pivot chart
Pivot table is Microsoft’s name for a special type of summary table that’s unique to Excel. Pivot tables are great for summarizing particular values in a data list or database because they do their magic without making you create formulas to perform the calculations. They also enable you to quickly and easily examine and analyze relationships inherent in their data sources; data lists you maintain in Excel; or external database tables you import into Excel from standalone database applications such as Microsoft Office Access, or from a data feed such as Windows Azure Marketplace (as discussed in Chapter 11).
Pivot tables also let you play around with the arrangement of the summarized data — even after you generate the table. This capability of changing the arrangement of the summarized data on the fly simply by rotating row and column headings gives the pivot table its name. And, if you’re the type who relates better to data represented in pictorial form, Excel enables you to summarize your data list graphically as a pivot chart using any of the many, many chart types now supported by the program.