In This Chapter
Excel’s pivot table feature is perhaps the most technologically sophisticated component in Excel. This chapter may seem a bit out of place in a book devoted to formulas. After all, a pivot table does its job without using formulas. That’s exactly the point. If you haven’t yet discovered the power of pivot tables, this chapter demonstrates how using a pivot table can serve as an excellent alternative to creating many complex formulas.
A pivot table is essentially a dynamic summary report generated from a database. The database can reside in a worksheet or in an external 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 lies in its interactivity. After you create a pivot table, you can rearrange the information in almost any way imaginable and insert special formulas that perform calculations. You can even create post-hoc groupings of summary items: for ...