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Excel® Dashboards & Reports by John Walkenbach, Michael Alexander

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Chapter 7. Using Pivot Tables

In This Chapter

  • Using pivot tables as your data model

  • Creating and modifying a pivot table

  • Customizing pivot table fields, formats, and functions

  • Filtering data using Pivot Table views

In Chapter 2, we discuss using a data model as the foundation for your dashboards and reports. This data model helps you to organize your information into three logical layers: data, analysis, and presentation. As you'll discover in this chapter, pivot tables lend themselves nicely to this data model concept. With pivot tables, you can build data models that are not only easy to set up, but can then be updated with a simple press of a button. So you can spend less time maintaining your dashboards and reports and more time doing other things. No utility in Excel enables you to achieve a more efficient data model than a pivot table.

Introducing the Pivot Table

A pivot table is a tool that allows you to create an interactive view of your source data (commonly referred to as a pivot table report). A pivot table can help transform endless rows and columns of numbers into a meaningful presentation of data. You can easily create groupings of summary items: for example, combine Northern Region totals with Western Region totals, filter that data using a variety of views, and insert special formulas that perform new calculations.

Pivot tables get their namesake from your ability to interactively drag and drop fields within the pivot table to dynamically change (or pivot) the perspective, ...

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