When you have a large database and you want to discover trends and patterns at a glance, you can use PivotTable reports to help you. Pivot tables allow you to:
- Summarize the data contained in large tables into a compact layout.
- Find relationships within the data that are hard to evaluate because of a vast amount of data.
- Organize the data into a format that can be charted easily.
First you have to decide what questions you want the data to answer. To construct a pivot table you need to identify these two elements in your data:
1. Which parameters or data fields are the variables you want to summarize;
2. What column fields are the variables that will “organize” the data summary.
Certain constraints exist:
- In the first row of the data, each one of the columns should have a unique header (or label).
- There should be no empty rows or columns within the range of data used for the report. Each column should contain only one type of data: text in one column and numeric values in a separate column.
This section will start with a simple example using the database employed previously. See Figure 26.1 for the database. In this example, you will want to calculate the average age by gender and job.
To start the PivotTable, select any cell (or range of cells) in the database and click on the PivotTable ...