Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Choosing Which Data to Work On
We’ve done it. While it may not yet be suitable for framing, the PivotTable tells us what
we wanted to know—exactly how much money each salesperson has earned. Note that
the data from Order Amount has been automatically shipped to the Values area of the
PivotTable Field List, as shown in Figure 8–13. This was Excel’s decision, a point that will
be taken up shortly.
Figure 8–13. The order amount data inhabits the Values area
For now, don’t worry about how to recast the values into currency format. That’s coming
up a bit later.
Choosing Which Data to Work On
Note again the four areas occupying the lower region of the PivotTable Field List: Report
Filter, Column Labels, Row Labels, and Values. The idea is to place the information from the
database’s fields into these areas, with each area doing something different with the
data. Since we just worked with the Row Labels and Values areas—probably the two most
important areas—I’ll first explain what they do.
The data from any field placed in the Row Labels area is listed uniquely. And that’s exactly
what happened in our PivotTable; when we ticked Salesperson, all the salespersons in our
database were listed in Row Labels—and listed once. It makes no difference how often
they’re actually cited in the original database; place the field in Row Labels and each
name appears only once.
On the other hand, the data from any field in the Values area is always subject to a
mathematical operation— it’s added, counted, averaged, and the like. And again, this is
consistent with our previous example. The Order Amount data—individual sales in
dollars—was added, and was broken out by the salesperson data in the Row Labels
And that in a nutshell is really what PivotTables are about. Any data in the Values area is
broken out by the data in the Row Labels area. Consider the collection of PivotTable
examples in Table 7-1 (which of course assume you have these kinds of data in a
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