Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Notice that pivot tables rely on a combination of push and pull .
Spreadsheet cells can pull their data from each PivotTable
report. But users must interact with PivotTable page fields,
telling them which pages of data to write—push—into the
PivotTable report.
The Advantages
PivotTables funnel data from relational and spreadsheet databases
into spreadsheet cells. When they are used with centrally stored
relational databases, PivotTables significantly reduce the problems
associated with spreadsheet databases.
Because PivotTables have been widely used for at least ten years,
they are well-documented in books, help files, and newsgroups. It’s
relatively easy to find PivotTable experts on the web.
The Disadvantages
For centralized data, PivotTables rely on relational databases. This
creates several problems.
These databases typically are controlled by the Information
Technology department, which seldom ranks the needs of Excel
users as their highest priority.
It’s often difficult for users to add new databases to this system.
Meta data (like product and department codes) isn’t necessarily
consistent among all databases from which users might report.
This complicates spreadsheet analyses, because the same type
of data has different names in different databases. This is a
particular challenge after a merger or acquisition, because it
might take years for IT to combine two dissimilar General Ledger
systems, and their dissimilar charts of account.
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