Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Data Appropriate for a Pivot Table**

Exceptions exist, however, and you may find Excel’s pivot table feature useful even for a

database that doesn’t contain numerical data fields. In such a case, the pivot table provides counts

rather than sums.

Figure 18-4 shows an example of an Excel range that is
not
appropriate for a pivot table.

Although the range contains descriptive information about each value, it does
not
consist of

normalized data. In fact, this range actually resembles a pivot table summary. But it is much less

flexible.

This workbook, named
normalized data.xlsx
, is available on the companion

CD-ROM.

Figure 18-4:
This range is not appropriate for a pivot table.

Figure 18-5 shows the same data, but rearranged in such a way that makes it normalized.

Normalized data contains one data point per row, with an additional column that classifies the

data point.

The normalized range contains 78 rows of data — one for each of the six monthly sales values for

the 13 states. Notice that each row contains category information for the sales value. This table is

an ideal candidate for a pivot table, and contains all of the information necessary to summarize

the information by region or quarter.

Figure 18-6 shows a pivot table created from the normalized data. As you can see, it’s virtually

identical to the nonnormalized data shown in Figure 18-4.