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In Depth Information
Chapter 14: Using Pivot Tables
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 11, 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 discover in this chapter, pivot tables lend themselves nicely to this data model
concept. With pivot tables, you can build data models that are easy to set up and that 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, giving you an entirely new view using
the same source data. You can then display subtotals and interactively drill down to any level of
detail that you want. Note that the data itself doesn’t change and is not connected to the pivot table.
The reason a pivot table is so well suited to a dashboard is that you can quickly update the view of
your pivot table by changing the source data that it points to. This allows you to set up both your
analysis and presentation layers at one time. You can then simply press a button to update your