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Friday, May 20, 2011

Organize, Summarize and Analyze Data with Pivot Tables

As many of you have noticed, I have been blogging about Pivot Tables for awhile and the good news is that I have finally finished writing my new updated Pivot Table EBook. It covers everthing - from creating a pivot table, to drilling down for data, to creating multiple reports from a single pivot table. It concludes by showing you how to update your data automatically.  The EBook uses exercise files so that you can walk through and follow along.
If you want to buy the 5 Hour CPE Course on pivot tables, click here and go to 
If you just want to purchase the EBook and files (with NO EXAM or CPE Credit) click here.

I have now added a column on the right with EBooks to Purchase in case you are interested. I will be adding more to it shortly.

Enjoy the weekend.

Creating Multiple Pivot Tables All At Once

If you are using Pivot Tables, it is extremely easy to create multiple pivot tables from your original pivot table by using the Report Filter.
The Report Filter which displays at the very top of the pivot table  is the best feature within the pivot table as it controls all the information seen in the pivot table. It also allows you to easily generate multiple pivot reports.

In the example below, Ship Via is showing as the Report Filter. Currently, I am seeing the total orders for all the ships but I can easily generate a separate pivot table for each of the individual carriers.

1. Click on a cell in the pivot table

2. Go the Options contextual ribbon

3. Select the little down arrow next to Options  (in the first group on the ribbon),

4. Select Show Report Filter Pages…..

4. Select the Report Filter that you want to view in detail. We only have one report filter here so you would select
5. Click OK

It may seem as though nothing happened however if you look down at the sheet names in your file, you will see that Excel has created worksheets for all the individual carriers. In my example, I now have a worksheets named UPS, Parcel Post, FedEx etc and when I select the sheet named FedEx I have a pivot table just showing the orders FedEx. If I click on the UPS sheet, then the pivot table displays just the order information for UPS.

Here is another quick example: If the report filter allowed you to select between 4 Salespeople, Smith, Jones, Brown and White and the Report Filter instead of displaying All was displaying Smith, you would see 3 sheets at the bottom that Excel created – Jones, Brown and White. (Jones would not display as a new separate sheet as that is already displayed on the “original worksheet”.

This can be a big timesaver.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Video: Pivot Tables Make Everything Just Right

Someone posted a comment and sent me a link to a video on Pivot Tables.
For a class, some students at Ball State put together this musical video which is now on Youtube of course.
A for effort and creativity.
Who says Excel is dull?
Pivot Tables Rock!
Click the link if you are interested in watching it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Automatically Updating Your Pivot Table

Maybe it is a coincidence or maybe because it is because I am updating my Pivot Table EBook for Excel 2010 for  but I have been seeing  a lot of questions and comments regarding updating pivot tables automatically as new data is added. So, of course I thought I would talk about it here.

The good news is that in Excel 2007 and Excel 2010, it is very easy to set your data up so that Excel will automatically pull it into your existing pivot tables. The reason for this is that Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 allow you to easily format your data as a table. Once Excel considers your data a table, it automatically treats all the data as part of the table even as data is added or removed from the parameters of the table. You still need to click the Refresh button when the data changes but you don't have to change the source data location each time anymore.

Here is how to change your data into a table
  • Click in the data
  • Click Insert tab
  • Click Table
  • Verify the data range  and make sure the checkmark is in "My table has headers"
  • Click OK
That's it, Excel now considers your data to be a table.  If you open your Pivot Table and re-select  your data source, the pivot table will now update as the range changes.  Now, if data is added it will automatically be incorporated into the parameters of the original source data.

By the way, another plus of turning your data into a table is that Excel automatically displays alternating row shading and AutoFilter drop down boxes for you.



Ms. Excel- Resident Excel Geek