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Microsoft Excel: Use Pivot Tables to Analyze Your Data Efficiently

Teachers of software courses often find it easy to answer the “How”. However, the “Why” is often more difficult and complex to understand, especially when one is self-taught. This is the reason why many people stick to what they already know rather than learning new things when they are adept deep with the programs they use already.

Here are some of what’s and why’s of Microsoft Excel Pivot tables and the meaning of pivot and what a pivot table does. A pivot table helps you by allowing swiveling or rearranging the data, making better sense of it. Definitions include some words like spin and swivel while thinking about pivoting the data work well.

There are some challenges also, which one may encounter while trying to understand the large chunks of data that is raw. Suppose the sales figure is given for each person in a company. This probably includes how much has been sold, what has been sold, when the sale is made and where the location of the purchaser is. Also, the fields of data are most likely to contain the duplicate values. A particular person may be listed a number of times as he or she did multiple sales. Some of the common challenges faced by anyone while creating reports from such data are:

  1. The data has to be tabulated and well organized. This will include copying of data, pasting them and also writing formulae.
  2. A similar report is required to be created each week and that too with updated data.
  3. And when it comes to the next report, he or she has to start the same process again all over.
  4. And because one is manipulating the whole data manually, it is most likely to happen that something is missed or a mistake is made.
  5. If any alteration is made in the data, all the reports are required to be updated again.
  6. It is not shown in the reports clearly as to which of the figures made up total values and so breakdown reports are also to be provided.

All the challenges that are above mentioned are labor-intensive and also time consuming. This is where Microsoft Excel Pivot table steps in to ease the pain in a very simple and quick manner. Many people feel that pivot table is very complicated to create. Earlier, there was a lot of mystery surrounding the pivot tables.

Pivot tables should be used to analyze the data and create reports for the following reasons:

  1. They are very easy to create.
  2. Pivot tables are flexible.
  3. For different kinds of reports, they can be set up and refreshed whenever new data needs to be added.
  4. They summarize the data and therefore one does not need to find a single person’s multiple sale figures and then tabulate.
  5. They are very easy to change too.
  6. Pivot tables also provide the breakdown of summarized figure.

 

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