How do I improve my skills with pivot tables in Excel 2016?

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Answered by: Robert, An Expert in the Excel for Experts Category
Pivot tables are a great tool in Excel. They take a bit more knowledge to handle though. Once you grasp the fundamentals or pivot tables, they will become your best friend. Pivot tables in Excel 2016 have only gotten better over the years. If you know how to do pivot tables in previous versions of Excel than using them in Excel 2016 should be easy for you. In this article, I will try to cover the basic of understanding pivot tables.

Brief Definition

Pivot tables are ways to group similar items from a table into data that can be easily read. If you have sports teams and along with the players and their stats. You can compile that information into an easy to read pivot table. You will take similar items and combine them to results you need. These results could be combining teams to get total number of players. You could also combine geographic locations to get a count of players in certain areas. The list can go on and on.

Drill Downs

Drill downs are like taking your table, before it has been pivoted, and sort specific columns for what data you want. If you have your pivot table as mentioned above, you can double click on the results you want and you will be displayed a new worksheet with just the raw data pertaining to the pivoted data you requested.

Calculated Columns

Pivot tables also come with a function named Calculated Columns. This is just like doing a calculation with a formula in a standard worksheet. Say you have your pivot table displaying the results of players and how many scored a given amount of times. You can run your formula in this calculated column feature and display it in the pivot table. This is a great feature, because now you create more data based on information you compiled from pivoting the table, even if it didn’t come from the original raw data.

Value Field Settings

Once you have a pivot table set up don’t feel that you are only limited to sums and averages. When you change the value of the pivot table, you have some other choices like; count, max, min and product. These options for pivot tables will give you much more room to play with your data and get the results you want.

In conclusion, you have learned that there are many more features to these pivot tables. They may be overwhelming at first, but once you get a feel for them, you will be using them daily. Many times, Excel is only thought to be used for calculating and storing financial data. You can use Excel for anything you need to keep track of. As we mentioned above, you can use them to keep track of your sports teams. You can also use Excel along with pivot tables to keep track of household items or other forms of inventory. See how you can implement pivot tables in excel 2016 on your in your life.

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