06 March 2023

In this tutorial, we’ll go through the basics of pivot tables in Excel, step by step.

A pivot table in Excel is a tool for summarizing and analyzing large data sets. It allows you to quickly summarize and analyze large amounts of data by organizing it in a way that’s easy to read, understand and manipulate.

By using pivot tables, you can easily create summaries and perform calculations on large data sets without needing to manually sort, filter, and reorganize the data.

To create a pivot table in Excel, you’ll first need a data set to work with. We’ll use a sample data set of sales data to demonstrate this process.

- Open the workbook with the data in Excel.
- Highlight the data you want to use in the pivot table.
- Click on the “Insert” tab in the top menu.
- Click on “PivotTable” in the “Tables” group.
- Select the location where you want to place the pivot table.
- Click “OK” to create your pivot table.

Your new pivot table will appear on a new worksheet, and the “PivotTable Fields” pane will appear on the right side of the screen.

Now that you’ve created your pivot table, you’ll need to add some fields to it. Fields represent the columns in your data set, and they dictate how the data will be organized in the pivot table.

- In the “PivotTable Fields” pane, find the field you want to add to your pivot table.
- Drag and drop the field into one of three areas: “Rows”, “Columns”, or “Values”.
- Repeat this process for each field you want to include in your pivot table.

As you add fields to your pivot table, you’ll notice that Excel automatically groups and summarizes the data in the table.

One of the most powerful features of pivot tables is the ability to group your data by specific criteria. For example, you might want to group your sales data by quarter, instead of displaying the data for each individual month.

- Right-click on a cell that contains the data you want to group.
- Click “Group”.
- Choose the criteria you want to use for grouping, such as “Years”, “Quarters”, or “Months”.
- Click “OK” to group your data.

Your pivot table will now display the data in a summarized form according to your chosen grouping criteria.

Another powerful feature of pivot tables is the ability to calculate totals and percentages. For example, you might want to calculate the total sales for each quarter, or the percentage of total sales that each product represents.

- In the “PivotTable Fields” pane, drag a field to the “Values” area.
- Click on the field in the “Values” area.
- Click on “Value Field Settings”.
- Choose the calculation you want to perform, such as “Sum” or “Percentage of Total”.
- Click “OK” to apply the calculation to your data.

Your pivot table will now display the calculated totals or percentages based on the data in your original data set.

By following these steps, you should now have a basic understanding of how pivot tables work in Microsoft Excel. Pivot tables are an incredibly powerful tool for analyzing and summarizing large data sets, and they can be used to perform a wide range of calculations and analyses.

With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll be able to create pivot tables that help you quickly extract meaningful insights from your data.