THE POWER OF PIVOT TABLES

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1 THE POWER OF PIVOT TABLES To fully understand the power of a PivotTable, one must first consider what is a PivotTable and what makes them powerful? Following are the main properties that define a Pivot Table: A PivotTable is a report. The report is an organized presentation, separate from the source data. A PivotTable is connected to a database. A database is a systematic collection of information wherein the detail is layered in rows below a column header. The database can be in Excel, Multiple consolidation ranges, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) cube, or a database file (Access). A PivotTable contains selected information. The report has four available areas called the Layout (Filter [called Page in the 03 version], Column, Row & Values [called Data in the 03 version]). A PivotTable can be manipulated for a specific purpose or result. Generally the Column, Row and Filter areas contain labels that sort,filter, summarize, subtotal, etc., and numbers that populate the Value area. A PivotTable can perform dynamic report modifications. The view of the PivotTable can be easily altered by clicking and dragging. For instance a column can be added where there was no column or a current column can be transposed to a row. This ability to "pivot" is how the PivotTable got its name, and therein lies the analytical POWER of the PivotTable. Keep an eye out for helpful hints denoted by the symbol. Create A PivotTable from an Excel Database Start by placing the cursor in a single cell inside the database. Click the red box to go to a sample Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 1

2 Then click the PivotTable button in the tables group under the Insert tab. Alternatively, place a PivotTable button into the quick access toolbar (QAT). Click on the More Controls button at the end of the QAT and choose More Commands, or click on the Office Button then Excel Options then Customize. Select "All Commands" The button can be selected to view in the QAT for all files or Note that multiple PivotTable buttons are available. Use the PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard for using multiple consolidation The buttons in the left side window are the available buttons. The right side window contains the current buttons in the QAT. Simply highlight a button on the left side window and click the Add button to enter it into the QAT. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 2

3 The Create PivotTable dialog box appears. It asks two questions. First, select the database. Notice that the range is automatically filled it. It has included all columns that have headings and continued down until it finds the first row with all blanks. Blanks can exist within the database. Next it asks where the report is to be placed. The default is to a new worksheet. One of the advantages about a PivotTable is that the Report is separate from the data. Click OK here, and a This area is where the PivotTable Report will reside. The fields represent each column heading in the database. This is the Layout area where fields from above are dragged to populate A new sheet has been created. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 3

4 Click on the boxes next to "Amount" and "Acct Desc" in the Choose Fields window in the PivotTable Field List Box to begin populating the report. Notice the Report has automatically detected that the data in the "Amount" column of the database are numbers and placed the result in the Values area. Also, the Report has recognized that the data under the "Acct Desc" column are words and has placed these labels in the row area. The PivotTable Field List box will only display when the cursor is located on a cell inside the PivotTable Report. The Report is now populated with a summation of all the separate amounts on each row summarized by the "Acct Desc" (fixed asset classification) which is displayed in the row area. The "Amount" and "Acct Desc" Boxes are checked and are bold format which means that these items are in one of the areas of the Report. Note how the Layout area matches the Report. Alternatively, a field can be dragged directly into the Layout area. Click on "Asset Name" and drag in to the Row area of the layout below "Acct Desc". The placement within an area matters. Placing the "Asset Name" before the "Acct Desc" reverses the ordinary reporting hierarchy and the PivotTable Report will not be as informative nor effective. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 4

5 The Report now shows the detail of each individual asset for each Classification. PivotTable Presentation Options Notice that two new tabs appear in the ribbon when the cursor is inside of the PivotTable. The Options and the Design tabs. These tabs contain the buttons that format and manage the Report. The PivotTable defaults to the Compact presentation. The Compact Form is more condensed as both fields in the Row area are in the same column. Other options can be found by clicking on the Report Layout button in the Layout group under the Design tab, namely the Outline The Outline Form replaces the heading name from "Row Labels" to the actual field name and the indented row moves into a separate column. The Tabular Form moves the totals to the bottom of the detail and has added more lines in the format. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 5

6 Use the Classic PivotTable Style. It closely resembles the Tabular Form view. The advantage is that fields can be dragged directly into the Report from the Field List, and directly between areas within the Report itself. The disadvantage is that the report takes up more space. To switch to the Classic view, click the Options button in the PivotTable group under the Options tab. Remember the cursor has to inside the PivotTable to view the Options tab. Then click the Classic Pivot Layout checkbox under the Display tab in the ensuing PivotTables Options dialog box. Pivoting The PivotTable Report Simply drag a field from one area within the Report or the Field List to another area to pivot the Report when using the Classic form. Use the Layout area below the Field List to drag fields from one section to another when using the Compact form. Drag the "Acct Desc" field to the Filter section and the "New/used" field into the Column section. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 6

7 Note the new look of the PivotTable Report and the relationship of the Report to the Layout. Changing The Data Source & Refresh Often the initial data source must be updated for various reasons after the PivotTable Report has been created. For instance, an internal audit of the fixed asset additions has found that there was a double posting for the purchase of the Komatsu OBS S# A journal entry was made to correct this error. The detail for this entry is on row 307 on the data worksheet (DatabaseFA). Click on "Change Data Source" under the Options tab. Change the range from 305 to 307. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 7

8 Illustration of the Report before the range change. Illustration of the Report after the range change. The individual asset and totals have been refreshed. The revised Report has also inserted a blank row and a blank column. This is due to row 305 which contains no data. Excel doesn't automatically update PivotTables, so deleting row 305 will not change the Report. To refresh a PivotTable, right click on any cell within it and click Refresh, or click the Refresh button in the Data group under the Options tab. Consider converting the source data into an Excel Table. A PivotTable will automatically adjust to the size of a Table. The refresh will still need to be engaged to track any changes to the size or contents of a Table.To create a table click on the Table button in the Tables group under the Insert tab. Tables are not comptible with version 03 or less. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 8

9 Formatting a PivotTable Place the "Acct Desc" into the column area and "Asset Name" into the row area. Notice that the length of the labels for "Acct Desc" extend the size of the Report beyond the visible Column and row labels can be altered. Abbreviate the column headings, then adjust the column width to show the report on a single Changes, however cannot be made to the values area. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 9

10 All areas within the PivotTable can be custom formatted by using the various format buttons on the Home tab. The number format in a PivotTable will always default to general regardless of the format in the source data. When creating a PivotTable enter the field for the value area first and format that amount before using the column and row areas. That way the desired format will be retained throughout the entire Report. Alternatively, the number format can be changed by placing the cursor in the amount area and clicking on the Field Settings button under the Options tab. The Field Settings button can also be accessed by right clicking Change the way the data is summarized in this window. The default is Sum. Click on the Number Format button to launch the Format Cells dialog box that pertains to the PivotTable Report. A whole litany of preformatted reports are available in the PivotTable Styles group under the Design tab. Also under the Design tab are options for banded rows and columns in the PivotTable Style Options group. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 10

11 Place the cursor over one of the styles and the Report will automatically preview the selected format. A customized style can be created if none of the preformatted styles are acceptable. Another set of preformatted reports are available in the AutoFormat button. The AutoFormat button has to be placed into the QAT. Choose "Commands Not in the Ribbon" from the custom options window to find the AutoFormat button. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 11

12 Grouping a PivotTable Report Columns often have to be added to the original database in order to analyze the data more comprehensively. The Group Selection button under the Options tab can sometimes perform this function quicker and easier than adding a new column. In the following example the individual dates of the asset purchases will be grouped into quarters. Highlight the desired cells in the row area (from 1/1 through 3/31 for the 1st quarter in this case). Then click the Group Selection button. A new field has been added added to the PivotTable to the PivotTable Field List Field (Date2). List (Date2). Also note the position of Date2 in the layout. The new field defaults to Group1. Remember the name can be changed. The +/ buttons allow the field to expand or collapse. Click the button to hide the individual date detail. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 12

13 There is a special grouping dialog box for dates. Place the cursor on a single cell in the row area and click the grouping button to engage this box. Subtotals and Totals Following is a PivotTable Report grouped for months and quarters. To subtotal for the quarters, click on the Field Settings button while the cursor is in the field of the row area where the subtotals are to be placed (on the cell that contains the value "Qtr1" in this case. This is the same Field Settings button that is used to format numbers in the value area. The contents of the Filed Settings dialog box are different for the row and column areas. Select Automatic or Custom to place subtotals in the Report. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 13

14 The position of various labels within a field can be changed by placing the cursor on the outer edge of the cell. The cursor will change to four arrows; up, down, right, and left. Then drag the field to the desired location. Alternatively, Subtotals and Grand Totals can be found in the Layout group under the Design tab. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 14

15 Filtering a PivotTable Report Recall that there is a Filter location in the PivotTable layout. Clicking on the icon at the end of a field title will open a filtering window. Then click on all items that are to be included in the Report. Unchecked boxes will exclude the item from the Report. Click here to open the selection boxes for each description in the field title. Notice the filter symbol on the report and the PivotTable Field List which indicate that not all of Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 15

16 Further filtering can be done on the row and column areas too. In addition, there are special filtering features for values in the row an column Here is a list of label filters available from the row and column filters. Here is a list of date filters available from the row and column filters. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 16

17 PivotCharts A PivotChart is an interactive graphical representation of a PivotTable Report. Changes to the PivotTable report are immediately reflected in the PivotChart. To create a PivotChart, place the cursor anywhere inside of a PivotTable report and click on the PivotChart button in the Tools group under the Options tab. The PivotChart button will launch the Insert Chart dialog box. Select a chart type and click the OK button. A basic chart will be created on the same worksheet as the PivotTable Report. The chart is rather bare and bland, but don't fear because there are a plethora of colors, formats, styles, etc. to makeover the PivotChart into a wondrous, prestigious presentation. Indeed, there are four new tabs available when utilizing a PivotChart; Design, Layout, Format & Analyze. The options are exponentially greater than Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 17

18 This PivotChart was created with just a few clicks in the Format tab Collapse the fields and the PivotChart is automatically updated. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 18

19 Drill Down Feature The drill down feature creates a new table consisting of the underlying data of a particular value in the PivotTable Report. The new table is an exact duplicate of the original database except it is limited to the specific rows that make up the value in question. Double click on a single cell in the value area to drill down. A new worksheet is created containing the rows from the original database that make up the value that was double clicked. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 19

20 The GETPIVOTDATA Formula The GETPIVOTDATA formula returns a value from a PivotTable Report. It will continue to track the value regardless of changes to the size or makeup of Report. A major advantage is that the formula will write itself. Simply type "=" and then click on a value cell in the PivotTable Report. Turn on the automatic formula capability by clicking on the drop down arrow next to the Options button in the PivotTable group under the Options tab. Then click on the Generate GetPivitData button making sure that the box next to it is checked. Go to an empty cell and type an "=" sign and click on the cell containing the value 39, The value returned is 39,540.92, and the formula returned is; =GETPIVOTDATA("Amount",Pivot!$A$3,"Asset Name","Kamatsu Press 165T S#10615"). The syntax of the formula is; GETPIVOTDATA(data_field,pivot_table,field1,item1,field2,item2,...) Where data_field is the value selected (Amount), pivot_table is a cell within the PivotTable Report to identify the Report to be used, field1 is the row field (Asset Name), and item1 is the specific asset (Kamatsu Press 165T S#10615). There is a limit of 126 pairs of fields and items that can be used. Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 20

21 Change the size and remove the column fields and the cell containing the GETPIVOTDATA formula remains the same returning the value of 39, Copyright AccXel-Erated Solutions and Christopher J. Wood CPA. All riregular"regular"ghts reserved. Page 21

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