What is a Pivot Table

A Pivot Table is a simple, yet powerful, technique which enables Excel users
to turn the data overload into well-organized and meaningful knowledge.

Databases contain raw data on various topics and are usually arranged in a tabular form.
In many cases, data overload may make it difficult to use the information and convert it into relevant knowledge.

By using a pivot table, users can perform various calculations on their data,
such as calculating the average, counting, finding the minimum and the maximum values and so on.

Furthermore, the pivot table enables us to filter and sort the data easily and quickly.

Users may focus on some or all parts of the data, even when the data tables are huge
(some databases may contain a million or more records); thus users can obtain their desired data clearly and concisely.

A single data table can be used to create dozens of reports and charts for analyzing the data,
with many cross-sections, simply by dragging fields to the appropriate locations.

Thus, the pivot table enables us to better understand processes and trends.
It is also a useful tool for decision making.

The pivot table data can be based on an existing Excel file or on other databases (i.e. Access or an SQL-based database).

Since a picture is worth a thousand words,
here are some examples of pivot tables, derived from the same database,
which show the details of factory employees:

The following pivot tables were derived from the database above:

Number of employees in each department:

Pivot Table

Distribution of genders in each department:
pivot table excel

Average salary in each department:
pivot tables

Average salary in each section, by role:

excel pivot table

And you can even create a beautiful dashboard:
pivot tables excel

So, now that you know what is a Pivot Table,
read this article to learn about the conditions to create it in Microsoft Excel


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