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PivotTable Reports 101

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Let's suppose you've compiled a large list of data - for example, sales figures for every product your company makes. But now you're ready to distill some meaningful information from the data. For example, you might want to answer the following questions:

         What is the total sales for each product by region?

         Which products are selling best over time?

         Who is your highest-performing salesperson?

For these and other questions, you can create a PivotTable report - an interactive table that automatically extracts, organizes, and summarizes your data. You can then use the report to analyze the data - for example, make comparisons, detect patterns and relationships, and analyze trends.

Read on to discover what you can do with a PivotTable report.

Summarize and Analyze Your Data

To see the "big picture" of your data, you can use a PivotTable report to summarize and analyze the data. You can control how Microsoft Excel 2000 summarizes the data - for example, by sum, average, or count - without entering a single formula.

Add or Remove Data

Not quite enough information in your PivotTable report? For example, maybe you want to include sales figures broken down by salesperson. You can easily add or remove categories of data.

Quickly Rearrange the Layout

Not satisfied with the layout of your PivotTable report? For example, maybe you'd prefer to display the salesperson information in rows instead of in columns. The interactive nature of your PivotTable report lets you literally turn the table: you can easily move (or "pivot") the rows and columns to view different summaries of the data.

View a Subset of the Data

Want to filter the data so you can view a manageable chunk at a time? To do this, you can use a page field to break the PivotTable report into separate "pages." Each page contains a subset of the data that's summarized in the PivotTable report.

Are there other reasons to use page fields?   If your PivotTable report contains many fields, you can use page fields to keep your report compact and readable. Or, if you're retrieving data from a large, external non-OLAP database, use page fields to limit the amount of data retrieved at a time. That way, you can avoid long waits and memory problems.

Show Just the Details You Want

Want to zero in on specific details in a PivotTable report? You can display or hide items in a row or column - for example, specific products or salespersons. You can also display or hide details about items in row or column.