Excel is surely a cavalry of features. And if we count the ways in which each feature can be useful just makes the whole think almost countless. However, for every feature one must know what it is, why and where we might need it and finally if we need it then how to use it in the given situation. So let’s have a panoramic view of Excel’s Pole Star -Pivot Tables.
Pivoting Back – How Excel works!
Before we move ahead to pivot table lets step back a little bit to understand how Excel stores its data.
Excel’s biggest reason why it excels at what it does is basically its ability to store data in very distinct manner. Excel stores information in a cell. A cubical that is an individual entity in itself.
Everyone of us have home. And as everyone live at a different place having address makes things easier in our lives. But we do not do everything at home. We have separate place for office, to party and to rest.
Similarly in Excel we can have large amount of information of different nature therefore, we cannot fit all of the information in just one cell (cube). So we need more cells. But think for a moment that if you don’t know where you put your information then it would be very difficult for you (just like you forget address back to your home).
To solve this issue we have rows and columns. Rows are horizontal arrangement or classification of cells whereas columns are vertical. Similar type of data is grouped or arranged in rows and columns whereas each cell has its own address as well.Where particular cell and row intersects, an address is marked. For example A1, F19 etc.
Now as as each cell enjoys certain level of independence it helps us to rearrange the information in any way we want. Remember the game of match sticks where you had to make an additional box by moving only two sticks? In the same way pivot table rearranges the data in cells to make it meaningful. Following slides on pivot table makes it even more clear that how pivot table slice and dice and splice again!
So here is my attempt make it as simple yet detailed so that anyone who is just starting on Pivot Tables in Excel can understand the science behind this excellent Excel feature.
The next episode will conclude this two part series in which we will learn how to make Pivot table from simple data.