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What are some scenarios in which pivot tables are most useful? (Excel)

Posted on 2011-10-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Note -- this is one of three threads with the following titles:

   • What is a pivot table? (Excel)
   • What are the main purposes or benefits of pivot tables? (Excel)
   • What are some scenarios in which pivot tables are most useful? (Excel)


I am a bit embarrassed to admit this but despite having used Excel for many years and having come across references to pivot tables on numerous occasions, I really don't know what they are or anything about them.  Nevertheless, the frequency with which I see them mentioned suggests that they are a valuable tool and worth knowing how to use.  For that reason, I would appreciate any comments that answer the following question:

   • What are some scenarios in which pivot tables are most useful?

Question by:Steve_Brady
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

nutsch earned 1000 total points
ID: 37027706
Lots of scenarios:
You have a database of sales, and want to see how much was sold per region, per customer, per product
You have a database of accounting entries, and want to publish one page per department giving the total by month by account
You want to quickly count how many line entries you have per person in a table
Any scenario where you want to summarize data
etc, etc.

LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:Patrick Matthews
Patrick Matthews earned 1000 total points
ID: 37027937
Taking a step backward, to generalize...

You would use a PivotTable to aggregate data that starts off at a granular level, and/or

You would use a PivotTable to conduct "on the fly" multi-dimensional analysis

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37127989
Thanks -- great responses!

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