Solved

Excel charts, pivot charts, charts from pivot tables - which to use?

Posted on 2014-01-23
2
227 Views
Last Modified: 2014-01-23
Hello - I'm an Access developer that has been asked to spiff up a spreadsheet that holds employee rewards. It has the expected data: division, department, # of recipients in a given reward, reward area, reward type, etc...

In reading up on charts, I see how to generate basic charts from simple tables
In the example I was provided, the charts were based off of pivot tables
And then I see there are such things as pivot charts.

Can somebody explain (or point me to an article that explains) when you would chose one method over the others?

Thanks
0
Comment
Question by:mlagrange
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
2 Comments
 
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

by:
regmigrant earned 500 total points
ID: 39803727
Pivot tables/Charts are used to summarise and manipulate large data volumes whereas 'normal' charts are for relatively small amount of data. For example: I produce a weekly summary of time spent on multiple projects. To create a 'normal' chart for over 100,000 data points would be slow to update and a lot of faffing about summarising the data first. A pivot table does this summary for me - so I can quickly produce a list of unique employees, the projects they worked on and the sum of time spent. - so I reduce 100,000 points to the 50 or so I need. And if someone wants to change the view - to summarise by month for example its a few clicks to group the dates and presto changeo etc. etc.

A pivot chart does the same thing but shows the results as a chart, you can still manipulate the rows/columns, count or sum data points in real time with an immediate update to the chart - with a 'normal' chart if you change the basis of the summary you usually have to delete and regenerate the chart - or spend your time modifying the chart details.  For example: if you selected my 100,000 data points and summarised by months to would get 24 data points per employee which is, just about, manageable. But if management then wanted the same data at the week level.....

So, as usual, 'it depends' - if your spreadsheet has relatively static layout and doesn't need a lot of summary or manipulation then a standard chart will be if the categories etc are few in number and well established. If you want multiple charts from the same data or people like to play with the summary definitions or there are large volume of data points that need to be summarised in a separate 'helper' table before the chart can be produced then pivot might help.

- from a DB perspective (and this is reaching FAR back in my career) a pivot table works as though the 'table' has been joined to itself and the user can choose which fields to display/join in real time

see this link for a noddy introduction
http://www.get-digital-help.com/2007/01/02/why-use-pivot-table-and-pivot-chart/
Reg
0
 

Author Comment

by:mlagrange
ID: 39804074
Great - Thanks for your help
0

Featured Post

Secure Your Active Directory - April 20, 2017

Active Directory plays a critical role in your company’s IT infrastructure and keeping it secure in today’s hacker-infested world is a must.
Microsoft published 300+ pages of guidance, but who has the time, money, and resources to implement? Register now to find an easier way.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Improved? Move/Copy Add-in Replacement - How to avoid the annoying, “A formula or sheet you want to move or copy contains the name XXX, which already exists on the destination worksheet.” David Miller (dlmille)  It was one of those days… I wa…
Some code to ensure data integrity when using macros within Excel. Also included code that helps secure your data within an Excel workbook.
This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate the scrolling table in Microsoft Excel using the INDEX function.
Although Jacob Bernoulli (1654-1705) has been credited as the creator of "Binomial Distribution Table", Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) did his dissertation on the subject in 1666; Leibniz you may recall is the co-inventor of "Calculus" and beat Isaac…

730 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question