Excel Tutorial: How To Make Pivot Tables In Excel


If you’re a regular Excel user, you’ve probably heard of pivot tables. But do you know how to make pivot tables in Excel? In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating pivot tables, from selecting your data to customizing the layout. But first, let’s start with a brief explanation of pivot tables and the importance of pivot tables for data analysis.

Key Takeaways

  • Pivot tables in Excel are a powerful tool for data analysis and visualization.
  • Setting up data properly is crucial for successful pivot table creation.
  • Adding fields, filters, and slicers can customize and enhance the pivot table's functionality.
  • Pivot tables allow for in-depth data analysis and the creation of insightful charts.
  • Regular practice is key to mastering pivot table creation in Excel.

Setting up Data for Pivot Tables

Before creating pivot tables in Excel, it is important to ensure that the data is properly organized and formatted. This will help in creating accurate and effective pivot tables for analysis.

A. Ensuring data is organized in columns
  • Arrange the data in a tabular format with each column representing a different variable or category.
  • Ensure that there are no merged cells or irregular spacing within the data.

B. Removing any blank rows or columns
  • Scan through the data to identify and remove any unnecessary blank rows or columns that might affect the accuracy of the pivot table.
  • Having clean and concise data will make it easier to create pivot tables and interpret the results.

C. Checking for consistent formatting
  • Check for consistent formatting of data within each column, such as date formats, number formats, and text formats.
  • Consistent formatting will ensure that the pivot table functions correctly and provides accurate insights.

Creating a Pivot Table

When working with large datasets in Excel, pivot tables are a powerful tool for summarizing and analyzing data. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to create a pivot table in Excel.

Selecting the data range

The first step in creating a pivot table is to select the data range that you want to analyze. This could be a range of cells within a single worksheet or data from multiple worksheets or workbooks. Make sure your data is well-structured and does not contain any empty rows or columns.

Inserting a pivot table

Once you have selected your data range, go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel ribbon and click on "PivotTable." A dialog box will appear, allowing you to choose the data range you want to analyze and the location where you want the pivot table to be placed, either in a new worksheet or an existing one.

Choosing the layout for the pivot table

After inserting the pivot table, you will see the PivotTable Fields pane on the right-hand side of the Excel window. This pane allows you to drag and drop fields from your data into different areas of the pivot table layout, such as rows, columns, values, and filters. This is where you can customize the layout and structure of your pivot table to best suit your analysis needs.

Adding Fields to the Pivot Table

After creating a pivot table in Excel, the next step is to add fields to the table to organize and analyze your data. Here are the steps to add fields to the pivot table:

  • Dragging and dropping fields into the rows and columns
  • To add fields to the pivot table, you can simply drag and drop the desired fields into the "Rows" or "Columns" area of the pivot table. This allows you to organize your data based on the selected fields.

  • Adding values to the pivot table
  • Once you have arranged the fields in the rows and columns, you can add values to the pivot table by dragging and dropping the desired fields into the "Values" area. This allows you to perform calculations and analyze the data based on the selected values.

  • Customizing the appearance of the pivot table
  • After adding fields and values to the pivot table, you can customize the appearance of the table by adjusting the layout, formatting, and design. This includes changing the style, applying filters, and modifying the presentation of the data to suit your preferences.

Using Filters and Slicers

When working with pivot tables in Excel, it’s important to be able to filter and analyze your data in a way that makes sense for your specific needs. Fortunately, Excel provides two powerful tools for this purpose: filters and slicers.

Adding filters to the pivot table

Filters in pivot tables allow you to easily control which data is displayed in your table. To add a filter to your pivot table, simply click on the filter icon located at the top of the column or row that you want to filter. This will bring up a dropdown menu where you can select the specific items you want to include or exclude from your table.

Additionally, you can also apply multiple filters to your pivot table to further refine your data. This can be done by adding filters to multiple columns or rows, allowing for a more granular analysis of your data.

Using slicers to easily filter data

Slicers are a user-friendly way to filter data in your pivot table. They provide a visual and interactive way to filter your data, making it easier to see and understand the impact of your selections on the table.

To add a slicer to your pivot table, simply click anywhere inside the pivot table and then go to the "PivotTable Analyze" tab on the ribbon. From there, click on the "Insert Slicer" button and choose the fields you want to use as slicers. This will create a slicer for each selected field, allowing you to easily filter your data with just a few clicks.

Customizing filter and slicer options

Once you have added filters and slicers to your pivot table, you can further customize their options to better suit your needs. This includes adjusting the layout, size, and style of the filters and slicers to make them more visually appealing and easier to use.

You can also customize the filter and slicer options to include or exclude specific items, sort them in a specific order, and even connect them to multiple pivot tables for a more cohesive analysis of your data.

Analyzing Data with Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are a powerful tool in Excel that allows users to summarize and analyze large amounts of data in a quick and efficient manner. In this tutorial, we will explore how to create and use pivot tables to analyze data effectively.

Summarizing data with pivot tables

  • Creating a pivot table: To start analyzing data with a pivot table, you first need to create one. This involves selecting the data range you want to analyze and then inserting a pivot table from the Insert tab.
  • Organizing data: Once the pivot table is created, you can start organizing your data by dragging and dropping the fields into the rows, columns, and values areas to summarize and analyze the data based on different criteria.
  • Summarizing data: Pivot tables allow you to summarize data by performing calculations such as sum, average, count, and many more, giving you a quick overview of your data.

Using pivot table calculations

  • Adding calculated fields: Pivot tables also allow you to create custom calculated fields based on the existing data, enabling you to perform more advanced analysis and derive insights from your data.
  • Applying custom calculations: You can apply custom calculations to the pivot table data, such as creating custom formulas and using functions to perform specific calculations based on your analysis requirements.
  • Using built-in calculations: Excel provides built-in calculations within pivot tables, including options to show values as percentages, running totals, differences, and many more to help you gain deeper insights into your data.

Creating charts from pivot table data

  • Visualizing data: Pivot tables can be used to create dynamic charts that are linked to the underlying data, allowing you to visualize and present your analysis in a more interactive and meaningful way.
  • Linking charts to pivot tables: By linking charts to pivot tables, any changes or updates made to the pivot table data will automatically reflect in the linked charts, ensuring that your visualizations are always up to date.
  • Customizing chart options: Excel provides a range of chart customization options that allow you to tailor the visual representation of your pivot table data to better convey your analysis findings.


Recap: Pivot tables are a powerful tool in Excel that allow you to analyze and summarize large amounts of data in a few clicks. They help you gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.

Encouragement: The best way to master pivot tables is to practice creating them in Excel. Try using different datasets and experimenting with the various features and options available. The more you practice, the more confident you'll become in using pivot tables to unlock the potential of your data.

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