Excel Tutorial: What Is Pivot Table In Excel With Example


Are you looking to streamline your data analysis and make sense of large sets of information? Look no further than Excel's pivot table feature. In this tutorial, we will explore the definition of pivot tables in Excel and the importance of pivot tables in data analysis. With a practical example, you'll learn how to harness the power of pivot tables to organize and analyze your data more efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Pivot tables in Excel are a powerful tool for streamlining data analysis and making sense of large sets of information.
  • Understanding the definition and importance of pivot tables is essential for efficient data analysis.
  • Pivot tables organize and summarize data, allowing for easy addition and removal of fields, and customization of layout and design.
  • Using pivot tables for data analysis enables the identification of trends, patterns, and efficient summarization of large data sets.
  • The advanced features of pivot tables, such as calculated fields and items, grouping and sorting data, and using slicers for data filtering, further enhance the efficiency of data analysis and reporting.

Understanding Pivot Table in Excel

Excel Pivot Table is a powerful tool that allows you to organize and summarize data from a larger data set. It helps in analyzing, comparing, and making sense of complex data in a more manageable and understandable format.

How Pivot Table organizes and summarizes data

Pivot tables in Excel allow you to reorganize and summarize selected columns and rows of data in a spreadsheet or database table to obtain a desired report. It helps in identifying patterns and trends, making data analysis more efficient and effective.

Adding and removing fields in pivot table

With Excel Pivot Table, you can easily add or remove fields to customize the view of your data. This allows you to focus on specific aspects or categories of data, making it easier to analyze and understand.

Understanding rows, columns, values, and filters in pivot table

Rows, columns, values, and filters are key components of an Excel Pivot Table. Rows and columns represent the dimensions of the data, while values are the data points being summarized. Filters allow you to narrow down the data set and focus on specific criteria.

Creating Pivot Table in Excel

If you have a large dataset in Excel and you need to analyze and summarize it, pivot tables are an incredibly useful tool. They allow you to quickly and easily rearrange and manipulate your data to gain insights and make data-driven decisions. In this tutorial, we will go through the step-by-step process of creating a pivot table, selecting the data for the pivot table, and customizing the pivot table layout and design.

Step-by-step guide to creating a pivot table

To create a pivot table in Excel, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open your Excel workbook and click on the worksheet that contains the data you want to use for the pivot table.
  • Step 2: Click on the "Insert" tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Step 3: Click on "PivotTable" in the Tables group.
  • Step 4: In the Create PivotTable dialog box, select the range of data you want to use for the pivot table.
  • Step 5: Choose whether you want to place the pivot table in a new worksheet or an existing worksheet, and then click "OK".
  • Step 6: You will now see a blank pivot table and the PivotTable Fields pane on the right side of the Excel window.
  • Step 7: Drag and drop the fields from your dataset into the Rows, Columns, Values, and Filters areas of the PivotTable Fields pane to start building your pivot table.

Selecting data for pivot table

When selecting the data for your pivot table, you can choose to use a single data range or multiple ranges. It's important to ensure that your data is well-organized and does not contain any blank rows or columns to avoid any discrepancies in your pivot table results.

Customizing pivot table layout and design

Once you have created your pivot table, you can customize its layout and design to make it more visually appealing and easier to interpret.

  • Format the values: You can format the values in your pivot table to display them the way you want, such as changing the number format or applying conditional formatting.
  • Apply a pivot table style: Excel offers a variety of pre-designed pivot table styles that you can apply to your pivot table to give it a professional and polished look.
  • Refresh the pivot table: If your source data changes, you can easily update your pivot table to reflect those changes by clicking the "Refresh" button in the PivotTable Tools tab.

Using Pivot Table for Data Analysis

Pivot tables are an essential tool in Excel for analyzing large data sets, performing calculations, summarizing data, and identifying trends and patterns. In this chapter, we will explore how pivot tables can be used for data analysis with real-life examples.

A. Analyzing large data sets with pivot table
  • Efficiently organizing and summarizing data: Pivot tables allow users to quickly organize and summarize large data sets into meaningful insights. This is especially useful when dealing with thousands of rows of data, as it can be challenging to identify patterns and trends without a tool like the pivot table.
  • Filtering and sorting data: Pivot tables provide options to filter and sort data based on specific criteria, making it easier to focus on relevant information for analysis.

B. Performing calculations and summarizing data
  • Summarizing data: Pivot tables can be used to calculate and summarize data by performing functions such as sum, average, count, and more on specific fields within the data set.
  • Creating custom calculations: Users can create custom calculations within the pivot table by adding calculated fields and items, allowing for more in-depth analysis and insights.

C. Identifying trends and patterns in data using pivot table
  • Spotting trends and patterns: Pivot tables offer visualization options, such as pivot charts, that allow users to identify trends and patterns within the data set more easily.
  • Drilling down into data: Users can drill down into specific data points within the pivot table to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying trends and patterns.

Advanced Features of Pivot Table

When it comes to analyzing and organizing data in Excel, pivot tables are an invaluable tool. In addition to their basic functions, pivot tables also offer several advanced features that can take your data analysis to the next level.

A. Using calculated fields and items in pivot table

One of the advanced features of pivot tables is the ability to create calculated fields and items. Calculated fields allow you to perform calculations based on the data in the pivot table, such as adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing values. Calculated items, on the other hand, let you group and analyze data in a way that is not directly available in the source data.


  • Creating a calculated field to calculate the average sale amount per transaction
  • Creating a calculated item to group sales based on a custom criteria, such as "High Sales" and "Low Sales"

B. Grouping and sorting data in pivot table

Another advanced feature of pivot tables is the ability to group and sort data within the table. This can be helpful when you have a large amount of data and want to organize it in a more meaningful way. You can group data by date, numerical ranges, or custom criteria, and then easily expand or collapse these groups to focus on specific aspects of the data.


  • Grouping sales data by month to analyze monthly trends
  • Sorting product sales by top performers to identify best-selling items

C. Using slicers to filter data in pivot table

Slicers are visual filters that allow you to quickly and easily filter data in a pivot table. They provide a user-friendly way to interact with the data, making it easier to analyze specific subsets of the data without having to manually adjust the filters or criteria. Slicers can be used to filter data based on a single field, multiple fields, or even create a custom filter based on specific conditions.


  • Adding a slicer to the pivot table to filter sales data by region
  • Using a slicer to filter product sales by category or brand

Example of Pivot Table in Excel

One of the most powerful features of Excel is the pivot table, which allows users to summarize and analyze large amounts of data easily. In this tutorial, we will walk through a real-life example to demonstrate how pivot tables simplify data analysis and highlight the benefits of using them for data summarization.

Walkthrough of a real-life example using pivot table

To illustrate the use of a pivot table, let's consider a sales dataset for a retail company. The dataset includes information on sales figures, product categories, and sales representatives. By using a pivot table, we can quickly analyze this data to gain insights into sales performance across different product categories and sales representatives.

Demonstrating how pivot table simplifies data analysis

Without a pivot table, analyzing the sales dataset would require manually sorting and summarizing the data, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. With a pivot table, we can easily drag and drop the relevant data fields to generate a summary report that provides a clear overview of sales performance by product category and sales representative.

Highlighting the benefits of using pivot table for data summarization

The use of pivot tables offers several benefits for data summarization. It allows users to quickly organize and summarize large amounts of data, identify patterns and trends, and generate visual representations such as charts and graphs for clear presentation of the data. Additionally, pivot tables enable users to easily customize and update the summary report as new data becomes available, making it a valuable tool for ongoing data analysis and reporting.


In conclusion, pivot tables in Excel are a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data with ease. They allow users to summarize and manipulate large data sets, making it easier to gain insights and create reports. We encourage further exploration and practice with pivot tables in Excel to fully harness their potential for efficient data analysis and reporting. Mastering pivot tables can greatly improve productivity and accuracy in handling data, making it an essential skill for anyone working with data in Excel.

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