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Part V: Analyzing the Worksheet > Analyzing and Reporting with Pivot Tables

Chapter 28. Analyzing and Reporting with Pivot Tables

  • Group detailed breakdowns in pivot tables into summary and subtotal figures

    Two of the major strengths of pivot tables are their abilities to summarize information and subtotal natural groupings.

  • Narrow your view of summary data to dig out important details

    There are a variety of techniques for narrowing and customizing the view of a pivot table.

  • Display different summary calculations (such as totals, averages, and changes over time) for the same data

    What if you want to get an average or a percentage of total calculation? Using pivot tables, this is easy.

The concept of breaking things down and separating them into components is inherent in the term analysis. Just as an aspiring automobile mechanic learns how an engine works by taking it apart and reassembling it, you "break down" the data and reassemble it in different ways as you strive to discern the operative forces that underlie the data.

In the example presented in Chapter 27, "Using the Power of Pivot Tables," one department may need sales information filtered by date. On the other hand, another department may want to filter the sales information by region.

In many organizations, relational databases and accounting programs provide sufficient management reports and summaries for users to carry out their routine duties. But when you need up-to-the-minute information for important decisions, or when you have to look at the data a number of ways to enrich your understanding, bring it into an Excel pivot table.



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