Creating a Vanilla Pivot Table in Excel Interface

Although they are the most powerful feature in Excel, Microsoft estimates that pivot tables are used by only 7% of Excel users overall. Based on surveys at, about 42% of advanced Excel users have used pivot tables. Because a significant portion of you have never used pivot tables, I will walk through the steps of building a pivot table in the user interface. If you are already a pivot table pro, jump ahead to the next section.

Let's say you have 50,000 rows of data, as shown in Figure 12.1. You want a summary of revenue by region and product. Regions should go down the side, products across the top. To build the pivot table to the right of the data, follow these steps:

Figure 12.1

If you need to quickly summarize 50,000 rows of transactional data, a pivot table can do so in seconds.Your goal is to produce a summary of revenue by region and product.

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