How to Build a Pivot Table

By Emmanuelle Douglas

Pivot tables are a great tool to use when you need to summarize large amounts of data in your Excel spreadsheet. Excel has tools that let you sort, filter, subtotal and review your data, but the pivot table uses all of these tools in a concise manner. Pivot tables let you pick the data that needs to be summarized, remove extraneous fields and display your data in a manner that best represents it.

Things You'll Need

  • Excel 2007

Step 1

Open Excel 2007 and locate a workbook that contains what you want to summarize. Select the "Office" button and select "Open." Browse your computer and locate the workbook. When you find it, click on it and select "Open."

Step 2

Click on the spreadsheet that contains the data you want to summarize. Make sure the data has column headers. If it doesn't, add column headers. Select the "Insert" tab and click on "Pivot Table." Click "Pivot Table" again from the drop-down list. The Create Pivot Table dialog box appears.

Step 3

Choose "Select a table or range" in the Choose the data that you want to analyze section. Notice how the pivot table automatically grabbed your data range. Select "New Worksheet" in the Choose where you want the pivot table report to be placed section. Click "OK."

Step 4

View your empty pivot table in the new worksheet. Check fields from the "Pivot table field list" on the right side of your Excel worksheet. These fields will populate your pivot table. Adjust the fields into the column label and row label field. If you have any numerical fields that need to be summarized, drag them into the summary value field. Filter your report by adding fields to the "Report Filter" section. Review your pivot table and adjust it as necessary. Save your changes when you are done.