Sorting Data with PivotTables in Excel

March 6, 2014 Excel  No comments

The PivotTable is one of the most useful features in Excel. Sorting data with PivotTables allows you to examine your data from multiple points of view. This convenient tool allows you to summarize your data. You can sort data, count totals and find averages. In addition to giving you the ability to organize your data, PivotTables also help in making your data more presentable. This brief overview from Desktop Training Academy gives you solutions for sorting data with PivotTables in Excel.

Creating a PivotTable

Once you have highlighted the data that you want in your PivotTable report, go to the “Insert” tab and click on “PivotTable.” You can then be able to choose to create the PivotTable report on a new page or keep it on the same page as your data. The PivotTable that is generated will be blank, so you have to pick which values you want and where you want them. You can arrange your data in rows or columns and include sums of different data series. To do this, you simply use the PivotTable Field List on the right to drag and drop fields to the area where you want them to go. Your PivotTable will then be generated and then you can sort and organize it.

Sorting Data

PivotTables can be used to organize and sort all kinds of data. You can organize your data alphabetically, by numbers, or by dates and time. The options for selecting which data to look will be affected by the row and column labels in the original data set. For example, if you have a list of purchases and want to organize them by date, you can move the two column labels into the PivotTable fields.

In the PivotTable report, click on the drop-down arrow next to “Row Labels” or “Column Labels,” then select how you want your data to be sorted. If all of your values are words, you’ll be able to sort the data alphabetically from A to Z or from Z to A. For numeric values, you can sort it from smallest to largest or from largest to smallest. For times and dates, you can sort form oldest to newest or newest to oldest. You can also drag and move data to sort it in any way you want.   

Once you have your data organized into the proper fields, you can begin to summarize the findings for improved decision-making.

We here at DTA hope you enjoyed this quick guide on sorting data with PivotTables. It is our desire to bring you the best advice and training available so you can effectively and efficiently use your desktop features. Desktop applications are essential part of most careers today, but you should be able to use them seamlessly so you can focus on work, instead of working on the tools that exist to help you. Subscribe to our blog to receive weekly Desktop tips. If you’re looking for more in-depth training check out our instructor-led live online training.

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