Excel Tip of the Month - PivotTables/PivotCharts
By Aaron Cooper, Partner, Brown Smith Wallace


Have you ever found yourself with large amounts of data but you weren’t sure how to organize and display the trends of information? PivotTables and PivotCharts are the perfect solution. They are much easier to use than they appear and do not require the use of any formulas, just drag and drop.

For PivotTables, here’s how to get started:

  1. Click on a cell, then select “PivotTable” from the Insert tab and select “OK” to create the PivotTable. (Hint: this works best when your data is formatted as a “Table” and has headers for every column)
  2. Next, drag and drop a field labeled according to the names of your columns into the “Row Labels” area.
  3. The next step is to drag and drop a field into the “Values” area to determine what will be measured.
  4. The last step is to fine-tune by selecting the small upside-down triangle next to your value and click on "Value Field Settings" to access the menu.

PivotCharts are created from existing PivotTables. Once you have your table created, select “PivotChart” from the insert tab. You are then prompted to click on the type of chart you would like (column, line, pie etc.). Select the fields featured in the PivotChart. It is important to remember the chart and table are synchronized, so any changes made to the table will also be reflected in the chart.

To learn more about PivotTables, check out these additional resources: Please note: You must log in to view archived webinars.​

  1. Excel Series: Pivot Tables (The Basics)
  2. Excel Series: Pivot Tables (Beyond the Basics)

Aaron is a partner in the Brown Smith Wallace Insurance Advisory Services practice. He is a regular content contributor to IASA national and the St. Louis chapter. You can reach Aaron at acooper@bswllc.com


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