Pivot Table Tutorial Part 4 - Advanced Pivot Table

This page provides a step-by-step guide of how to create an advanced pivot table in Excel.

Note that the directions on this page apply to current versions of Excel (2007 and later). If you have an earlier version of Excel, go to the page on how to create an advanced pivot table in Excel 2003.

For this pivot table example we use the spreadsheet below, which lists a company's sales figures during the first quarter of 2016. The spreadsheet records the sale date, the invoice reference, the invoice total, the name of the sales person, and the sales region.

1DateInvoice RefAmountSales Rep.Region

The following example creates a pivot table that displays the total sales for each month of the year, broken down by sales region and sales rep. The process for creating this Pivot Table is described in the following steps:

  1. Select any cell within the data range or select the entire data range to be used in your Pivot Table.

    Note: If you select a single cell in the data range, Excel will automatically identify, and select the whole data range for your Pivot Table.

  2. Excel Pivot Table Button on Ribbon

    Click on the Pivot Table button, which is located within the 'Tables' grouping, on the 'Insert' tab of the Excel ribbon.

  3. Excel 2010 Create Pivot Table Dialog Box

    You will be presented with the 'Create PivotTable' dialog box (shown on the rightabove).

    Make sure that the selected range refers to the range of cells that you want to use for your Pivot Table.

    There is also an option asking where you want the Pivot Table to be placed. This allows you to place your pivot table in a specified worksheet. If you are not sure, select the option New worksheet.

    Click OK.

  4. Excel Advanced Pivot Table Field List

    You will now be presented with an empty Pivot Table, and the 'Pivot Table Field List' task pane, which contains several data fields. Note that these are the headers from your initial data spreadsheet.

    We want the Pivot Table to show the sums of the sales figures for each month, broken down by region and sales rep.

    Therefore, from the 'Pivot Table Field List' task pane:

    • Drag the 'Date' field into the area marked 'Row Labels' (or 'Rows');
    • Drag the 'Amount' field into the area marked 'Σ Values';
    • Drag the 'Region' field into the area marked 'Column Labels' (or 'Columns');
    • Drag the 'Sales Rep.' field into the area marked 'Column Labels' (or 'Columns').

  5. The resulting Pivot Table will be populated with the daily sales totals for each sales region and each sales rep, as shown below.

    Excel Advanced Pivot Table

    However, we want to group the dates by month. To do this:

    Pivot table options for grouping dates and times
    • Right click on any of the dates in the left hand column of the Pivot Table;
    • Select the option Group...;
    • The 'Grouping' dialog box for dates will be displayed (see rightabove). Select the option Months
      (note that you can also group dates and times by other time periods, such as quarters, days, hours, etc);
    • Click OK.

As required, the final pivot table (shown below) displays the total monthly sales, broken down by sales region and sales rep.

Excel Advanced Pivot Table, Grouped by Month

If you want to visually improve the above Pivot Table, you could format columns B-G as currencies.

Format Currency Button on Excel Ribbon

The easiest way to format a range of cells as currencies is to select the range to be formatted (columns B-G in the above example), and then to click on the currency format button, which is found in the 'Number' group on the 'Home' tab of the Excel ribbon (see rightabove)).

Pivot Table Report Filters

Excel Pivot Table Report Filter

The Pivot Table report filter allows you to view the data for a single value, or a selection of specified values in your data fields.

For example, in the pivot table above, you could view just the data for the North sales region or just the data for the South sales region.

In order to view just the data for the 'North' sales region, return to the 'Pivot Table Field List' task pane, and drag the 'Region' field header into the 'Report Filter' (or 'Filters') area.

Excel Advanced Pivot Table with report filter

You will see that a 'Region' field appears at the top of the Pivot Table. Use the drop-down list of this field to select the Region 'North'. The resulting Pivot Table (shown on the rightabove) displays just the sales for the North region.

You can also quickly view just the sales for the South region by selecting 'South' from the drop down menu.

Continue to Part 5 of the Excel Pivot Table Tutorial  >>