Saturday, August 25, 2007

How to Improve Pivot Table Formatting

Pivot tables rock. If you use them, you know exactly what I'm talking about. If you don't use them, you're not doing real analysis with big data sets, or you like you make your life harder.

However, there are some limitations in pivot table formatting that bug me. If there's a way to fix these, I'd like to know.

Set the function on data to default to whatever you'd like (sum, count, average, etc) and stay that way until you change it. As I slice different data sets, I constantly find myself having to change the field function. I once even missed changing the function and presented data to the client with the function as sum instead of average. The client asked why their battery cost $158.38 to make instead of an average cost of $2.48.

Change functions on multiple data sets at once. If you have different data fields across several columns, like the above they default to "Sum". You then have to change the format of every single one, one at a team, to what you'd like (average, count, etc). Annoying.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007