Use pivot tables in Excel for stronger data analysis. This Excel pivot table tutorial also helps you summarize data.

To create a PivotTable:

  1. Select the table or cells (including column headers) containing the data you want to use.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Selecting cells for a PivotTable
  2. From the Insert tab, click the PivotTable command.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Clicking the PivotTable command
  3. The Create PivotTable dialog box will appear. Choose your settings, then click OK. In our example, we'll use Table1 as our source data and place the PivotTable on a new worksheet.

    Screenshot of Excel 2013Creating a PivotTable
  4. A blank PivotTable and Field List will appear on a new worksheet.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013A blank PivotTable on its own worksheet
  5. Once you create a PivotTable, you'll need to decide which fields to add. Each field is simply a column header from the source data. In the PivotTable Field List, check the box for each field you want to add. In our example, we want to know the total amount sold by each salesperson, so we'll check the Salesperson and Order Amount fields.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013Checking the desired fields
  6. The selected fields will be added to one of the four areas below the Field List. In our example, the Salesperson field has been added to the Rows area, while the Order Amount has been added to the Values area. Alternatively, you can click, hold, and drag a field to the desired area.

    Screenshot of Excel 2013Adding fields to the PivotTable
  7. The PivotTable will calculate and summarize the selected fields. In our example, the PivotTable shows the amount sold by each salesperson.
    Screenshot of Excel 2013The PivotTable calculating the selecting fields

Just like with normal spreadsheet data, you can sort the data in a PivotTable using the Sort & Filter command in the Home tab. You can also apply any type of number formatting you want. For example, you may want to change the Number Format to Currency. However, be aware that some types of formatting may disappear when you modify the PivotTable.

Screenshot of Excel 2013A sorted and formatted PivotTable

If you change any of the data in your source worksheet, the PivotTable will not update automatically. To manually update it, select the PivotTable and then go to AnalyzeRefresh.