4 Reasons for Marketers to Love Pivot Tables [Excel Tricks]

Melissa Miller
Melissa Miller



If you're an inbound marketer, chances are you have lots of data to analyze and you base your most important decisions on quantitative measures. In this blog series, I discuss some the most useful tools and tricks for analyzing your data in Excel.

Recently, I posted an article about the magic of pivot tables .  If you’ve already mastered creating pivot tables, here are a few advanced features... once you start using these, you'll wonder how you ever survived without them!

sort menu pivot 1. Sort alphabetically or numerically. 

Suppose your pivot table is calculating the average click through rate of your email sends and you want to rank the results from lowest to highest click through rate. 

sort pivot

2. Group columns and rows.  Pivot Table Grouping

Suppose you have a pivot table with a long list of dates that you want to group by month.  You can do this in a snap with the Grouping feature. In this screenshot, I right-clicked on a random "Email date" and selected "Group" from the popup menu.

You can actually use the Grouping feature for any label type, not just dates.  Just highlight the rows you want to put into one group and select the "Group" option. Once your group has been created, you can then type over the default group name to label the group however you'd like.

3. "Drag & Drop" rows and columns. Drag and Drop Pivot

Don't like the order of your rows?  This happens to me a lot.  A simple and quick fix is to simply drag and drop the row.

To do this, select the row you want to move and hover over the edge until you see the crosshairs with arrows. Then simply drag and drop it higher or lower in the table.

In the example at right, I'm dragging and droping the "Event Invitation" row up above "Breaking News".

4. Filter values, columns, or rows.

Pivot Filters

For example, if I wanted to hide all of the rows with a click through rate under 30%, I would select "Value Filters" from the popup menu.

Pivot Filters of Values resized 600

What other tips would you add to this list?

Topics: Excel

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