A tidy Excel worksheet.
Before you start to work with a PivotTable report, take a look at your Excel worksheet to make sure it is well prepared for the report.
When you create a PivotTable report, each column of your source data becomes a field that you can use in the report. Fields summarize multiple rows of information from the source data.
The names of the fields for the report come from the column titles in your source data. Be sure that you have names for each column across the first row of the worksheet in the source data.
In the picture above, the column titles Country, Salesperson, Order Amount, Order Date, and OrderID will become field names. When you create a report, which you'll do in the practice at the end of the lesson, you'll know, for example, that the Salesperson field represents the Salesperson data from the worksheet.
The remaining rows below the headings should contain similar items in the same column. For example, text should be in one column, numbers in another column, and dates in another column. In other words, a column that contains numbers should not contain text, and so on.
Finally, there should be no empty columns within the data that you are using for the PivotTable report. We also recommend that there be no empty rows; for example, blank rows that are used to separate one block of data from another should be removed.
Note You can also use data from external sources, which is not covered in this course. More information about data sources is in the Quick Reference Card at the end of this course.