Introduction to Pivot Tables and Dashboards [Video 1 of 3]

Bottom line: In this video series you will learn how to use Pivot Tables to create meaningful reports and interactive charts and dashboards.

Skill level: Beginner

Learn to Create a Pivot Table and Pivot Chart in Excel

Video #1 – Introduction to Pivot Tables

In this first video we are going to learn how to setup your source data, then create a Pivot Table and Pivot Chart. I also show you how to reformat the chart to upgrade the look from the default settings.

Best viewed in Full Screen HD.

Note: If you are familiar with Pivot Tables then this video might be too basic for you.  I would still love for you to watch the video, but don't want to waste your time.  In the next two videos we will be putting together the dashboard.  There is also a shorter video below where I give a Pivot Chart a makeover…


Use this checklist to cleanup your source data before creating a Pivot Table.

Pivot Table Source Data Checklist - Excel Campus.pdf (262.2 KB)

Use the following file to follow along with the video and create your own Pivot Table and Pivot Chart.

Intro To Pivot Tables Part 1.xlsx (76.5 KB)

Pivot Tables are Amazing!

A few days ago I shared a story about how I got to teach my Dad how to use Pivot Tables.  As you know he is really excited about Pivot Tables.  They were easier to learn than he expected, and he is saving a ton of time when creating reports and summarizing his data.

So I want to share this same training with you!

Create Dashboards with Pivot Tables and Charts

In this video series we are going to follow my friend Andy on the journey to learn Pivot Tables.

Andy and his Boss - Excel Campus

Andy has been tasked by his boss to create some charts and a dashboard for an upcoming presentation.  He really wants to impress his boss, but doesn't have time to learn complex formulas or macros.  What he really needs it Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts.

Turn Data into a Dashboard with Pivot Tables

As you will see, Pivot Tables allow you to quickly summarize and analyze your data.  I am going to show you how you can discover trends and learn a lot about your data with just a few clicks.

Bonus Video: Pivot Chart Makeover in Excel 2010

In the video above I explained how to reformat the Pivot Chart.  In that video I was using Excel 2013.  I recreated the video using Excel 2010 because the menus are a bit different and I want to make sure you could follow along if you are using Excel 2007 or 2010.

Intro To Pivot Tables Part 1.xlsx (76.5 KB)

Why the Chart Makeover?

When presenting your data visually on a chart you want the reader to be able to easily understand the story you are trying to tell.  To do this you want to get rid of all the extra elements that do not contribute to the story.

In this case we removed the axis labels, legend, vertical lines, and field buttons.  This stuff can be referred to as “chart junk” because it tends to clutter the chart.

The default settings of the Pivot Charts typically contain a lot of chart junk.  These extras elements can be distracting for the reader, and take away from your story.

The type of chart you create will determine what elements you want to display.   There are entire books written on the art and science of data visualization, and it is definitely a good topic to study.

PivotPal is Here!

PivotPal Logo Pivot Table Add-in for Excel

I show a few of PivotPal's features in the 11:28 mark in the video above.

PivotPal is now available!

Click here to learn more about PivotPal!

Thank You!

I want to say a big THANK YOU if you took the time to complete the pivot tables survey!  The response was overwhelming and I am still going through all the results.  I will share more about that with you in the coming weeks.

Additional Resources

Please leave a comment below with any questions.  Thanks again!



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  • hi jon
    i want to say a big thank you to all your tutorials,i learnt Microsoft power Bi and each time they talk about pivot table and power query i felt confuse but having gone through your pivot table lessons i understood yours so easily.

    i was initially frustrated on the topic,but you made it so simple to understand.
    i will check back on power query too.
    thanks ,thanks again,i do appreciate. and have always saved your emails that you send.

    let me perfect myself and i will check back on pivotpal, i love what i saw there on the explanatory video.

  • I have watched the series of Pivot Table 1 to 3, and each time you used PivotPal, or XL Campas, I felt frustrated, because my Excel does not have those functions or menu.

    I am trying to learn how to use the Excel I have, and how to make the learning effective in my way. So whenever you showed some functions or menu dialog of PivotPal or XL Campas, I couldn’t concentrate on your lecture, because I have no idea of how or why to use those that are not in my Excel.

    Would you kindly provide me with the modified versions of the 1-3 series of Pivot table videos without using PivotPal or XL Campas? This is necessary for me (and I think for everyone who has just standard Excel workbook) to fully understand and to be able to fully utilize what we learn about Pivot table in the actual settings.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you very much, your videos are educative. It has always been my desire to broaden my knowledge of excel and just landed my self in the best place to learn new skills. However, following your videos, was unable to use pivot pal on excel 2013. Looking forward to receiving new videos

  • Fantastic video! I had no idea what a pivot table was before watching your video. This is so cool and seems like an easier way to view data. I really enjoyed your tutorial, you made is so easy to follow. Looking forward to the next video!

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