Introduction to Pivot Tables and Dashboards [Video 2 of 3]

Bottom line: Learn how to use the different calculation types to quickly answer questions about your data.  I also explain how to update your pivot table with more data.

Skill level: Beginner

Answer Questions with Pivot Table Calculation Types in Excel

Video #2 – Investigating Your Data with Pivot Tables


Download the Excel file to follow along with the video.

Intro To Pivot Tables Part 2.xlsx (101.5 KB)

The following file contains the additional data that I add to the pivot table source data in the video.

Sales Data For January 2015.xlsx (13.6 KB)

Pivot Tables Answer Questions About Your Data

This video is all about learning how to answer questions about your data.  As we learned in the first video, Pivot Tables allow you to quickly summarize your data.  Since we don't have to spend time doing this manually, we can focus more of our efforts on discovering trends and analyzing our data.

Here are some of the questions we answer in this video:

  • “What are the top 10 product categories?”
  • “What is the average unit price for each category?”
  • “How many orders did we have for each category?”
  • “Who are the sales reps selling in each category?”
  • “Which categories make up over 50% of our total revenue?”

We can answer all these questions in a matter of seconds with a Pivot Table.

I also explain how to investigate your source data.  Our Pivot Table contains a (blank) row, and I show you why this is happening and how to fix it.

Investigate the Source Data of Your Pivot Table

Update Pivot Tables with More Data

When you receive new data periodically (week, month, year) you will want to update your pivot table to include the new data.  To do this you have to Change the Data Source range of the Pivot Table to include the new data.

Update Pivot Table with New Data in Excel

I explain how to do this in the video and show you a few shortcuts to make this process faster.  I also explain how to make changes to your source data and refresh your Pivot Table to display the updates.

Keyboard Shortcuts Used in the Video

Here is a list of all the keyboard shortcuts I used throughout the video.  I love keyboard shortcuts! 🙂

  • Ctrl+Drag Right with Mouse – Copy/Duplicate a Worksheet
  • Alt+; (semicolon)Select Visible Cells
    • I just added a new feature to Paste Buddy that allows you to paste to a range with hidden cells.
  • Ctrl+Enter – Fill Values/Formula to Selected Cells
  • Alt+F5 – Refresh Pivot Table
  • Ctrl+Shift+End – Select Cells to Last Cell in Data Range
  • Ctrl+Down Arrow – Go To Last Cell in Column
  • Ctrl+A – Select All Cells in Data Range
  • Alt+A+C – Clear All Filters

Filter Pivot Table Source Data with PivotPal

In the video I show a few features of PivotPal that make it easier to work with your source data.

PivotPal has a Filter Source button that allows you to quickly filter the source data sheet.  It filters the source data for the details of the selected cell in the values area of the pivot table.

I also show how you can build pivot tables while on the source data sheet.  This saves a lot of time from flipping back and forth between your source data and pivot table sheets.

Build Pivot Table from Source Data Sheet with PivotPal

PivotPal is now available!

Click here to learn more about PivotPal!

Additional Resources

What Do You Think?

Please leave a comment below with any questions or suggestions.  Thanks!

Please share
Jon Acampora

Welcome to Excel Campus! I am excited you are here. My name is Jon and my goal is to help you learn Excel to save time with your job and advance in your career. I've been an avid Excel user and VBA developer for 10+ years. I am also a Microsoft MVP. I try to learn something new everyday, and want to share this knowledge with you to help you improve your skills. When I'm not looking at spreadsheets, I get outdoors and surf. :) more about me

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 93 comments
Christina - December 7, 2018

Great stuff !

shivarudra - November 19, 2018

Hi Sir,

I Need Samples for Formulas and Dashboards

D S Shivarudra

Lemma YILMA - October 29, 2018

Hi Jon,

Thank you so much for this latest excellent Tutorial on Pivot Table. I particularly like the Tutorial about investigating blank data and adding data with Pivot Table. The Pivot Pal’s Filter Source button, as you have explained this is a quick way to filter the source data sheet. I have no question for now.


Nancy S Bonanno - September 27, 2018

I wish you had touched on how to use the FILTERS portion of pivot tables, but good video otherwise.

Sajini - August 12, 2018

Hello Jon,
Thank you very much for the detailed explanation in all your videos.
I am new to Pivot tables and Dashboards and all I want to do is practice to
become efficient and fast.

My question is about the source of the data.
Is it better to have many small data tables or one raw data table with all the information?
All the shortcuts you give are only for Windows, could you add the Mac equivalent please?

Thank you


Donna - June 25, 2018

This is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing. I am new to working with pivot tables and the information you provide is most helpful.

Rulber - May 7, 2018

Awesome tutorial. Loved the data source files. They allow you to follow along and practice as many times as needed. THANK YOU, Jon.

elena su - April 11, 2018

The best tutorials I’ve ever seen Thank you very much for your job!

Amal Al-Slaimi - April 10, 2018

Jon Acampora you are awesome!
Million thanks are not enough.
May God bless you and brighten your life with faith.

Marites - March 12, 2018

Thanks. It helps me a lot in doing my office work easier.

Enrico - March 12, 2018

I wonder why I haven’t used Pivot Tables before 😉

Thank you, Jon

Gabriela - February 9, 2018

Thank you for your wonderful explanations, they are very useful and the most important is that they are making the subject look easy to learn.


Lu - January 27, 2018

I am using a pivot table to summarize data but I am also using a vlook up. when I create the pivot table, than do the vlook to look up certain items, the vlook up doesn’t work, even thou that item is summarize on the pivot table?

Minnie - December 10, 2017

Awesome video on Excel. For some reason, when I tried sorting the Pivot table in descending order by Revenue, the bar chart sorts the opposite (where the largest number is at the bottom). I’m using Office 365.I checked the options and it says sort in descending order by revenue but the chart shows the largest revenue at the bottom which is the opposite of what I want it to do. Any ideas on how to fix this would be much appreciated.

Sumit Kedia - November 14, 2017

Thank you so much for your wonderful support.

Dave - October 6, 2017

Thank you very much, Jon, for these series of recordings.
Whenever I watch the first five minutes of each recording and I say to my self this answered all my requirements for a segment, you show more efficient way and better to do it (The pivot Pal is amazing though I have never heard of it before).
I particularly liked how you put the Sales Representatives across the column and product under each sales rep.
Here is a question I have. On Video 2, before today, whenever I attempted to put two columns (say, Revenue and percentage in the calculation types tab) side by side, my excel puts them to gather in one column – column B? Would you know what I was doing wrong? I’m using excel 2013



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