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What’s your favorite thing about Excel PivotTables?

Do you belong to LinkedIn? Did you know that LinkedIn has lots of Excel user groups where Excel trainers, developers, financial modelers, and even Excel blackbelts compete to out geek each other–or just share information.  (The Excel Blackbelt group is for data visualization experts.)

We loved this recent discussion in the Excel Trainer group when Tina Williams from the UK got the conversation going by asking: “Hello Fellow Trainers! Quick question… what is your favourite thing [notice the British spelling] about PivotTables?”

 Here’s a summary of the group’s favorite things (notice the American spelling) that Excel PivotTables let you do:

  1. Use an Excel table as the data source. This means you’ll never have to redefine the range your PivotTable refers to–because tables do it for automatically!
  2. Not destroy your data: Go ahead and slice and dice the PivotTable data as much as humanly possible–you will not screw up the underlying data!
  3. Conveniently keep data in a list that can then instantly turn into a PivotTable report, laid out to your exact liking.
  4. Analyze HUGE sets of data with the PowerPivot add-in.
  5. Get so much done with right-clicking.
  6. Double-click a value to extract all corresponding records on a new sheet.
  7. Right-click on a date field, select Group, and then present the data as monthly, quarterly or yearly totals.
  8. Control the PivotTable using VBA.
  9. Use slicers to visually filter the data in your PivotTable.
  10. Easily connect to external sources of data.
  11. Etract data from external data sources, and then use the GETPIVOTDATA function to extract data from the PivotTable into dashboard (and other) reports.
  12. Display a value as a percentage.
  13. Calculate on multiple fields.

So what’s your favorite feature or reason for using a PivotTable?  You can answer here or head over to join the conversation on LinkedIn.