What is an Excel Pivot Chart?

Many times, when the data is raw and unorganized, it becomes extremely difficult for a person to summarize and understand the data comprehensively. It is not only tiring and mind-straining, but also unpleasant and difficult to visualize. At these times, creating a Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts come to the rescue, that help to summarize, visualize, and analyze the data in a structured and organized format, which is extremely easy to comprehend as well as well-presented. In a nutshell, Pivot Charts are a wonderful way to visualize data in an effective and efficient manner.

What is an Excel Pivot Table and Chart?

A pivot table is a program tool, that is a built-in feature of MS Excel, allowing you to organize and summarize selected columns and rows of data in a spreadsheet to obtain a desired report, helping in visualization of data. A Pivot Chart is therefore, a pictorial representation, that too, is a built-in feature of MS Excel and is a visual representation of a Pivot Table.

A pivot chart is especially useful for user when dealing with tremendous amounts of data. For example, a society having a large number of employees is maintaining the working hours of each pupil through Excel, such that at the end of each month, the employee with the highest number of working hours, would be provided a bonus, due to the sincerity and devotion to the society. While dealing with the complete list of society members would be very time consuming and may even be erroneous, a pivot table, or a pivot chart, for that matter, would allow quickly reorganizing and visualizing data in an understandable manner and facilitate the entire process.

Note: It is a built-in feature of both, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. While in case of MS Excel, a pivot chart can easily be copied or pasted within MS Excel as well as amongst other MS Office Software, a pivot chart cannot be copied and pasted in MS Access.

Inserting Pivot Chart in MS Excel:

The following steps need to be performed sequentially in order to insert Pivot Chart in MS Excel:

  1. Click on any cell inside an already created Pivot Table.
  2. Click on Analyze Tab on the Menu Bar, and further click on Pivot Chart under Tools section.
  3. The Insert Chart dialog box appears.
  4. Click on the desired Pivot Chart required to represent the Pivot Table.
  5. Click on OK.

Thus, the pivot chart would be created. A sample Pivot Chart is shown for sales or amount in different countries. This can be easily used to visualize and analyze data, and further draw various conclusions based on the analysis. This, further, can be used for statistical analysis and studies.

Note: Any changes or modifications that a user makes in the pivot chart are automatically and immediately reflected in pivot table or vice versa; that is, they are interdependent Excel tools.

Filtering a Pivot Chart in MS Excel

Filtering a Pivot Chart refers to the process of facilitating the creation of a Pivot Chart based on certain conditions. For example, if a Pivot Chart is created showing the sales of different items or products in different countries, based upon a certain condition or alternatively, a filter, a modified Pivot Chart can be created. This is used for data analysis and visualization.

The following examples show the filtering of a Pivot Chart:

  1. Use the standard filters denoted by the drop-down list against Product or Country or Category. For example, use the Country filter to only show the total amount of each product exported to the United States.

  2. Remove the Country filter and add the Category Field as a filter to create a filtered Pivot Table, and thus, a Pivot Chart by category.

Changing Pivot Chart Type in MS Excel

A Pivot Chart can be used to represent a Pivot Table in numerous ways. Thus, a proper selection needs to be done for representing data on a specific Pivot Chart, so that effective visualization and analysis of data can be done. Therefore, the importance of knowing the procedure of Inserting and Filtering a Pivot Chart is as important as the selection of a specific Pivot Chart for data representation. A Pivot Chart can be changed at any point of time.

  1. Select the Pivot chart created using Pivot Table.
  2. Click on the Design tab on Menu Bar, click on Change Chart Type under Type section.
  3. Choose the desired form of Pivot Chart that can be used for effective data analysis and representation.
  4. Click on OK.

Pivot Chart Type would be changed.

The knowledge of creating and modifying a Pivot Chart is as essential as the selection of a specific Pivot Chart for effective and efficient data representation and subsequent data analysis.

Inserting Slicer in MS Excel for filtering Pivot Tables

Slicers can be easily inserted in MS Excel by following a simplified procedure in order to modify and filter Pivot Tables, for effective data representation and analysis. Though, using Report Filter and inserting a Slicer is exactly the same operation, serving the same objective, both of them have been discussed in detail here.

To insert a slicer in MS Excel for filtering Pivot Tables and Charts, the following steps need to be adopted sequentially.

  1. Click on any cell inside the pivot table created in spreadsheet.
  2. Click on the Analyze tab on Menu Bar and click on Insert Slicer under the Filter section.
  3. Insert Slicer dialog box appears. Checkbox against the field name, where the slicer needs to be inserted and click on OK.

The slicer would be inserted and the requisite Pivot Table would be generated.
 

Refreshing Pivot Charts

Any changes made onto the data upon which the Pivot Table or Pivot Chart is based, though is automatically rectified, is not updated immediately and the phenomenon of Refresh needs to be carried out, to update the Pivot Table or Pivot Chart and the generation of a revised Pivot Table or Pivot Chart.

The following steps need to be performed sequentially to Update or Refresh Pivot Charts:

  1. Edit the data to make the required and updated spreadsheet
  2. Click on any cell inside the Pivot Table or Pivot Chart generated, based on unrevised or older data.
  3. Right Click and Click on Refresh option.

Changing Data Sources of Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts in MS Excel

Sometimes, a Pivot Table or Pivot Chart is based on data that can be sourced from an existing spreadsheet or from a new spreadsheet. Thus, data source needs to be effectively changed in order to generate Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts that are desired and required for effective data representation and analysis. This is also used to make Pivot Charts and Pivot Tables more informative as well as helps to relate spreadsheets that contain associated information and provides an effective means of keeping related information together.

The following steps need to be performed in order to change data sources of Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts in MS Excel:

  1. Click on any cell inside the Pivot Table or Pivot Chart generated, based on unrevised or older data.
  2. Click on Analyze Tab on Menu Bar, and further click on Change Data Source option under Data section.
  3. Choose the appropriate Data Source and click on OK.
  4. Click on Refresh so that the appropriate Pivot Table and Pivot Chart are generated.

Note: It is advisable for any proficient Excel user to change data of a spreadsheet before you insert a pivot table. This way your data source is updated automatically and can help in saving time. However, Refresh needs to be clicked in order to generate the updated Pivot Table and Pivot Chart.

Advantages of Pivot Charts

  1. Effective way of representing data in a pictorial manner.
  2. Makes the process of visualization of data easier.
  3. Facilitates Data Analysis.
  4. Used to draw various conclusions and form the basis of statistical development.
  5. Efficient means of handling with large unsized raw data by relating them through filtering and slicing.
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