Recompute figures in the Value area section of a Pivot Table after receiving a user input


Assume a simple 5 column database with the following data

1. Circle Name - A text field
2. PO_Number - An is an alphanumeric field
3. Quantity sold - A numeric field
4. Unit Price - A numeric field denominated in US$
5. Revenue - A numeric field which is computed as Quantity sold * Unit Price

To determine the Circle and PO Number wise Quantity sold and Revenue, one can drag the first two fields to the Row labels and drag the third & fifth fields to the Value area section of a Pivot Table.

Now one may want to additionally view the Revenue in one of the following additional currencies - GBP and EUR.  So once the user selects, say GBP, he should additionally be able to choose from one among three cases - Base, Optimistic and Pessimistic.  Once the case is selected, the additional column so created should multiply the Revenue (in US$) with the exchange rate for the selected case.

I can think of three ways to workaround this issue:

1. Create additional columns in the Base data sheet - So there will be 6 additional columns that will get created in the Base data sheet

a. GBP - Base
b. GBP - Optimistic
c. GBP - Pessimistic
d. EUR - Base
e. EUR - Optimistic
f.  EUR - Pessimistic

Once these columns are created, one can readjust the Pivot Table source data range (to make these additional 6 columns appear in the Pivot Table Field List) and then check the columns which need to be viewed in the Pivot Table.  The challenge with implementing this method is that for a large dataset, say 50,000 rows, 300,000 cells with formulas (albeit simple multiplications) will need to be used.  This will add to file size.

2. Write calculated Field formulas in the Pivot Table itself - One can write 6 calculated Field formulas - one for each currency - case combination and then drag the desired fields in the Pivot Table.  The challenge with implementing this method is that if one wants to edit the exchange rate, then one will have to edit the calculated field formula (This is because, in calculated field formulas, one cannot refer to cells/ranges/named ranges) which is not really that intuitive/straight forward.

3. Use Power Pivot to fetch exchange rates from cells and allow the user to select Currencies and Cases via slicers - With the help of simple Power Pivot DAX formulas and slicers, one can resolve both problems mentioned above.

You may refer to my solution in this workbook (this solution is only for those using the PowerPivot tool).

Data slicing and analysis with the Power Pivot


Visualise an MS Excel file with two worksheets:

  1. Employee headcount – a multi column dataset with information such as Employee code, Date of Joining, Age, Division, Department and Location.  Each row represents data for one employee.  The number of rows on this worksheet is approximately 700.
  2. Training Data - a multi column dataset with information such as Employee code, Training Date from, Training Date to, Training Program Name, Training Program Category (Internal and External), Training Location and Training Service Provider.  Each row represents one training attended by one employee.  The number of rows on this worksheet is approximately 2,600.

Let’s suppose that the training calendar of this company runs from July to June.  Some questions (only few mentioned for illustration purposes) which a Training Manager may need answers to are:

1)   How may unique employees were trained each year; and
a)   Of the unique employees trained, how many were first time trainees and how many were repeat trainees
i)   Of the first time trainees:
(1)    How many joined this year
(2)    How many joined in past years
ii)  Of the first time trainees:
(1)    How many were trained within the first year of joining
(2)    How many were trained in the second year of joining
(3)    How many were trained in the third year of joining
(4)    How many were trained after three years of joining
iii)  Of the repeat trainees:
(1)    What is the average gap (in days) between trainings
(2)    What is the minimum gap (in days) between trainings
(3)    What is the maximum gap (in days) between trainings

Getting answers to the questions mentioned above would entail writing a lot of lookup related formulas, applying filters, copying and pasting and then creating Pivot Tables.  While the example taken above is that of a training database, you may envision “drilling down to and slicing” any dataset – Marketing, Sales, Purchase etc.

You may watch a short video of my solution here

In these two workbooks, you will be able to see the level to which one can drill down and analyse data using the Power Pivot add-in.  When you open this workbook, please go the first worksheet and make the relevant choice of MS Excel version first so that you start looking at the Analysis from the correct worksheet.

1. Analysing Training data of a company; and
2. Analysing Sales data of a company

You will be able to see the analysis in these workbooks only if you are using one of the following versions of MS Office:

1. Excel 2013 Professional Plus; or
2. Excel 2010 with the Power Pivot add-in installed.  Power Pivot is a free add-in from Microsoft which can be downloaded from here.

Lastly, if you are using the Power Pivot add-in in Excel 2010, you will not be able to see the underlying Data Model or the calculated Field formulas because this workbook has been created in Excel 2013 Professional Plus and unfortunately the Power Pivot model is not backward compatible.  However, all the analysis performed in this workbook can be performed in Excel 2010 as well (with the Power Pivot add-in installed).

Perform different calculations in the Subtotal/Grand Total column of a Pivot Table


Visualise a Pivot Table with a few Fields dragged in the Report filter, Row labels and Value Area section.  In the Column labels are two fields, Month and then Year - so in the column labels, for every month, there is data for three years 2005, 2006 and 2007.  For some months, there is data for two years only 2005 and 2006.  In the Value area section are fields such as Net Amount, Quantity, Bonus etc. and the summarization function applied to them is SUM.  There is no complication in creating the Pivot Table described above.

The actual requirement is to customise the Subtotal column of the Pivot Table as follows:

1. For the monthly subtotals, the Net Amount and Bonus figure are to computed as a difference of 2005 and 2006 i.e. SUM of quantity of 2005 - SUM of quantity of 2006.  The Grand total column should be a a summation of individual subtotals.
2. Average Selling price for every year is to be computed as as Net Amount/(Ttl Bonus + Quantity).  For the monthly subtotals, the figure is to be computed as

=(Net Amount of 2005/((Bonus of 2005+Quantity of 2005)) - (Net Amount of 2006/((Bonus of 2006+Quantity of 2006))

The Grand Total column is to be left blank for Average Selling Price,

As you can observe, the subtotal column (for the months) will have different formulas running for different Fields.

A conventional Pivot Table does not allow one to have custom formulas in the Subtotal columns.  I have been able to resolve this problem by using the free Power Pivot add-in from Microsoft for Excel 2010 and higher versions.

You may refer to my solution in this workbook.

Here's another example.  Assume a dataset with three columns - Date, Manager and Amount.  There are repetitions in the Data and Manager column.  One may want to know the maximum amount per month per Manager.  While this is easy to accomplish with a Conventional Pivot Table as well, the problem occurs in the Subtotal/Grand Total cells of a Pivot Table.  The Subtotal/Grand Total cells assume the same function as has been used in the "Summarise Values field by".  So, while in the "Summarise values fields by" section, one may want to use the Maximum function, in the subtotal cell, one may want to use the sum function.

You may refer to my solution in this workbook.

Create a Pivot Table from multiple individual ranges without using ancillary columns


Assume that there are three separate tables showing the following information:

1. Date of visit data for visitors to a certain recreation facility.  The same visitor may visit the facility multiple times
2. Fee per visit in different cites
3. Region in which each city lies

The question is to analyse the three tables above via a Pivot Table to generate the following:

1. Region wise and visitor wise:
a.  Fee per visit
b.  Frequency of visit
c.  Revenue
2. Revenue collected by month wise and by visitor

In this workbook, I have shared two solutions:

1. PowerPivot solution - This solution answers both questions above without using any calculated/ancillary columns in the base data.  By establishing simple relationships in the PowerPivot window and by writing two calculated Field formulas, both questions above have been answered.  To use this PowerPivot solution, you need to be using the PowerPivot add-in for MS Excel.  This add-in is only available for Excel 2010 and higher versions.

2. Pivot Table solution - This solution answers both questions above by using calculated/ancillary columns in the base data.

Here's another example.  Assume a four column table showing Date of session, Client, Location and Participant Name.  Assume another four column table showing Client, Date of session, Date of invoice and Amount Billed.  The task is to determine the Amount billed per location.  You may refer to my PowerPivot and Pivot Table solution in this workbook.

Computing penalties by Employee, Group and Labour type using a PowerPivot


Assume a database of Maximum allowed pay and Actual pay for each employee.  The employees have been further categorized into Groups and labour categories.

The task is to create three Pivot Tables (one each with Employee name, Group and Labour category in the row labels) with the following information in the Value area section:

1. Actual salary
2. Maximum permissible salary
3. OverUnderMax - This is calculated as the difference between Actual Salary and Maximum permissible salary
4. Penalty - Maximum of 0 and OverUnderMax

As can be seen in the Pivot Table worksheets of this workbook, there is a problem with the result of the calculated field formula result in the Grand Total cell.

You may refer to my solution in the PowerPivot worksheets.  Please note that to see my result in the PowerPivot worksheets, you will have to use the PowerPivot add-in for MS Excel 2010/2013.

Compute Pro rata growth rate within a Pivot Table


Assume a four column input data range (refer sheet named "Input" of this workbook) arranged as follows:

1. First tow columns are Group and Type which have text values
2. Third column is a month column with entries such as Dec_11 and Sep_12.  These denote 12 months ended December 2011 and 9 months ended 2012
3. Fourth column is Revenue which has numbers

The objective is to compute pro rata growth rate of Sep_12 revenue over Dec_11 revenue within a Pivot Table.  In the workbook (see link above), I tried to use a calculated item formula within a Pivot Table to compute this but encountered three difficulties in doing so (refer Notes section of sheet named "Result of Calc item formula ").

There are two ways one can go about answering the questions above:

Solution A – For Excel 2010 and higher versions – This solution is for those using the PowerPivot MS Excel add-in for Excel 2010 and higher versions.

Solution B – For all versions of MS Excel – This solution will work in all versions of MS Excel but for those using Excel 2010 and higher versions, the PowerPivot solution would be far more efficient.

The steps for creating a pivot table under Solution B are:

The Objective is to change the orientation of the base data such that a calculated field formula can be written within a Pivot table instead of a calculated item formula.  The process to change the orientation of the base data is described below:

1. Select range A2:D14 of Input sheet and press Ctrl+F3 > New.  In the name box, type Dummy
2. Select range A2:D14 of Input sheet and press Ctrl+T to convert to a Table
3. Open a third worksheet in the workbook (downloaded from the link above) and save the workbook, say on any folder on the desktop
4. While the active cell is any cell of the new worksheet, go to Data > From Other Sources > From Microsoft Query
5. Under Databases, select Excel files > OK
6. In the Directories dialog box, navigate to the folder on the desktop where the workbook is saved.  So for me, it is saved under C:\Users\Ashish\Desktop\ and click on the folder where the workbook is saved
7. In the left hand side window, select the workbook and click on OK
8. With Dummy selected, click on the > symbol to bring over all columns of this named range to the right hand side box
9. Click on Next three times
10. Select the option of View Data or Edit Query in Microsoft Query
11. Click on the SQL button and delete whatever you see in the box there
12. Enter the following SQL statement in the white box

Transform sum(rev)
FROM Dummy
Group by Dummy.`GROUP`, Dummy.TYPE
Pivot Mth

13. When you click on OK, you will see a four column database (refer sheet named "Result of MS Query")
14. Under File, select the last option – Return Data to Microsoft Excel
15. At this stage, if you wish to get data as you saw in MS Query then select Table.  If you directly want a pivot table, select the second option button – Pivot Table.  Select any cell where you would like to the result to appear, say cell A1. 16. Click on OK.  A counter will run at the bottom left hand side with the title of Reading Data
17. If you had selected pivot table in step 15 above, then the pivot table grid/layout will appear
18. You may now drag fields to create a pivot table
19. You may now write a calculated field formula within the Pivot Table (refer sheet named "Output")

As can be observed in the "Output" sheet, all the shortcomings mentioned in the Notes section of the "Result of Calc item formula" sheet have been overcome.