The Barnes & Noble Review
If Excel PivotTables bedevil you, you’re not alone. They confuse practically everyone. But if you need to analyze data, they’re indispensable. Paul Cornell will teach you exactly how to use them. And if you already know the basics, he’ll help you do things you didn’t know anyone could. Cornell’s taught PivotTables successfully to thousands of people, at Microsoft’s Office Power User Corner. Now it’s your turn.
You’ll start by learning what PivotTables are, what kinds of questions they can answer, and when to use them instead of crosstabs or other features. Simply and gently, Cornell guides you through the PivotTable wizard, translating its unfamiliar terminology into something more human. (Don’t worry about source data: he provides downloadable sample files.)
You’re already ahead of most Excel users, and you’ve just begun. Cornell illuminates PivotTable “components,” showing how to use them for deeper data analysis. To solidify your skills, you’ll walk through three real-world case studies. Next, Cornell turns to PivotCharts, which can reveal insights at a glance that you’d struggle to find in numeric data.
For many businesspeople, the “holy grail” of PivotTables is analyzing multidimensional data drawn from OLAP databases. Cornell covers that from start to finish -- beginning with a crystal-clear explanation of what multidimensional data is and how it differs from “ordinary” data. You’ll learn all the OLAP jargon you need, master the PivotTable menu’s OLAP-specific commands, create multidimensional data and use it for analysis, even create offline “cubes” you can take with you.
This book applies to PivotTables in any recent version of Excel; Cornell points out the (very manageable) differences. There’s even an introduction to programming these babies with VBA. Bill Camarda, from the April 2005 Read Only