Skip main navigation

Pivot Charts and Cube Functions


The previous activities in this week focused exclusively on manipulating the data in your Excel data model. Now that you have everything the way you want it, it’s time to create data visualisations.

In this video, Dany introduces you to pivot charts. These charts are quick and effective tools to visualise your data and give you the option to display the variables you want at any time.

Dany also discusses the importance of hierarchies (whether they are natural or not) to drill into the data in a more detailed and specific way.

Another way to visualise functions is through cube functions. Cube functions can be quite complicated, especially if you haven’t had any experience with them before, so only use them when necessary.

When to use cube functions:

  • When dashboard-style layouts are required (flexibility to move around cells).
  • To reproduce reports that must look and behave similarly to legacy reports.
  • To overcome the limitations of pivot tables and pivot charts.
  • To integrate data from multiple data models into a single report.

When not to use cube functions:

  • When pivot tables and pivot charts could deliver the same result.

When you’re ready, test your knowledge in the quiz and labs that follow.

Lecture Files

The file used in the lecture is provided here: “Multitable model.xlsx“. If you are using Excel 2010, use this file instead: “Multitable model-2010.xlsx“.

The data has been loaded to the Excel data model. You don’t need to refresh or edit the Query.

Further Reading

To learn more about hierarchies in Excel data model, check out the following resource:

This article is from the free online

Advanced Data Analysis and Visualization Using Microsoft Excel

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education