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An introduction to pivot tables

Get started with pivot tables - why and how.

Not all data will be presented in an online dashboard. Some data will only be available to view via download, often in a spreadsheet format. No matter how large your spreadsheet, providing it has consistent headers, a pivot table can help speed up your data analysis.

A pivot table is a summary tool, created to analyse a larger set of data. Available within spreadsheet software such as Excel for Mac or PC, or Google Sheets, this function allows you to quickly count, compare and analyse the data by selecting core attributes, such as column headers. For example, if you consistently collected customer demographic information in a spreadsheet, it would be possible to see how many tickets were sold on a particular day to each demographic characteristic listed.

Build your own pivot table activity

This is an optional activity, as it requires spreadsheet software, which you may need to purchase (Excel) or sign up to use (Google sheets). If you have acccess to the software then try using the relevant guide with the data source provided by the Office for National Statistics to build your own pivot table :

Can you answer the questions on page 2 of the guide?

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