Microsoft Excel - Pivot Tables

From Novice to Ninja

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New to Pivot Tables or want to get more out of them? This online course is designed to give you a solid understanding of Pivot Tables, taking you from novice to ninja!

Pivot Tables are a powerful tool within Excel that can be used to analyze, sort, filter and present data in an understandable way.

In 36 engaging lessons you will learn best practices for preparing source data, using database data, how to preserve formats and create custom styles, sorting and filtering techniques, and much more.

Whether you use Excel for work or study, these tutorials will start you on your journey to becoming a Pivot Tables Ninja! Learn more about how a GoSkills Excel certification can boost your career.

The course is Microsoft Excel 2010 and 2013 compliant. Video tutorials are recorded in Microsoft Excel 2013 for PC, and where the user interface is significantly different, Excel 2010 videos are provided too.

If you’d like to learn more about Excel try our Basic, Advanced or Basic and Advanced Excel courses.

Want to be a more efficient Excel user? Start learning 200 of the best Excel shortcuts for PC and Mac.

Once enrolled, our friendly support team and tutors are here to help with any course related inquiries.


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Yes (learn more)



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Video duration

2h 58m

Estimated study time

18h for all materials

Accreditations and approvals

CPD - The CPD Certification Service.


What is a Pivot Table - and Why Do You Care?

Pivot Tables open up your world to quickly summarize data and build solutions that others can explore.

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The Pivot Table Life Cycle

Understanding how the life cycle of a Pivot Table solution is different than an ad-hoc reporting solution.

Creating Your First Pivot Table

Creating your first Pivot Table is the first step to unlocking serious Excel power in data optimization.

Field Well Options

Determining the Field Well options you’d like to use to view your Pivot Table data.

Source Data Best Practices

Setting up your data sets to ensure that they will be able to be consumed by a Pivot Table.

Using Excel Ranges

Choosing between building quick and dirty Pivot Tables or future proofing Pivot Tables for future update.

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Preparing Source Data

When you need to aggregate multiple tables or create new fields in order to display properly in a Pivot Table.

Using Database Data

Pulling database data into Excel and Pivot Tables.

Totals and Sub-Totals

Use to turn totals and subtotals on/off where needed in your Pivot Table.

Choosing Pivot Table Layouts

Determining the basic layout you’d like to use to display your Pivot Table data.


Use to group different row or column fields together for a more logical display.


When you wish to show different aggregation on your Pivot Table fields than what is provided by default.

Running Totals

When you need to display a running total on your Pivot Table.

Percent of x Calculations

When you need to display a value as the % of another value on your Pivot Table.

Difference From Calculations

When you need to display values that are a difference from another value in a Pivot. This is very useful for showing growth/decline from previous periods.

Percentage Difference From Calculations

When you need to display values that are a percentage of difference from another value in a Pivot.  This is very useful for showing growth/decline from previous periods.

Top and Bottom x Items

When you want to filter your Pivot Table to show the top/bottom x items or top/bottom x% of items in the data set.

Calculated Fields

Understanding how to create calculated fields in a Pivot Table.

Calculated Items

Understanding how to create calculated items in a Pivot Table.

Value Field Formats

Various ways to display numbers in the values area of a Pivot Table.

Preserving Cell Formats on Update

How to force a Pivot Table to preserve cell formats and column widths when it is updated.

Pivot Table Styles

Using pre-defined styles with a Pivot Table.

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Custom Pivot Table Styles

Creating your own style to use with a Pivot Table.

Conditional Formatting on Pivot Tables

Basics of applying conditional formats to a Pivot Table.

Basic Sorting

Basic sorting of row and column headers in a Pivot Table.

Custom Sorting

Creating Custom Sort Orders for a Pivot Table.

Sorting Values

Sorting the values area of a Pivot Table.

Report Filters

Using Report Filters to narrow down results in a Pivot Table.

Built in Filter Controls

Using row and column filters to narrow down results in a Pivot Table.


Slicers are user-friendly filters for Pivot Tables.

Filtering Multiple Pivot Tables

Filtering multiple Pivot Tables at once with Slicers.

Show Details

Using Show Details to extract details from a summarized value.


Using the GETPIVOTDATA function to extract specific fields from a Pivot Table.

Creating Pivot Charts

Creating Pivot Charts out of a Pivot Table.

Automating Refresh

Automating Pivot Table refresh operations.

Pre-release Considerations

Items to consider before releasing your file to users.