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How To Point Pivottables To Different Data Sources In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding the different types of data sources and how to connect to them is crucial when working with PivotTables in Excel. This includes external data sources such as databases, text files, and web services.
  • Setting up a PivotTable with the right data source involves selecting the correct data range and choosing the appropriate data source. Following the necessary steps to create a PivotTable ensures accurate analysis.
  • Changing data sources can be done easily by refreshing the data to ensure accuracy or by updating the data source altogether. This includes switching between different data sources for comprehensive analysis.
  • Effective data analysis can be achieved by creating calculated fields and items, and filtering data with slicers. These tools enable concise and efficient data analysis.
  • Sharing data with others can be done by exporting data to a file in Excel, creating comprehensive PivotTable reports, and publishing data to the web for wider access.

Tired of manually updating your PivotTable data everytime the source changes? Well, you’re in luck! This article will guide you through the simple steps of pointing PivotTables to different data sources in Excel, allowing you to effortlessly keep your data up-to-date.

Types of Data Sources and How to Connect to Them

I’m an Excel enthusiast, and PivotTables never fail to astound me with their ability to dissect huge batches of info. But, connecting them to different data sources can be tricky. This post will explain the types of data sources that PivotTables can access. Then, we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of connecting them. This guide is for all levels: Excel noobs and pros alike. It’ll help you save time when analyzing data.

Types of Data Sources and How to Connect to Them-How to Point PivotTables to Different Data Sources in Excel,

Image credits: by Adam Duncun

Understanding Different Data Sources

When creating a PivotTable, you must decide the type of data source. External sources like CSV files, SQL Server or SharePoint lists need to be checked for firewall limitations. Some functions in RDBMSs like Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server could be blocked. Now, let’s learn how to connect our PivotTables to different data sources in Excel.

Excel Workbooks can be used for data. You can create a PivotTable with the same workbook or a different one. To use external sources, you must pull information from electronic sources like Access databases or web files (e.g., XML/HTML).

Data Models are another source. Here, tables are linked based on relevant connections and creating PivotTables is easier with everything linked under one roof – an Excel file.

Connecting to External Data Sources

Connecting to external data sources is must for creating PivotTables. Have you ever heard about Microsoft Excel files, text or CSV files, SQL Server databases and Analysis services cubes? These are different types of data sources, and it’s super important to understand each type.

Let’s discuss how you can set up a connection between them and what things you need from each source. This helps users avoid mistakes that could lead to wrong analysis and charts.

Take Jennifer, for example. She had just started her job as a financial analyst. Her superiors asked her to create reports using Excel’s PivotTable feature. But she didn’t know how to connect to external data sources. Consequently, she used info from an unrelated spreadsheet, which led to wrong conclusions drawn by her superiors.

Next, let’s talk about “Setting Up a PivotTable with the Right Data Source“.

Setting Up a PivotTable with the Right Data Source

Creating a PivotTable in Excel is a breeze! Here’s a guide on the essential steps.

  1. First, we’ll cover the basics.
  2. Then, you’ll learn how to select the appropriate data range to populate the table.
  3. Finally, we’ll explain how to choose the right data source for your PivotTable.

By the end, you’ll be an Excel PivotTable pro!

Setting Up a PivotTable with the Right Data Source-How to Point PivotTables to Different Data Sources in Excel,

Image credits: by James Washington

Steps to Creating a PivotTable

Start by picking a cell that’ll be the start of your PivotTable. It can be anywhere in your data, but usually the top left corner’s best.

Go to the Insert tab and click “PivotTable.” This opens a dialog box where you choose your data source. Enter or select the range of cells with your data.

Once you select the range, click “OK.” Excel will make a new sheet for your PivotTable with “Filters,” “Columns,” “Rows,” and “Values” areas.

Drag and drop columns from your source into one or more of these. Use filters or add functions to display data.

For example, if you want to see sales by product type and region, drag the product type column into Rows and the region column into Columns.

I found this process helpful when I had trouble organizing large amounts of data. In just a few clicks, I could see patterns I couldn’t before.

When selecting data range, pick an appropriate starting point and include all relevant info. This way, PivotTables are more powerful for understanding complex data sets.

Selecting the Correct Data Range

  1. Choose any cell in your original data set.
  2. On the ‘Insert’ tab, click on ‘PivotTable’.
  3. Make sure ‘Select a table or range’ is chosen and that the correct data range appears in the ‘Table/Range’ field.

When selecting the range, pick all the relevant columns and rows. Use field headings for clarity. Ensure there are no empty cells or columns in your selection. It’s important to pick a larger range than needed, in case you add more rows/columns later.

Format source data correctly. Sort data by categories like numbers, text, dates or Boolean values. Update source data regularly to minimize manual updates in the pivot table. Choose variations of contiguous cells from different worksheets, external sources or fill blank fields with null.

Now that you know how to select the correct data range, let’s move onto our next point – choosing an appropriate Data Source!

Choosing the Appropriate Data Source

To pick the right data source for your PivotTable, consider these steps:

  1. Work out what data you need.
  2. Make sure it’s organised with headers.
  3. No blank rows or columns.
  4. Remove any duplicate bits.
  5. Change date-time fields to fit their format.
  6. Save it as an Excel table.

Getting the right data is key for creating useful reports. Pick a dataset that has enough info to answer your question, but not too much that it’s hard to read. Plus, use accurate and up-to-date sources so you don’t get bad results from your analysis.

Finally, learn how to easily switch Data Sources to speed up your workflow when using a PivotTable in Excel.

Changing Data Sources Easily

Frustrated with rebuilding your PivotTable from scratch every time you want to change the data source? Don’t be! There are simple methods. Let’s take a look.

Refreshing data is key to accurate analysis! Updating the data source is the next step, so your data fits perfectly. Lastly, you can easily switch between different data sources as desired. No more starting from the beginning!

Changing Data Sources Easily-How to Point PivotTables to Different Data Sources in Excel,

Image credits: by Harry Woodhock

Refreshing Data for Accurate Analysis

Refreshing your data is a must for accurate analysis. Here are five steps to get you started:

  1. Open the worksheet that holds the PivotTable.
  2. Click on any cell inside the PivotTable.
  3. Go to the “Data” tab. Click on “Refresh All”.
  4. Click “Refresh” or “OK” when prompted.
  5. The changes made in main dataset will now be reflected in your PivotTable report.

It’s best to refresh after each modification, addition, or deletion of data. This helps maintain accuracy.

Self-service analytics software like Excel is used extensively by 42% of companies, as per a study by Dresner Advisory Services.

Ready to learn about updating your data source? Let’s go!

How to Update Your Data Source

Updating your data source in Excel is very important when you need to change the info used by your PivotTable for insights. This usually involves changing the range of cells, table, or external database. Here’s a four-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Open the workbook that contains the PivotTable.
  2. Select any cell in the PivotTable to activate the Analyze tab under PivotTable Tools.
  3. Go to the Data group and click the “Change Data Source” button.
  4. In the pop-up window, choose “Select a table or range”, select your new range or table, and click OK.

After you update your data source, all calculations in the PivotTable should be automatically updated. However, if the new data source has different column/row headers or calculation formulas, this may cause errors or incorrect results.

Also, this update applies to all other sheets where the same data set is referenced. It saves time from having to reselect ranges/tables for each worksheet.

For instance, if you change something in the project report with other team members, like adding more rows/columns or work items, you can manage this easily by updating the data source. This updates all the reference points in one go.

Having used Excel for a few years, I found updating my pivot table sources really useful for presenting client reports accurately in engineering applications. This is because project requirements can keep changing due to factors like regulations and budgets.

Now that we know how to update our data source, let’s move on to the next step – switching between different data sources.

Switching Between Different Data Sources

Switching data sources in Excel can be tricky but it’s not impossible! Here are four steps to make it easier:

  1. Choose the PivotTable and click “Options” on the Ribbon menu.
  2. Select “Change Data Source” from the “Data” section.
  3. In the “Change PivotTable Data Source” dialog box, enter the new data range or select the new data source.
  4. Click OK.

Remember that the new data source should have a similar format to the old one. And switching data sources may affect calculated fields or groups in the PivotTable.

Pro tip: Make multiple versions of your PivotTable for each data source. That way, you can switch between them without any problems!

Now, onto analyzing the data!

Analyzing Your Data Effectively

Data analysts must analyze their data competently. Here, I will look at three parts of data analysis in Excel:

  1. Making useful calculated fields
  2. Creating calculated items for better analysis
  3. Filtering data with slicers

By using these techniques, you can turn big and complex data into understandable and usable information. Let’s dive in and learn how to use these Excel features to unlock the power of your data!

Analyzing Your Data Effectively-How to Point PivotTables to Different Data Sources in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Jones

Creating Helpful Calculated Fields

When it comes to analyzing data, creating calculated fields is key. It lets you make formulas from what’s already in your PivotTable. Here’s how:

  1. Select the cell you want the field in.
  2. Click Field Tools then Formulas.
  3. Choose Calculated Field from the drop down list.
  4. Name the field and put your formula in the box.
  5. Click Add and OK to save.
  6. The field will appear in the values area.

Making calculated fields is easy, but they need to be accurate. You have to make sure they have correct assumptions and reflect the data. You also have to know how to filter and sort data in a PivotTable.

Changes made outside of Excel won’t show in the PivotTable automatically. To update it, click Refresh All under the Data tab.

Zapier states 31% of pros spend over one hour per day on tasks that can be automated with Excel. Calculated fields help you save time and get precise results.

Let’s now look at creating calculated items for a better analysis.

Creating Calculated Items for Better Analysis

Calculated items are key for better data analysis. They give you access to math functions, formatting choices, and custom calculations. Create new fields from existing ones using mathematical operations and formulae. For instance, merge costs and revenue to calculate Net Income. Calculated items save time that would be spent manually calculating figures with complex formulae.

I used calculated items to analyze sales data. I used SUMPRODUCTS to calculate total revenue per order number, then applied filters to view profits per product category across multiple time ranges. Finally, I compared YoY growth with a few clicks.

Filtering is an important feature in Excel. With slicers, you can filter PivotTables for improved functionality.

Filtering Your Data with Slicers

A table shows how slicers can filter data:

Category Total Sales
Apples $1000
Bananas $500
Oranges $750

To filter the data, add a slicer for the “Category” column. For instance, you can select “Apples” and “Oranges” to view rows with those categories.

Slicers are interactive. Simply click on categories to update the data. This is faster and more intuitive than other methods.

Customize slicers by clicking them and choosing a style, color, and size.

Next: Sharing Your Data with Others.

Sharing Your Data with Others

Excel has several methods for sharing data with others. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

First, exporting PivotTable data to a file in Excel is great for colleagues who also use it.

Next, creating comprehensive reports that can be edited and shared.

Finally, publishing data to the web for wider access. Different methods exist for doing this.

Sharing Your Data with Others-How to Point PivotTables to Different Data Sources in Excel,

Image credits: by David Duncun

Exporting Data to a File in Excel

Exporting data from Excel is key for collaborative projects. It lets you share your work with others. This involves making a new file that has all your data, formulas and pivot tables, so that everyone can access it.

I once exported sales statistics for a campaign I was working on with a team. By only sharing what was needed, we saved time and got more done quickly.

Creating PivotTable Reports is the next step to ensure people can use and manipulate the imported data correctly.

Creating Comprehensive PivotTable Reports

Creating Comprehensive PivotTable Reports can be useful. Let’s see with an example. We can make small groups of big data sets to find trends, patterns or oddities. And with pivot tables, we can combine multiple pieces of data and make meaningful drawings, diagrams or tables.

For instance, an e-commerce business can use pivot tables to examine their 2020 sales data. They could look at which product category did well and what it meant for their income. This info helps them decide how much stock to have in different regions and shops.

Creating Comprehensive PivotTable Reports lets us make interactive reports with Excel’s features. We can quickly look at all the data in various rows and columns combinations. It’s a great time saver instead of doing the same work manually. People can get fast, deep insights into their business.

Publishing Your Data to the Web for Wider Access

Sharing your data with the world by publishing it online is a great way to get it out there! It’s easy and quick, plus anyone with an internet connection can find it. To do this using Excel, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Open the file to be shared.
  2. Click “File” and select “Publish Online”.
  3. Choose what part to share, whether a single worksheet or the whole workbook, and click “Publish”.

Once published, others can access your data with the link Excel provides. They don’t need to download it, they can view it in their web browser.

Security is important! Make sure all sensitive info is removed or hidden before publishing. You can also password protect your document or only share it with certain people.

Excel isn’t your only option though, you could use Google Sheets or WordPress for dedicated web hosting.

Did you know? According to Statista, in Jan 2018 there were over 1.8 billion active websites. To make yours stand out, it needs to be easily found.

Some Facts About How to Point PivotTables to Different Data Sources in Excel:

  • ✅ PivotTables allow users to summarize and analyze large amounts of data in Excel. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ They can be pointed to different data sources, such as other Excel files or external databases. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ To change the data source of a PivotTable, users can use the “Change Data Source” option in the Analyze tab. (Source: Exceljet)
  • ✅ It is important to ensure that the new data source has the same layout and format as the original source to avoid errors. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ If the data source is a table, users can use Power Query to transform and clean the data before creating a PivotTable. (Source: Excel University)

FAQs about How To Point Pivottables To Different Data Sources In Excel

How do I point PivotTables to different data sources in Excel?

To point a PivotTable to a different data source in Excel, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Select the PivotTable you want to update.
  2. Click on the Analyze or Options tab in the PivotTable Tools ribbon.
  3. Select the Change Data Source button in the Data group.
  4. Select the new data source you want to use for your PivotTable.
  5. Click the OK button to update your PivotTable’s data source.

Can I point a PivotTable to a different worksheet or workbook?

Yes, you can point a PivotTable to a different worksheet or workbook in Excel.

To point a PivotTable to a different worksheet, you will need to select the new data source worksheet when using the Change Data Source button. To point a PivotTable to a different workbook, you will need to select a new data source in a different workbook using the Change Data Source button, and make sure the new workbook is open.

Can I use data sources from other types of files?

Yes, you can use data sources from other types of files in Excel. These include:

  • Comma-separated values (.csv) files
  • Text files (.txt)
  • Access databases (.mdb and .accdb)
  • Other Excel workbooks (.xlsx and .xlsm)
  • Web pages (.html)

How do I update PivotTable data sources automatically?

You can update PivotTable data sources automatically by following these steps:

  1. Click on the Analyze or Options tab in the PivotTable Tools ribbon.
  2. Select the Change Data Source button in the Data group.
  3. Select the new data source range you want to use for your PivotTable.
  4. Select the checkbox labeled ‘Treat as a table with headers’.
  5. Click the OK button to update your PivotTable’s data source.

Can I add multiple data sources to one PivotTable?

Yes, you can add multiple data sources to one PivotTable in Excel. To do this, you will need to use the Data Model feature which allows you to blend and analyze data from multiple sources. You can add data sources from other worksheets, workbooks, or external databases.

How do I remove a data source from a PivotTable?

To remove a data source from a PivotTable, you will need to:

  1. Select the PivotTable you want to update.
  2. Click on the Analyze or Options tab in the PivotTable Tools ribbon.
  3. Select the Change Data Source button in the Data group.
  4. Click the Remove button next to the data source you want to remove.
  5. Click the OK button to update your PivotTable’s data source.