Dave Bruns's blog

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Making Your First Pivot Table

You’ve probably heard a lot about Excel pivot tables. In fact, people who are really into pivot tables tend to go on and on about how cool they are. It can be a little annoying. What’s the big deal? Why are pivot tables so cool?

The main reason pivot tables are cool is that they instantly summarize large sets of data without any formulas. In less than 5 minutes, you can have a good-looking table, with perfect summaries by almost any category you like.

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How To Fix Your Ugly Chart

Microsoft Excel is almost legendary for its ability to create ugly charts. The default settings often contain too much “bling.” Chart controls are numerous and intimidating, so many people choose to just leave them alone. As a result, you’ll see a lot of charts that look like this:

This chart is overly complicated and difficult to digest. But following the simple steps below, we can easily improve this chart. Are you ready? Great, let’s do it.
 

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