The Fastest Way to Create Pivot Tables in Excel: Quick Analysis

If you’ve never created a Pivot table before in Excel, or you’re using Excel 2013 and you have a table full of information you’d like to usefully sort, this tip provides the most direct way to get it done.

This tip is taken from our specialized course just on pivot tables, but the ins and outs of pivot tables (and more) are also covered in our Microsoft Excel 2013 Bundle.

Unfortunately, at this time, this tip is not applicable to Mac users. We’re hoping to see that change in future editions. If you are on a Mac, however, you’ll still be able to create pivot tables manually.

Creating instant pivot tables is just one of the features of what Microsoft calls the Quick Analysis tool. It basically gives you speedy access to a range of formatting and data features that used to be buried in submenus. Microsoft says they wanted people to get more adventurous and active with their data. Create charts! Run analyses! Create pivot tables! To that end, let’s get started.

The first thing you’ll need to do is highlight a range of data within your table, and click on the box that appears in the bottom right. Need a table to play around with? Click here.


Now click on the Tables tab in the Quick Analysis tool menu. You’ll now be able to hover over various Pivot Table options with your mouse, and see previews for the types of pivot tables you might like to create.



The program uses smart algorithms to determine the pivot tables you’re most likely to want. Once you find one you like, simply click once on the icon, and it will appear in a new worksheet with your data organized accordingly.


And that’s it. This is not one-size-fits-all, of course. For more customization to fit your exact needs, you’ll need to create a pivot table manually. In our courses linked above, we’ll show you how to do that, too. For access to all of our Excel training for Windows and Mac, consider our Learning Library, for only $25 a month.


To see author Erin Olsen walk through the steps listed above, watch the video below.



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