A powerful feature of Microsoft Excel that I encourage everyone to check out is the Pivot Table. This element of Excel allows you to get great insights into your data.
One thing that confuses people though is when they add to their source data but the Pivot Table does not reflect the changes.
The trick is to create a “dynamic named range”. Rather than just add your table in the usual way, you need to create your pivot table using the named range, then you can add data, refresh, and the new data will automatically show up.
To create your named range in Excel 2007 go to Formulas > Define Name
You will need to supply a name for the range, for example “Data”.
In the Refers To box, enter an Offset formula. This defines the range size in the following way:
Now you need to create the pivot:
And there you have it – Your dynamic pivot table.
As is usual with the more powerful Excel features, knowing the trick is just half the battle. Then you need to put the knowledge into practice! Why not create some test pivot tables now so you can really get to grips with this great functionality?
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