Pivot Tables are one of the most useful features in Google Sheets and Excel.

Yet, not all Google Sheets users use Pivot Tables.

If you’re one of them, it’s time to discover the power of Pivot Tables and how you can use them for your own database.

What are Pivot Tables?

In simplest terms, a pivot table is a tool that users can use to summarize large sets of data.

A spreadsheet is simply made up of columns and rows. Rows are composed of the types of data while the columns are made up of the data being used and presented.

pivot table google sheets

When you only have a small set of data, reading and analyzing it is easy.

However, once your data starts to grow, it will take more and more time for you to read and analyze the data at hand.

In the long run, this will pose difficulty not only in analyzing the data but in making decisions around the data.

google sheets data

This is where pivot tables come in handy.

Pivot tables summarize all of the data and will present them in an organized and easy-to-read summary.

Why Use Pivot Tables?

One of the reasons why you might not use pivot tables is that you have always used formulas instead.

There is one problem with formulas, though: once you add new data into your dataset, you will need to reconfigure your formula to include the new data.

Also, pivot tables are simply much simpler to use than formulas. All you have to do is to add the rows and columns you need, and then you’re finished!

Finally, if you’re working in digital marketing, pivot tables can be a very powerful tool as digital marketers deal with tons of data in their work.

pivot table google sheets

Using pivot tables will allow digital marketers to better analyze their data and, in the process, make data-driven optimizations.

But that being said, how do you use a pivot table in Google Sheets?

How to Use Pivot Tables in Google Sheets

As mentioned above, creating pivot tables in Google Sheets is simpler compared to creating formulas.

At the very basic level, here’s how you can create your pivot table.

On a Google Sheets spreadsheet, select all of the cells containing the data you need. If you want all, you can simply use Ctrl + A

insert pivot table in google sheets

Then, click Insert> Pivot Table

On the right, in the “Pivot table editor”, click “Add” next to Rows and select the data you want to use.

pivot table add rows

Next, click “Add” next to Values and select which values of the data you want to analyze.

If you want to add more rows, columns, and values, you can do so by simply clicking Add.

Now, you have your own pivot table!

As you can see, it is simple and easy to use once you become familiar with the steps.

Above all, you don’t need to create your formulas to set them up. You can simply add a calculated field.

Need some extra practice? Grab this exact pivot here and make a copy.

More Ways to Edit Your Pivot Table in Google Sheets

The guide given above is clearly just the very basic way to use pivot tables in Google Sheets. Here are some more ways that you can do with pivot tables in Google Sheets.

Add data

As mentioned earlier, on the “Pivot table editor” which is located on the right side, you can always Add to Rows, Columns, or Values to expand the pivot table with another variable.

Basically, you can add more rows, columns, and values as you see fit for your pivot table.

Change row or column names

You can also change row or column names. To do so, simply double-click inside the label cell and then rename it.

Move data

You can make rows and columns move by simply dragging their boxes to the section you’d like them in.

Delete data

You can remove or delete any data on your pivot table by simply clicking the “X” at the top right of the table.

pivot step by step in google sheets

Change sort order

If you want to sort out your data in a particular order, you can so do by clicking the dropdown menu within a particular variable and choose ascending, descending, alphabetical, etc.

Hide data with filters

If you want to hide a particular data, you can do so with filters.

Under Filters, click Add and choose which category you’d like to filter within. Then, under Status, you can use the dropdown menus to uncheck certain conditions or values.

Show/hide totals

By default, the total amount is visible in your pivot table. But you can opt to hide it by simply unchecking the “Show Totals” of a particular data.

Show values as percentages

If you want to present your data in percentages, you can do so in Values. Underneath Values, click the dropdown menu under Show. From there, you can choose to convert the values of rows, columns, or totals into percentages.


Pivot tables are incredibly useful in Google Sheets.

In Google Sheets, it is very simple and easy to create and edit a pivot table so you can craft data-driven insights.

If you are not yet using pivot tables in Google Sheets, it’s time to learn.

You might be surprised to see how easy it is!

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