A graph based on a pivot table – can it make it easier for you to grow your credibility?

A graph based on a pivot table – can it make it easier for you to grow your credibility

Did you know that you can create a graph based on a pivot table in Excel ?

This is a little-known yet highly effective tool to quickly visualise aggregate data.

Simply create your pivot table based on your data source. I advise creating the pivot in a new worksheet/tab in your spreadsheet.

Then use the pivot table as the source for the graph. I have two quick tips here :

  1. Keep the pivot table simple. Instead of making tons of rows, columns and data points for each intersection, use filters to segment your data further. This will make the graph easier to understand – and the filters allow you produce highly relevant intelligence.
  2. Create the graph in the same worksheet as the pivot table, next to it, so that you can immediately see the changes if you use the filters or update the information in the initial database.

And voilà ! In just a few seconds, you have a visualisation of your aggregate information, which allows to perform quick control checks, and understand the information better.

And if you want to impress senior management, increase your credibility and maybe even get buy-in for some of your ideas, use the same – maybe updated slightly in terms of design to make it look more “nice” and professional than the rough version you’d use internally. They will love to see the graph update instantly and the ability to dig into the data through the filters, “live” during your meeting or presentation with them.

Some ideas for uses ? The possibilities are endless :

  • a pay internal equity analysis by gender or nationality
  • an overview of the outcomes of the performance appraisals at year-end
  • a visualisation of the results of the compensation section in the latest employee engagement survey
  • an external competitiveness analysis
  • a simulation of future grade distribution based on current and anticipated promotions rates…

How’s that for a quick but worthy Sunday Skills post ? Now go have fun with your spreadsheets 😉 !

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Comments

  1. Sajal Jaiswal says:

    Thank you for taking out time to write such articles 🙂 It’s indeed great to read them and realize a lot of aspects which otherwise tends to get ignored.

    Thanks,
    Sajal

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