Model behavior

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: I have several worksheets of data that I want to pivot, but the Excel 2003 option to pivot multiple ranges of data no longer exists in Excel’s later editions. I find that I must copy and paste all workbook data onto a single worksheet to pivot the combined data. Is this my best approach, or can you recommend a better solution?

A: The Excel 2003 option to pivot data from multiple ranges is still in the later editions of Excel, but this tool is hidden. As explained in the January 2011 Technology Q&A topic “I Command You” (page 63), you can unhide this older PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard tool by adding it to your Quick Access toolbar or Ribbon. However, I recommend a better option using Excel’s newer Data Model capabilities, as follows. When creating a new PivotTable, check the box labeled Add this data to the Data Model, as circled below.

 

Initially you won’t see a difference. However, if you check this box again when pivoting your second range of data, Excel will combine the ranges, enabling you to pivot the combined data. After pivoting a second range of data, click the ALL button at the top of the PivotTable Fields dialog box, pictured below, to display the field names for the separate data ranges.

 

The final product will look just like a normal PivotTable, with the data contained within originating from multiple data sources.

J. Carlton Collins ( carlton@asaresearch.com ) is a technology consultant, CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2013, 2010, and 2007 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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