Exercise: Create a pivot table, use Quick Explore and use slicers

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Category ==> Power BI - Excel 2013  (25 exercises)
Topic ==> Pivot tables using PowerPivot  (2 exercises)
Level ==> Average difficulty
Course ==> PowerPivot / Excel Power BI
Before you can do this exercise, you'll need to download and unzip this file (if you have any problems doing this, click here for help).

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If you haven't already done so, run the SQL script in the above folder in SQL Server Management Studio to generate a database (not for commercial use or copying) called MAM.

Import from this database the following tables:

Tables to import

The tables to import, so we can look at regions, towns, etc.

If you haven't already chosen only to import the columns you need, delete columns from your data model and hide others from client tools to get this pivot table field list:

The fields needed for the data model

Your data model should only expose these fields.


In PowerPivot Diagram View, you should have only 17 columns included, and many of these will be hidden from client tools.

Now create this simple pivot table:

Total quantity sold by region

A pivot table showing the total quantity of items sold, by region.


The figure of 1984 for London looks suspiciously Orwellian.  Use Quick Explore (right-click on the cell for the menu option) to drill down to show that this is made up of these figures:

Total quantity sold for London

The first few towns for this region.


Repeat this process to show:

  • the 773 figure for London town broken down by centre; then
  • the 122 figure for Leyton Mills broken down by store.

You should now see this:

Leyton Mills figures

You can use CTRL + Z to undo what you've done until you're back at the original pivot table.


Impressive stuff!  Now add a slicer to your pivot table, and use it to show only towns for regions in the East and/or West Midlands:

Quantity sold by region

You don't have to apply the hideous style shown here, but you should make your slicer have 3 columns.


Finally, create another pivot table showing the average price of transactions by shopping centre, and get this to be controlled by the slicer shown above also:

Average price by centre

Here's what this pivot table should show when you have the same regions (East and West Midlands) selected on the slicer on the other worksheet.


Save this workbook as Best thing since slicer bread, and close it down.

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