8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Pivot Tables

Pivot tables are program tools that allow users to summarize or reorganize rows or columns of data. They are usually found in database tables and spreadsheets, allowing for information to be obtained from the report without the need for the file to be altered.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a tool like a pivot table in your tables.

List of Advantages for Pivot Tables

1. They allow you to see how the data works.
Pivot tables are one of the only tools available to users that can provide deep insights into analytics data. Multiple reports can be generated with this tool off the same collected data within a single file.

2. It can work with SQL exports.
If the pivot table is being used on Microsoft Excel, then the tool is able to work with any SQL export.

3. The data is easier to segment.
Analytics that are gathered into a spreadsheet or database are easier to segment thanks to pivot tables.

4. You can create instant data.
Whether you program equations directly into the pivot table or you rely on formulas, instant data can be created with this tool.

List of Disadvantages for Pivot Tables

1. It can be a time-consuming venture.
For most programs, pivot tables can create the data needed to understand metrics, but the tool doesn’t include calculation options in many instances. That means the collected data must be manually calculated or equations must be manually inputted and that takes time.

2. There are no automatic updates.
Unless users run their reports every day with their pivot tables, they are flying blind when it comes to their metrics or analytics. Programs with pivot tables do not offer a dashboard of information that is easily summarized.

3. Older computers can struggle to present data.
If the spreadsheet or database is quite large, older technologies can struggle to produce the required data. Some users may even see their equipment crash because the requirements are too extensive for its processing power.

4. It takes time to learn them.
It might be fairly easy to learn how to use the pivot table, but then you’ve got to figure out how to present that data in a usable fashion. Most spreadsheets don’t focus on providing a good user experience when it comes to their pivot tables.

Pivot tables are an advantage for small datasets and a disadvantage for large spreadsheets. By taking these advantages and disadvantages into account, it becomes possible to easily organize spreadsheet-based data and then use it.

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.