Spreadsheet of Data + Google Docs Pivot Tables = Reporting Jedi Master
Pivot tables are the quickest and easiest way to get useful information out of spreadsheets of data… especially large spreadsheets of data. Google Docs makes using pivot tables quite easy if you’re familiar with spreadsheets. Let’s say you have a spreadsheet of conference attendees with contact information along with the sessions they registered for, and the date that they registered. Using a pivot table you could quickly find out if there is a correlation between the people who registered for the “how to get organized” workshop, and how early people registered.
You could also quickly determine how many people attending the conference are out of Province (or State). I’ve just scratched the surface; it’s truly amazing the information you can glean for playing around with a pivot table and a data set. I first used pivot tables over 10 years ago while working at at Westech Building Products, a manufacturing company, and they were invaluable when analyzing production and sales data.
Take a look at the following 1.5 minute video for an excellent overview. Happy spreadsheeting!