Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Slice and Dice Your Tables

Looking for a new way to get more information out of your data? Slicer may be just the ticket!

First introduced in Excel 2010, Slicer offered a relaxed way to filter your Pivot Tables with the ease of click. Due to its popularity, Microsoft expanded Slicer’s capability to include Any Table in the Excel 2013 version.

Similar in many ways to using Report Filters, (as well as your regular Filter in a non-pivot table), one of the beauties of using a Slicer is the immediate creation of an engaging Interactive Interface for the user. Although many will argue that this is not a compelling reason to use this tool, playing around with them a bit will probably sell you on their appeal.

1.  Using Excel 2013, first make sure you have transformed your table in a true Table by selecting any cell simply select any cell within your data, and going choosing Table from the Insert menu.

2.  Then select any cell within your new table and from your Insert ribbon choose Slicer from the Filters group. A popup menu of your fields will appear, giving you options for filtering your data.

3.  The dialog will ask you which columns you want to create slicers for. Each slicer you choose will filter a single column of data, and you can create slicers as many columns as suits your needs.

4.  Note that the slicers are Additive – you can keep applying more filters as you develop the view you are seeking.

Not just a duplication of the existing table filter drop downs, Slicers give you another tool for Focusing on Your Relevant Data. Another worthwhile tool in the newer Excel versions.

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