This page is an advertiser-supported excerpt of the book, Learn Excel 2007-2010 from MrExcel - 512 Excel Mysteries Solved. If you like this topic, please consider buying the entire e-book.
Create an Ad-Hoc Reporting Tool
Problem: I have an operations manager who is famous for asking many ad hoc questions. One day, he will want to know who bought XYZ product. The next day, he will want to know all sales to Air Canada. How can Excel help me quickly answer his questions?
Strategy: You can build a pivot table report with many fields in the Report Filter area. You can then use the information here to answer just about any ad hoc query your manager can dream up. For example, your operations manager can easily figure out how many ABC products were shipped to the East region on a given date.
Figure 856 Ad hoc reporting tool.
Additional Details: Take the Date field to the row labels area, group it up to Years, Quarters, and Months, then drag those fields to the Report Filter area.