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How to Calculate Percentage Change with Pivot Tables in Excel

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Pivot Tables are an amazing built-in reporting tool in Excel. While typically used to summarize data with totals, you can also use them to calculate the percentage of change between values. Even better: It is simple to do.

You could use this technique to do all kinds of things—pretty much anywhere you’d like to see how one value compares to another. In this article, we’re going to use the straightforward example of calculating and displaying the percent by which the total sales value changes month by month.

Here’s the sheet we’re going to use.

Two years of sales data for a PivotTable

It’s a pretty typical example of a sales sheet that shows the order date, customer name, sales rep, total sales value, and a few other things.

To do all this, we’re first going to format our range of values as a table in Excel and we’re then going to create a Pivot Table to make and display our percentage change calculations.

Formatting the Range as a Table

If your data range is not already formatted as a table, we’d encourage you to do so. Data stored in tables have multiple benefits over data in cell ranges of a worksheet, especially when using PivotTables (read more about the benefits of using tables).

To format a range as a table, select the range of cells and click Insert > Table.

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