I just took a moment to look at the new features in Keynote and Numbers. Live Video in Keynote is pretty cool as a catch-up feature (and I’ll use it for sure), but one feature in Numbers captured my attention: Pivot Tables.
I have to use spreadsheets and analyze data on occasion, and Excel has long offered an implementation of Pivot Tables that works, if you work at it. But honestly, the harder Excel tries to be friendly to those of us who merely brush up against arithmetic from time to time, the more frustrating it becomes.
On the other hand, Apple has implemented Pivot Tables in a way that takes less than 3 minutes to understand and apply:
- Look at the sample table.
- Decide what your end product is and check the boxes next to those labels.
- Move data labels to a row or column.
- Behold your analytical awesomeness.
If that sequence ever slips your mind, a “Pivot Table Basics” template is included, and it provides sufficiently clear explanation and examples to get you on track.
Every once in a while, I’m reminded of why Apple’s overall approach overcomes some of its infuriating blind spots. This is one of those times.