Summarizing Data with Calc

Calc includes a powerful tool that enables you to summarize large groups of data to help you when you come to carry out any analysis. This tool is called a Data Pilot, and you can use it to quickly summarize data that might normally take a long time to calculate manually.

Using the sample spreadsheet used earlier, we show you how to build a simple Data Pilot and explain how to analyze and manipulate long lists of data. Earlier we worked with a spreadsheet that showed salespeople, customers, date of invoice, and revenue. At the foot of the spreadsheet were a couple of formulas that enabled us to quickly see the total revenue earned and the average order value.

Now we want to find out how much revenue our salespeople have generated individually. Of course, you could add this up manually using a calculator, but that would defeat the point of using Calc. So, we need to create a Data Pilot to help us summarize the information.

First we need to select all the cells in our table because this is the data that we want to analyze. After these are selected, click on the Data menu and select Data Pilot, Start to open the Data Pilot Wizard. Figure 9.11 shows the first screen, defaulted to the current selection. Make sure that you choose this one to use the data in the selected range and click OK to continue.

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