Pivot tables are fantastic to get fast insight into your data. One major problem people will run into is how to sort the data once it is imported from a master spreadsheet. By default for this example, I saw all of my data sorted from A-Z for everyone’s name. Pivot tables will sort your data by alphabetical or numerical (date) data, but I want to sort this data by the number amount instead.
One of my tasks at work is to present pivot tables to my team members. One task that I did was to show how much money each of the team member’s was managing for our team. For this example, I am going to change the names and the amounts that they each have, but the example still works the same. The problem though was that data was not set from highest to lowest. Let’s change that now!
How to Sort from Highest to Lowest in Excel
When you import the data into a pivot table, you will see that the name’s of the team members are in alphabetical order. For me, I actually don’t care about this. I am more interested in seeing who is handleing the most money for our team. We are doing this because we want to see which team member has the bandwidth to take on another client.
From here, I am going to go to the pivot table and click on the bold name of Account Manger. When I head to the tab, I am going to click on the drop down arrow to show more options. This is where I am going to change the order from alphabetical to the sum of amount. As a note, I am choosing Z-A because I want to show the highest amount to the lowest amount. If you wanted to see this from the other way, you can click on A-Z.
Once I hit the OK button, I can now see that the pivot table is showing me the highest to lowest amount each account manager is controlling for the team. This is much easier for my manager to read now.
This is a super easy way to sort your data within a pivot table. Another way to do this is to take all of the data within the pivot table and put it into a new tab and then sort it. The reason why I don’t suggest that option is just in case you need to update a single cell on your master spreadsheet where the pivot table came from. If you did that, you can just refresh the data into the pivot table to represent the new change. If you just copy and passed the pivot table into a new tab, you will need to copy and replace the data to see the reflected change.