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Better Late than Never : Pivot Tables in Google spreadsheets

posted May 19, 2011, 4:45 AM by Francois Tricot   [ updated May 19, 2011, 5:28 AM ]
  • From now, it is possible to create a pivot table within a Google Spreadsheet.

With the recent addition of data filters, this feature makes Google Spreadsheet an appropriate tool for 90% of enterprise needs when processing simple data.
Microsoft Excel is still more powerful when processing large amount of data, or when interfacing with tools such as ERP.

As you may now, the main benefits of using a web based spreadsheet such as Google Spreadsheet are:
  • only one copy of a document, instead of one per PC, per mailbox etc...
  • a defined and clear sharing of information. As an impact, confidential data is not spread accross all computers but safe and unique
  • ability to modify it by several people at the same time
  • viewing and editing in multiple devices
  • receive email notifications when someone updates the spreadsheet, or even a small bit.
These are my recommendations for our users at Ceva :
Use Microsoft Excel
  • If your data is huge
  • If you are from the Finance department
  • If you need offline access and editing (this will change in the near future as Google Spreadsheet wil also work offline)
In all other cases, use Google Spreadsheet (, specially
  • If you want to share, consolidate information, or access it from anywhere
  • Even with formulas (both tools have similar capabilities)
For the following cases, I definitely recommend Google Spreadsheet :
  • Share an action plan, a planning
  • Use forms to collect information from several people such as Registration to an event, Satisfaction enquiry
  • Share a list : of clients, products, values
  • Complete data with data coming from the Internet, such as Population of France or Turnover of Pfizer
Example :