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How To How to pivot your data

Pivoting (or cross-tabulating) is at the heart of AddMaple. This article explains how to pivot in AddMaple, if you haven't got an account yet, you can try our free online pivot tool.

AddMaple automatically aggregates your data as soon as it loads. The primary "explore" screen shows a per column pivot chart:

Automatic per column pivot tables

In the above image there are 3 different column types: numeric, multiple choice and multiple choice with multiple answers. AddMaple has already pivoted on each column, in addition for the numeric column AddMaple has automatically grouped (or binned) the data into sensible groups. For the columns the have multiple results per cell (e.g. "red,yellow,blue"), AddMaple has already pre-processed the results - something that is very difficult to do in a spreadsheet.

When you click on a chart you will be taken to a larger view of just that column:

Automatic pivot of a numeric column with groups

This expanded view automatically shows 10 groups instead of 5 and has a handy stats panel on the right hand side.

The real power of pivots in AddMaple is shown when you choose to aggregate by a different column or display multiple columns together.

Mean, Median and Total

Traditional pivot tables allow you to view averages and totals from different columns using the "values" setting. This is simple to do in AddMaple.

The default setting is "Number Of" - this is equivalent to COUNTA in a spreadsheet.

COUNTA = Number of

By clicking on "Number of" you can choose a different aggregation option:

  • Total (equivalent to SUM)
  • Average (equivalent to AVERAGE)
  • Median (equivalent to MEDIAN)

The real timesaver is that AddMaple has already detected the different column types and therefore only displays numeric columns to aggregate by. Here is an example showing a median aggregation.

Median Aggregation by numeric column

AddMaple instantly calculates the results (even for large datasets) and displays the results in an easy to read chart format. Please read here for details on why we use horizontal bar charts.

Pivoting by Multiple Columns

To explore two (or three) columns at the same time, simply click the plus button, select "Add Pivot" and choose another column

Add another column pivot

Once you've chosen your new column, AddMaple will instantly show your data as a multi-column pivot chart.

Multi column pivot chart

AddMaple displays the data in a chart so that it is easy to spot trends and understand your data at a glance. You can hover over (or tap on) a chart segment to get the actual values.

Hover over pivot segment to get value

Percentages rather than absolutes

For many datasets, it is easier to see trends when comparing percentage values rather than absolute values. AddMaple makes it easy to toggle between percentages and absolutes with a single click.

View percentages on a multi column pivot chart

Swapping Columns

Sometimes your data will be easier to understand if you swap the order of the columns, i.e. instead of viewing Column A, segmented by Column B - you want to view Column B, segmented by Column A.

To do this in AddMaple, click on the column you want to swap and there will be a swap option at the top of the select menu

Swap Columns

You will now be able to see the same data from a different perspective:

Pivot chart with swapped columns

It's easy to swap backwards and forwards as you explore your data.

Three Column Pivots

In large data sets it may be useful to pivot by three columns, to do this in AddMaple, click on the plus button and add another pivot, for example:

Three column pivot table and chart


Happy pivoting

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Written by Ange

User Researcher and Founder of AddMaple

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