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In one of our trainings in September, a participant asked how she could turn off the GETPIVOTDATA function in pivot table. The auto-generated GETPIVOTDATA formula did not allow her to copy the reference down the column in the same way as a normal cell.


If you've ever asked the same question before, you might want to take note of our advice here. The GETPIVOTDATA formula is such a useful formula which you'll want to keep after knowing what it is able to do. Based on the above example, let me explain how it works:

=GETPIVOTDATA("Amount",$A$3,"Customer Name","CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES (FAR EAST) LIMITED.","Slsman No",7)

Let's start off with the first 2 input of the formula - 
=GETPIVOTDATA("Amount",$A$3,"Customer Name","CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES (FAR EAST) LIMITED.","Slsman No",7)

The first input actually refers to the field that is in the summation box. In our example, it is telling us that we are summarizing the "Amount" field.

The second input refers to the starting location of the Pivot Table, A3.

As for the subsequent fields, they are actually in pairs. In our example, the 3rd and 4th input actually refers to the field Customer Name and the specific customer (CHECMICAL INDUSTRIES (FAR EAST) LIMITED). And the subsequent pair refers to the field Slsman and the specific value 7.

=GETPIVOTDATA("Amount",$A$3,"Customer Name","CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES (FAR EAST) LIMITED.","Slsman No",7)

Combining all the inputs together, the GETPIVOTDATA formula is actually telling us that the value we are looking at the Total Amount within the Pivot Table, located from cell A3, for the customer CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES (FAR EAST) LIMITED and Salesman no 7.

With this reference, CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES (FAR EAST) LIMITED can move to other rows, but the formula will be able to track it down and refer back to the value 65477 which is the value the formula is originally linked to.

Like a typical Excel formula, you can actually use cell references as inputs in the GETPIVOTDATA formula. In our example, we can retain the field description "Customer Name" but change the specific customer to refer to a cell on the top of a list. And as you copy the formula down, it will pick up the customer names in the list and populate the data according to the names in the list as shown below.


=GETPIVOTDATA("Amount",$A$3,"Customer Name",A4,"Slsman No",7)

Now that you know the power of GETPIVOTDATA formula and that you will still be able to copy the reference down the column even when the formula is turned on, do you still want to turn it off?

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Yours Sincerely,

Jason Khoo
Chief Trainer
everydayExcel Business Lab Pte Ltd
Author of "Hidden Secrets of Data Analysis with Excel" and 
"Excel Secrets for Highly Effective Marketers"


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