GetPivotData in Google Sheets: Simplify Your Data Analysis

Published: February 27, 2024 - 3 min read

Hannah Recker

Do you need help with complex pivot tables in Google Sheets? GetPivotData is your solution. This guide explains using GetPivotData for precise data extraction and enhancing your reports and dashboards. Expect to learn its syntax, application in simple and complex scenarios, and how to avoid common pitfalls.

Understanding GetPivotData

GetPivotData retrieves specific data from a pivot table. Unlike referencing individual cells, GetPivotData uses field names for accurate and dynamic data extraction.

Syntax and Usage

The syntax for GetPivotData is:

GetPivotData(data_field, pivot_table, [field1, item1], …)

  • data_field: The metric, like ‘Sum’ or ‘Average.’
  • pivot_table: Any cell in the pivot table to identify its range.
  • Optional [field, item] pairs specify criteria like region or product.

Constructing a GetPivotData Formula

Initial Steps

Note: Before using the =GetPivotData functionality, you want to have your initial Pivot Table set up through the Google Sheets Insert tab.

Insert pivot table into Google Sheets from data set.

Add the appropriate Rows, columns, values, and Filters to set up your table.

Empty pivot table to custom edit where once can add specific rows, columns, values, and filters.

Once you do so, your table should look like this.

Now your simple pivot table is ready for the GetPivotData functionality .

Using GetPivotData Functionality

To use the GetPivotData functionality, start with the function name, followed by the data_field (e.g., “total sales”), a pivot table cell reference, and additional criteria. For instance:

=GetPivotData(“Amount”, $F$5, “Salesperson”, “Alice”, “Region”, “East”)

This retrieves the following information:

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  • Amount: This is the value from the data field named “Amount” in the pivot table. This typically represents a numerical value that has been summarized or aggregated in some way, such as a sum, average, count, etc.
  • Salesperson: “Alice” is the criterion for the salesperson. This means the formula is looking for data related to sales made by Alice.
  • Region: “East” is the criterion for the area. This means the formula looks for data where the sales region is specified as East.
To use the GetPivotData functionality, start with the function name, followed by the data_field (e.g., "total sales"), a pivot table cell reference, and additional criteria example.
Hit enter on your GetPivotData formula for your result.

Ensure field names and items in your formula match your pivot table. This precision supports detailed analysis across multiple filters.

Advanced Applications

GetPivotData is not just for basic data retrieval. Use it for:

  • Dynamic lookups in evolving pivot tables
  • integrating data across multiple sources for even more advanced needs
  • crafting complex queries for more advanced users

Example of Dynamic Lookups:

You can make your GetPivotData function dynamic using cell references instead of hard-coded item values.

For example: =GetPivotData(“Amount”, $F$5, “Salesperson”, B2, “Region”, C2)

You can make your GetPivotData function dynamic using cell references instead of hard-coded item values.
Hit enter on your GetPivotData formula for your result.

Troubleshooting Tips

Common issues include:

  • Mismatching Labels: Ensure labels in your formula match the pivot table exactly.
  • Complex Criteria: Verify the format and structure of your query.
  • Case Sensitivity: Match the case of data_field names precisely.

Mastering GetPivotData transforms your approach to data analysis in Google Sheets. Ready to elevate your data skills? Start your journey with Coefficient for advanced data integration solutions. Get started with Coefficient.

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Hannah Recker Growth Marketer
Hannah Recker was a data-driven growth marketer before partying in the data became a thing. In her 12 years experience, she's become fascinated with the way data enablement amongst teams can truly make or break a business. This fascination drove her to taking a deep dive into the data industry over the past 4 years in her work at StreamSets and Coefficient.
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