May 15, 2019 - By Bredet Services

Hello, in today’s blog you will learn another Excel tip, and this time it’s about the timeline tool. There are a lot of practical applications for the timeline tool, in our example of item sales, we will be able to see things like how the item sold in any given month, a full year, or even a single day.

The first step is to select your data set, using a small dataset like ours there isn’t a tremendous need for being able to filter on timelines, but this will suffice to show what this tool is capable of. The next thing we want to do is add a timeline into our pivot table. To do this click on the pivot table, making the pivot table tools appear at the top of the screen, and then under the analyze tab look for the filter section of the ribbon and find timeline.

Timelines in Excel

Currently, we only have a ship date category visible by selecting this field a timeline will appear. Now if I were to click on a date, for example, January it’ll show me all of the items shipped in January. One thing worth noting is the year is shown above the timeline bar, so if you’re getting results that don’t seem accurate make sure you’re selecting under the right year. Ex. See how the top Timeline is displaying 2018 information but the bottom timeline is displaying January 2017 information.

Timeline Excel Blog

Timeline Excel Example

Another thing that makes Timelines so powerful is that they come in 4 flavors; days, months, quarters, and years. You can stack timelines to achieve even more powerful filtering options. For example, we are looking at January 2017 but we can create another timeline on Date Played and switch this timelines’ view to days using the dropdown arrow beside months. You can see that this Timeline automatically knew that the period we were looking at was January 2017, so it started by showing me all of the days in January. Now we can check single days, weeks or any amount of days we would like to gain data on.  Additionally, you can add another timeline if you wanted to select a year and it would be passed down to the month(s) timeline so it would already know what year to look at. This makes it very simple to drill down to see very specific data or look at a very broad set of data.  I hope you enjoyed this look at another very useful Excel tool and can add it to your own personal bag of tricks.

Timeline Excel Overview how to

Thanks for reading.



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