How to Resolve Duplicate Data within Excel Pivot Tables

The Table (List in Excel 2003) feature greatly improves the integrity of pivot tables in Excel. If you add additional rows or columns to your data set, the pivot table will instantly reflect the additional information when you refresh. This means you won’t inadvertently exclude data from your analysis, plus you won’t have to ever manually resize a pivot table’s source range.
 
As illustrated in Figure 3, add data to your pivot table:
  • Excel 2007 and later: Click the checkboxes for Account and Amount to add these items to the pivot table.
  • Excel 2003  and earlier: Drag these field names into the Row Labels and Data sections, respectively.
You’ll see in my case that account 4000 appears twice on the pivot table, with two different amounts. The goal of a pivot table is to represent one of each item, so why would account 4000 appear twice? The answer lies within the individual cells of my data.

Figure 3: When you add the fields to the pivot table, account 4000 appears twice.

The first step in solving my problem is to determine if my account numbers are stored consistently. To determine this, I’ll use the ISNUMBER function. As shown in Figure 4, in cell C2 add this formula, and then copy it down the column:
 
=ISNUMBER(A2)
 
Figure 4: The ISNUMBER function signifies if numbers are stored as text or values.
 

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