Pivot Tables in Google Docs

by Gregory on May 19, 2011

Mark my words, “This is the beginning of the end for Excel.” To be sure this is a long way off and I probably won’t see this in my lifetime, but make no mistake Pivot Tables in Google Docs spreadsheets marks the eventual decline of Microsoft Excel.

Google Docs pivot tables

Of course, part of me will refute this claim vociferously and to the death. But common sense dictates that this prized feature of Excel escaping to Google Docs is a big deal. Even if it’s not right now.

PivotTables are to me, the heart of Excel. They represent how data can be transformed in a simple, user-friendly manner to create information. PivotTables are truly awesome.

We all know that Excel’s dominance in the spreadsheet world has been ubiquitous for a long time. Yet we tend forget that things change bit by bit. The online world is slowly gaining ground and I have personal experience with how this change works.

Take the printing industry. I recently spent over a decade with a company that consulted exclusively with the printing industry. Magazines, phone books, soft and hard cover books, and the ever-irritating newspaper inserts, are a few types of printing that have been in a steady decline for many years now.

Why the decline? As you might guess, the demand for printed material is inversely proportional to the rise of online or digital content for consumption. Just check the current headlines: Kindle Books Now Outselling Real Books on Amazon.

This brings me back to Google Docs offering a basic pivot table report. There’s even an online guide for creating and editing pivot table reports. This means a starting point for true change in the spreadsheet world.

Mark my words.

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Claire May 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

Whoa. I think I agree–though getting huge corps to sacrifice their data to the cloud is a looong way off.

Gregory May 20, 2011 at 8:44 am

They do need to develop some backup redundancy, that’s for sure. And I don’t think any big corps will ever make that kind of change, Excel is too good.

But for a young, small company that is cost conscious Google Docs would be tempting.

George August 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm

I can’t wait to use Google Docs only and not have to use Excel. Microsoft makes everything so confusing with a painful learning curve when they come out with different versions. It is quadruple-ly painful when you switch from Excel 2007 for PC over to Excel 2011 for Mac. Microsoft only has itself to blame.

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