Sum vs Count in Pivot Table

Ever faced the problem – The values show as a Count of rather than a Sum in a Pivot Table?

This is one of the most common complaints encountered when dealing with Pivot Tables.

In this article, you will be provided a detailed guide on:

Let’s go through each of these points one-by-one!


Summarize value as SUM, COUNT in Pivot Table

Pivot Table in Excel is one of the most powerful features within Excel that allows you to analyze more than 1 million rows of data with just a few mouse clicks.



Why the Pivot Table values show as Count instead of Sum

Well, there are three reasons why this is the case:

1. There are blank cells in your values column within your data set; or

2. There are “text” cells in your values column within your data set; or

3. A Values field is Grouped within your Pivot Table.



So if you have at least one blank cell in a Values column, Excel automatically thinks that the whole column is text based.  Pretty stupid but that’s the way it thinks.

Count VS Sum in Pivot Tables



Also if you have a cell that is formatted as Text within your Values column, then it will also cause it to Count rather than Sum.  This usually happens when you download data from your ERP or external system and it throws in numbers that are formatted as text e.g. 382821P

Count VS Sum in Pivot Tables

We get the annoying Count of Sales below:

Count VS Sum in Pivot Tables

Have a look at the following tutorials that show you how to locate blank cells: Find Blank Cells In Excel With A Color


STEP 1: You will need to enter a value or a zero within this blank or text formatted cell(s)

STEP 2: Go over to your Pivot Table, click on the Count of….  and drag it out of the Values area

STEP 3: Refresh your Pivot Table

STEP 4: Drop in the Values field (SALES) in the Values area once again

Count VS Sum in Pivot Tables



Let’s say that you put a Values field (e.g. Sales) in the Row/Column Labels and then you Group it.

When you drop in the same Values field in the Values area, you will also get a Count of…

Count VS Sum in Pivot Tables


STEP 1: Right Click on the Grouped values in the Pivot Table and choose Ungroup:

Count VS Sum in Pivot Tables

STEP 2: Drag the Count of SALES out of the Values area and let go to remove it

STEP 3: Drop in the SALES field in the Values area once again

It will now show a Sum of SALES!

Count VS Sum in Pivot Tables

N.B. Sometimes you will need to locate the Pivot Table that has the Grouped values.  The SALES field may not be evident that it is Grouped, especially if it is not selected in the Row/Column labels.

You may need to drag and drop this field from the PivotTable Fields and into the Row/Column Labels area to confirm that it is Grouped.


Helpful Resource:

Automatically Refresh a Pivot Table


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