Quick, clean, and to the point

Pivot table year over year by month

Pivot tables have many options for displaying value fields. In the example shown, a pivot table is used to show the year over year variance in sales for each month of the year.  Change can be displayed as the numeric difference or as a percentage (this example).


The pivot table uses all two of the three fields in the source data: Date, and Sales. Because Date is grouped by Years and Months, it appears twice in the list, once as "Date" (month grouping), once as "Years":

Year over year by month field list

The Date field has been been grouped by Months and Years:

Dates are grouped by Years and Months

The resulting "Years" field has been added as a Column field. The Original "Date" field is configured as a Row field, which breaks down sales by month.

The Sales field has been added to the Values field twice. The first instance is a simple Sum of Sales, renamed to "Sales " (note the extra space at the end):

Sales field settings

The second instance of Sales has been renamed "% change", and set to show a "% Difference From" value, based on the previous year:

Change field settings

Note: Column H values are empty since there is no previous year. It has been hidden to streamline the report.


  1. Create a pivot table, change report layout to Tabular
  2. Add Date field to Columns area, group by Years and Months
  3. Add Date field to Rows area (shows months)
  4. Add Sales to Values area as Sum
  5. Add Sales to Values area, rename to "% Change"
    1. Show values as = % Difference From
    2. Base field = Year
    3. Base item = Previous
  6. Hide first Change column (optional)


  1. To show absolute change, set Show values as to "Difference From" in step 5 above.
  2. If Date is grouped by more than one component (i.e. year and month) field names will appear differently in the pivot table field list. The important thing is to group by year and use that grouping as the base field.
  3. As an alternative to automatic date grouping, you can add a helper column to the source data, and use a formula to extract the year. Then add the Year field to the pivot table directly.

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