A recent Apple Numbers update included the addition of PIVOT tables, which is exciting as it brings feature parity between Numbers and Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet program on more features.

I use Microsoft Excel regularly at my place of work and it is a key tool for data management, analysis, and transformation though I often turn to Numbers when I want to create a more “readable” table.

I having used the feature now for several months I wanted to write about the experience. Overall, the adding PIVOT tables to the Numbers feature-set is an artful addition and makes Numbers an amazing deal. The PIVOT table feature combined with XLOOKUP makes Numbers a secret weapon in any data analysts toolset especially as the layout-design features in Numbers make creating quick deliverables key easy so you can hack together dashboard-like one-page PDFs for leadership.

Numbers also has the count unique feature, which Excel is missing on its MacOS version so you really gain your value for software that becomes essentially bundled on MacOS and also iOS. The one downside is that if you’re dealing with 15,000+ rows I’ve found that Numbers can be somewhat sluggish in refreshing the PIVOTs though for bootstrapping reporting I can’t recommend this tool enough.