Tables are a pretty easy way to organize, sort and analyze your data when you need it. Here are some basic things you can do with a table in Excel.

Let’s assume you have a sheet in Excel, with some data that looks like this:

Click on any cell inside the data, then look for INSERT in the upper menu, and select Table.

Excel will automatically select the data. You can check My table has headers and click OK.

Your table will look like this:

Note that it has automatically added the option for you to filter the data contained in each column. This will make it easy on our example to find who works in NY, for instance.

Imagine a far bigger set of data containing hundreds of items that need to be filtered. This is an absolute time saver.

Now, when it comes to sort our data, Excel has an answer too.

By right clicking on the first cell of a column (the ones with the filters), you can choose to sort alphabetically, by color, or even get a custom sort.

Let’s say we want to sort the amounts in sales. Then we need to right click on Sales, select Sort, and then go for Custom Sort. A new window will come up, and all we have to do is select Sales in Sort by, Values in Sort on and the order we want them in. Then click OK.

And voila, our table will be sorted, starting from the row with the smallest amount to the largest.

If we want to display the results for week 2 only, we can filter it by clicking on the little arrow next to Week and uncheck all the options we don’t want to see.

Some would think it is easy to see and count the results for week 2, but again, these tools are meant to be used in cases where counting manually is simply not an option.