Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 2: The Transformation


In Part 1 of this series, you learned how to prepare the data we will be using to create our dashboard. In this article, I will show you:

  • How to set up an Excel pivot table.
  • How to use calculated metrics in a pivot table.
  • How to use Named Ranges in Excel.
  • How to use the OFFSET formula in Excel.

Transformation (The “T” in “DTP”)

We are going to use an Excel pivot table for our "transformation" layer in our DTP framework (worksheet). You should already have your data prepared in the "current" worksheet, so you will need to:

1.If you haven’t already, format your data as a table in Excel by highlighting your entire data set in the "current" worksheet and click on "Format as Table" from the "Home" menu.

2.Now select any cell within your table and navigate to the "Insert" menu and insert a "Pivot Table".

3.Place "Campaign" in the "Report Filter" and "Day" in the "Row Labels" section.

4.Add all metrics to the "Values" section as shown below.

AdWords Dashboard

The first calculated metric we are going to create is our "weighted average position" using the "Curr_AvgPos*Impr" metric that we added during our data preparation.

1. Navigate to the "Options" tab in the "PivotTable Tools" menu.

2.Then choose "Calculated Field" from the "Formulas" dropdown.

Pivot Table Tools

3.Name your new metric something appropriate like, "AvgPos" and use the following formula: ='Curr_AvgPos*Impr' /Impressions

Insert Calculated Field

4.Repeat steps 1-3 to calculate your previous average position.

Here is a list of the remaining calculated metrics you will need to create using the method described above:

  • curr_CTR: =Clicks /Impressions
  • curr_CR: ='Conv. (1-per-click)' /Clicks
  • curr_CPC: =Cost /Clicks
  • curr_CPA: =Cost /'Conv. (1-per-click)'
  • prv_CTR: =Prv_Clicks /Prv_Impr
  • prv_CR: =Prv_Conv /Prv_Clicks
  • prv_CPC: =Prv_Cost /Prv_Clicks
  • prv_CPA: =Prv_Cost /Prv_Conv

Here is a list of all the columns you should now have in your pivot table:

Row Labels

Sum of Impressions

Sum of Clicks

Sum of Cost

Sum of Conv. (1-per-click)

Sum of AvgPos

Sum of Prv_Impr

Sum of Prv_Clicks

Sum of Prv_Cost

Sum of Prv_Conv

Sum of Prv_AvgPos

Sum of curr_CTR

Sum of curr_CR

Sum of curr_CPC

Sum of curr_CPA

Sum of prv_CTR

Sum of prv_CR

Sum of prv_CPC

Sum of prv_CPA

Sum of Curr_AvgPos*Impr

Sum of Prv_AvgPos*Impr

In order for our dashboard to be dynamic we will need to "Define Names" for all of the columns in our pivot table. We will also be using the OFFSET formula to allow for the selecting of different date ranges like in the AdWords dashboard we are re-creating.

Let’s start with "date".

1.Navigate to the "Formulas" ribbon and select "Define Name" from the menu.

Formulas Ribbon

2.    Use "date" for the name and the following formula in the "Refers to:" field: =OFFSET(transform!$A$5, transform!$J$1, 0, transform!$K$1+1,1)

Edit Name

Now that we’ve defined our left-most column, "date", we can use the OFFSET formula to define the remaining columns.

3.    Follow the steps above to get back to define a new name and use the name "curr_impr" and the following formula: =OFFSET(date,0,1)

Edit Name

4.    Continue to define the names of your columns and increment your OFFSET formula using the "date" named range as seen below:

Name Manager

Next we are going to work on our "presentation" layer. This will include our charts and summaries as well as the dynamic controls we will need to manipulate date-ranges and campaigns.

by Chad Summerhill, author of the blog PPC Prospector, provider of free PPC tools and PPC tutorials, and in-house AdWords Specialist at Moving Solutions, Inc. ( and

(Learn More Excel Tips: Excel Bubble Chart Tutorial)

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Richard Kraneis
Apr 26, 2011

Ah, the mystery of Pivot Tables

I've always enjoyed teaching people the power of pivot tables. But unless they see a pivot table in action, it's probably like trying to explain x-rays and MRIs to a barber/doctor from the Middle Ages.

This link leads you to a 7 minute video of mine on why pivot tables are so powerful. The video is for Excel 2003, not Excel 2007. But the beauty of a pivot table shines through (I hope).

Thanks for the article Chad. You're obviously an Excel master.

PPC Weekly Roundup – Quality Score Edition
Apr 29, 2011

[...] other great posts we came across this week. WordStream posts a follow up to last week’s post– Re-Creating AdWords Campaign Performance Charts in Excel, Part 2. Jason Lancaster of Denver Internet Marketing begs Internet marketers to stop comparing SEO and [...]

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