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Pivot table reference

Pivot tables let you narrow down a large data set or analyze relationships between data points. Pivot tables reorganize your dimensions and metrics to help you quickly summarize your data and see relationships that might otherwise be hard to spot.

In this article:

Pivot tables in Looker Studio

Pivot tables in Looker Studio take the rows in a standard table and pivot them so they become columns. This lets you group and summarize the data in ways a standard table can't provide.

Pivot table examples

The following is a standard table listing the Revenue Per User metric by calendar quarter and year:

A table displays values for the Revenue Per User metric grouped by Country, Quarter, and Year.

While this table is useful for showing which country received the most revenue per user and in which quarter, it isn't useful for summarizing this data in a meaningful way.

A pivot table, however, quickly shows the relationship of this data:

A pivot table displays the Revenue Per User metric grouped by Country pivoted by quarter and year.

This table easily summarizes the data from the previous example. You can also quickly spot outliers or anomalies in your data. Notice that several countries had no revenue in Q4, for example.

Pivot tables in Looker Studio support adding multiple row and column dimensions. The example below adds the Gender dimension to the rows. This further breaks down the data, giving you even more insight into your data:

A pivot table displays the Revenue Per User metric grouped by Country and Gender, pivoted by quarter and year.

Show totals

Pivot tables support totals and subtotals for both rows and columns:

A pivot table displays Revenue Per User grouped by Country and Gender, pivoted by quarter and year with row totals and column totals.


Expand-collapse lets report viewers show or hide different levels of information in the pivot table by clicking + and in the column header. Viewers can then explore the data at the level of detail that interests them most. Expand-collapse also provides a way for a single pivot table to show both summary and detailed information, reducing the number of charts needed in your reports.

A pivot table with expanded columns displays values for the Continent, Sub Continent, and Country dimensions.

Example pivot table showing expand-collapse with a geographic hierarchy.

Configure the chart

Add a new chart or select an existing chart. Then, on the right, use the Properties panel to configure the chart's Setup and Style tab properties.

Add a new chart or select an existing chart. Then, on the right, use the Properties panel to configure the chart's Setup and Style tab properties.

Set up the chart data

The options in the Setup tab of the Properties panel determine how the chart's data is organized and displayed.

Data source

A data source provides the connection between the component and the underlying dataset. 

  • To change the chart's data source, click the current data source name.
  • To view or edit the data source, click Edit. (You must have at least Viewer permission to see this icon.)
  • Click +BLEND DATA to see data from multiple data sources in the same chart. Learn more about data blending.

Date range dimension

This option appears if your data source has a valid date dimension.

Note: This option does not appear for Google Ads or Google Analytics data sources, as these automatically select a dimension of type Date from the data source.

The Date range dimension is used as the basis for limiting the date range of the chart. For example, this is the dimension that is used if you set a date range property for the chart or if a viewer of the report uses a date range control to limit the time frame.

Row Dimension

Dimensions are data categories. Dimension values (the data that is contained by the dimension) are names, descriptions, or other characteristics of a category.

The row dimensions provide the breakdown of rows in the pivot table. Reorder the dimensions listed to change the order of the rows in your table.


Turn on Expand-collapse to treat the row dimensions as an expandable hierarchy.

The order in which you list the dimensions within the hierarchy matters. As a rule of thumb, you should define hierarchies to always go from the most general to the most specific. For example, defining a geographic hierarchy as Country > City > Region could produce undesirable results, because you're going from a general level to a more detailed level, then back to a more general level.
When you add a Date or Date & TIme type field or a Geo type field as the row dimension, then turn on expand-collapse, Looker Studio automatically populates the dimension hierarchy with related fields.

Default expand level

Set the level of detail to show by default. For example, in a geographic hierarchy consisting of Continent > Sub Continent > Country, setting the default expand level to Country would show Continent and Sub Continent details.

Column dimension

The column dimensions provide the breakdown of columns in the pivot table. Reorder the dimensions listed to change the order of the rows in your table.


Metrics measure the things that are contained in dimensions and provide the numeric scale and data series for the chart.

Metrics are aggregations that come from the underlying data set or that are the result of implicitly or explicitly applying an aggregation function, such as COUNT(), SUM(), or AVG(). The metric itself has no defined set of values, so you can’t group by a metric as you can with a dimension.

Learn more about aggregation.

Optional metrics

Define a list of additional metrics that can be displayed by the chart or table. Learn more about optional metrics.


Display totals for each row and column. If you have only one dimension in a row or column, the option is to display a grand total. If you have two or more dimensions, the options include subtotals and grand totals.


The sorting options let you control the order of the dat a displayed in the pivot table.

Number of rows and number of columns

You can specify a number in the Number of rows field and within the Number of columns field for each row and column series to limit the number of rows and columns in the pivot table.

Group Others

When a column or row limit is set in the Number of rows field or the Number of columns field for the first row dimension or the first column dimension, the Group Others checkbox will become available. Select the Group Others checkbox for Row #1, Column #1, or both, to aggregate the results that are outside of the specified row or column limit into a row or into a column that will have the label OthersThis checkbox lets you compare other series against the context of the remaining results. 

When Group Others is not enabled, depending on the chart's configuration, the chart may not display all the data.

Default date range

The default date range property lets you set a timeframe for an individual chart.

Default date range options

Auto Uses the default date range, which is determined by the chart's data source.
Custom Lets you use the calendar widget to select a custom date range for the chart.

Learn more about working with dates and time. 


Filters restrict the data that is displayed in the component by including or excluding the values that you specify. Learn more about the filter property.

Filter options

Filter name Click an existing filter to edit it. Mouse over the filter name and click X to delete it.
+Add a filter Click this option to create a new filter for the chart.

Google Analytics segment

This option appears for charts based on a Universal Analytics data source.

A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. You can apply segments to your Looker Studio charts to help ensure that your Looker Studio and Google Analytics reports show the same data. Learn more about Analytics segments in Looker Studio.

Chart interactions

When the Cross-filtering option is enabled on a chart, that chart acts like a filter control. You can filter the report by clicking or brushing your mouse across the chart. Learn more about cross-filtering.

Stylize the chart

The options in the Style tab control the overall presentation and appearance of the chart.


If you select the Show title checkbox, you can add a title and customize its appearance and placement on the chart.

Title options

Title Provides a text field where report editors can enter a custom title for the chart.

Title font type

Sets the font type for the title text.

Title font size Sets the font size for the title text.
Font styling options Applies bold, italic, or underline styling to the title text.
Title font color Sets the font color for the title text.
Left Aligns the chart title to the left side of the chart.

Centers the chart title above or below the chart.

Right Aligns the chart title to the right side of the chart.
Top Positions the chart title at the top of the chart.
Bottom Positions the chart title at the bottom of the chart.

Conditional formatting 

Click the Add button to apply conditional formatting rules to the pivot table chart. Learn more about conditional formatting in Looker Studio charts.

Table Header

These options control the appearance of the data labels.

Header font color Changes the font color of the table header.
Header font size Changes the font size of the table header.
Header font family Changes the font family of the table header.

Table Colors

These options control the colors of the table borders and cells.

Header background color Sets the color of the table header background.
Cell border color Sets the color of the border between rows.
Highlight color Sets the color of the highlight bars.
Odd/Even row color Sets the color of odd or even rows in the table.

Table Labels

These options control the appearance of the table data.

Font color Sets the font color of the data.
Font size Sets the font size of the data.
Font family Sets the font family of the data.
Heatmap text contrast Sets the font color automatically when displaying a heatmap. Choose from 3 levels of contrast, low, medium, or high.

Missing data

This option controls how to display missing values. For example, when data is missing from the table, you can choose to show blanks, hyphens, or the words "no data."


This section controls the appearance of the metrics.

Drop-down menu
  • Number - displays the metric value "as is."
  • Heatmap - displays the metric value with a colored background, the intensity of which shows how that value compares to the other values in that column.
    Use the Heatmap text contrast option (in the Table Labels section above) to set the font color automatically to provide better readability of your data labels. Choose from 3 levels of contrast: Low, Medium, or High.
  • Bar - displays the metric value as a horizontal bar. You can change the bar color and include the numeric value, as well, if desired.
Compact Numbers

Rounds numbers and displays the unit indicator. For example, 553,939 becomes 553.9K.

Decimal Precision Sets the number of decimal places in metric values.
Show target Appears when the column type is set to Bar. Shows a target line for the value set in the target value field, similar to a bullet chart.
Show axis Displays an X-axis for the bar chart.

Background and border

These options control the appearance of the chart background container.

Background Sets the chart background color.
Border Radius Adds rounded borders to the chart background. When the radius is 0, the background shape has 90° corners. A border radius of 100° produces a circular shape.
Opacity Sets the chart opacity. 100% opacity completely hides objects behind the chart. 0% opacity makes the chart invisible.
Border Color Sets the chart border color.
Border Weight Sets the chart border line thickness.
Border Style Sets the chart border line style.
Add border shadow Adds a shadow to the chart's lower and right borders.

Chart Header

The chart header lets viewers perform various actions on the chart such as exporting the data or sorting the chart. The following chart header options are available:

Show on hover (default) Three vertical dots appear when you mouse over the chart header. Click these dots to access the header options.
Always show The header options always appear.
Do not show The header options never appear. Note that report viewers can always access the options by right-clicking the chart.
Color Sets the color of the chart header options.

Limits of pivot tables

  • Pivot tables can render up to 500,000 cells of data, however, depending on the data set and dimensions and metrics involved in the table, performance may degrade. You can apply a filter to the pivot table to reduce the amount of data being rendered.
  • You may have up to five pivot tables per page in a report.
  • The number of row dimensions available depends on the type of data you're connecting to:
    • Fixed-schema data sources, such as Google Ads and Google Analytics, can have up to five row dimensions.
    • Flexible-schema data sources, such as Google Sheets and BigQuery, can have up to 10 row dimensions.
  • Pivot tables can have up to two column dimensions.
  • Pivot tables can have up to 20 metrics.
  • Pivot tables do not paginate, as do standard tables.
  • You can't apply metric filters to pivot tables; doing so displays an error message.

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