Recently at Zuar, we had a user that needed to pull a subset of data from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, and pivot that Excel data to create a new table with a specific data structure.

Our approach to Data Value Chains helps companies refine and use their data to outperform their competitors. This is just one of those processes that we want you to understand a bit better. So let’s take a closer look at how to manipulate Excel data.

Consider the following spreadsheet:

Test Spreadsheet

The user wanted a final table with Member, Member ID, Product SLUG, Product ID, Product and all of the product volume data (cells C7-J12). They also only wanted data from the first table in the Excel sheet and did not want the total rows (row 13).

First, we need to pull two sets of data from the spreadsheet. One set will have member, and the member ID (in green below), and the other set will include all the product data (in red below).

Next, we needed to pivot that data into a vertical format. Finally, we will do a full outer join on the two pivoted tables, and then run everything in sequence.

Excel Jobs in Mitto

In Mitto we'll create two Excel jobs. Both Excel jobs use the same Excel file as a data source, but each job will grab a different section of Excel data.

The first Excel job (in green) will have a start column of 3 and a start row of 3 (always using a zero index), and should only include 2 rows.

The second job (in red) will start at row 5 and should only include 7 rows. start_column and start_row are keys that can be provided in the "input" block of a job. To stop pulling data after a set number of rows we can use the SliceTransform class in the "transforms" step.

Consider the following JSON for the first job (in green):

    "input": {
        "sheet": "Sheet 1",
        "source": "Blog_Example.xlsx",
        "start_column": 3,
        "start_row": 3,
        "use": "flatfile.iov2#ExcelInput"
    "output": {
        "dbo": "postgresql://localhost/analytics",
        "schema": "excel",
        "tablename": "pivot_example_blog_members",
        "use": "call:mitto.iov2.db#todb"
    "steps": [
            "transforms": [
                    "stop": 1,
                    "use": "mitto.iov2.transform.builtin#SliceTransform"
                    "use": "mitto.iov2.transform#ExtraColumnsTransform"
                    "use": "mitto.iov2.transform#ColumnsTransform"
            "use": "mitto.iov2.steps#Input"
            "use": "mitto.iov2.steps#CreateTable"
            "transforms": [
                    "use": "mitto.iov2.transform#FlattenTransform"
            "use": "mitto.iov2.steps#Output"
            "use": "mitto.iov2.steps#CountTable"

This is the JSON defining the first job (in green). You will note there are 3 blocks, "input," "output," and "steps."

At the top in the "input" block, you will see the start_row and the start_columns defined. Mitto always uses zero indexes for tabular data rows and columns, meaning we start counting at zero, not one. Therefore, the fourth cell from the left is "start_column": 3.

The second block, "output," defines where the resulting data will be stored. This could define anything, including flat files, but in this case we're outputting the Excel data into Mitto's built in PostgreSQL database in a schema named excel, and a table named pivot_example_blog_members.

In the "steps" block, we define each step of transforming the data from Excel to SQL, including the very first step SliceTransform, which limits the number of rows we want from the spreadsheet to one. Again starting at a zero index, so 1 will yield two rows.

Running this job will produce the following table:


Running a similar job for the data in red will produce this table:


SQL Jobs

Now that we have Excel data in the database, we need to transform the data to get to the final result the user wants.

We'll create two more Mitto jobs in order to pivot the data from horizontal to vertical. These jobs will be SQL jobs using PostgreSQL syntax. In order to pivot the data we'll use the LATERAL keyword, which is kind of like an SQL for-loop. For every product in our table we want to list each member and their volume data. The SQL is as follows:

DROP TABLE IF EXISTS excel.pivotted_table;
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS excel.pivotted_table AS
  , t.product_slug
  , t.product_id
  , t.product
  , v.*
    excel.pivot_examples_blog_table t
                 ('penn', t.penn)
               , ('wilson', t.wilson)
               , ('dunlop',
               , ('babolat', t.babolat)
               , ('prince', t.prince)
               , ('gamma', t.gamma)
        ) v (member, values)

For the member pivot, we'll use:

DROP TABLE IF EXISTS excel.pivotted_members;
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS excel.pivotted_members AS
  , v.*
    excel.pivot_example_blog_members t
                 ('penn', t.penn),
                 ('wilson', t.wilson),
                 ('babolat', t.babolat),
                 ('prince', t.prince),
                 ('gamma', t.gamma)) v (member, member_id)

The resulting tables will look like this:



One final SQL job will do a full outer join on these two tables on the member column:

DROP TABLE IF EXISTS excel.joined_pivot;
CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS excel.joined_pivot AS
  , excel.pivotted_members.member_id
  , excel.pivotted_table.product_slug
  , excel.pivotted_table.product_id
  , excel.pivotted_table.product
  , excel.pivotted_table.values
    FULL OUTER JOIN excel.pivotted_table
                    ON excel.pivotted_members.member = excel.pivotted_table.member

Sequence all Jobs Together to Manipulate Excel Data

Finally in our Mitto on the bottom left, hover over the "Add" button and select "Sequence." In the order they were made, drag all the jobs one by one into the box on the left, and make sure each job has "Enabled" checked. Click on "Submit" to create the sequence and then run it.

If all went well you should end up with a table like this:


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