A pivot table is a reporting tool found in Microsoft Excel that allows a user to consolidate large data tables to extract information without using formulas. A pivot table is easy to modify, as it features a drag-and-drop interface that allows the user to view data sets in different ways.
Some basic functions of a pivot table include automatic totalling or averaging of a given data set and displaying it in a separate sheet in a summarized form. The pivot table was first released as part of Microsoft Excel 5 in 1994. The technology is partially based on an earlier program called the Improv, which was released by Lotus Development in 1991.