What Is the Purpose of a Pivot Table?

A pivot table is used to automatically categorize and display summarized results in any of its three viewing areas, namely rows, columns or layers. A pivot table is a useful and convenient tool to reorganize the information in a data table, generate cross tabulations or to show correlations.

Pito Salas is considered as the “father of pivot tables” according to the book “Pivot Table Data Crunching” written by Bill Jelen and Mike Alexander. Salas discovered that spreadsheets contained data patterns that could aid in data processing. He built on this concept and later developed Lotus Improv, which became the precursor for pivot tables.