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I first came across pivot tables in Microsoft Excel back in around version 4.0 in 1992. The term pivot table is generic, but Microsoft Corporation has trademarked the specific form PivotTable.
Over the years there have been significant improvements which have made them both easier to use and increased their functionality. They are an incredibly powerful tool for analysing raw data and do require a bit of effort to learn, but the benefits make it worthwhile. I am an accountant by profession and use pivot tables every day in my working life. The ability to directly link and query the underlying database of an accounting package is a fantastic feature.
The majority of my experience has been with accounting systems data. While many accounting packages these days can export data to spreadsheets, the format is often not the easiest to use, or in a very raw form. Most of the training I have seen is do not really show the full power of the pivot tables. I tried to find a sample database and ended up making up my own tables. I started with some sales and customer data and went from there. Being a visual sort of person, I wanted to produce some videos to show step by step some of the things possible with the pivot tables. There are a few spreadsheets which I will make available for download which you can experiment on and maybe use.
I hope the sample videos will give a taste of what can be done.