Imagine that Excel is a large toolbox that contains different tools at your disposal. The pivot table is essentially one tool in your Excel toolbox. If a pivot table were indeed a physical tool that you could hold in your hand, a kaleidoscope would most accurately represent it.
When you look through a kaleidoscope at an object, you see that object in a different way. You can turn the kaleidoscope to move the details of the object around. The object itself doesn't change, and it's not connected to the kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope is simply a tool you use to create a unique perspective on an ordinary object.
Think of a pivot table as a kaleidoscope that is pointed at your dataset. When you look at your dataset through a pivot table, you have the opportunity to see details in your data you may not have noticed before. Furthermore, you can turn your pivot table to see your data from different perspectives. The dataset itself doesn't change, and it's not connected to the pivot table. The pivot table is simply a tool you are using to create a unique perspective on your data.
A pivot table allows you to create an interactive view of your dataset. We call this view a pivot table report. With a pivot table report, you can quickly and easily categorize your data into groups, summa rize large amounts of data into meaningful information, and perform a wide variety of calculations in a fraction of the time it takes by hand. But the real power of a pivot table report is that you can interactively drag and drop fields within your report, dynamically changing your perspective and recalculating totals to fit your current view.