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Power Pivot Principles: Introduction

9 January 2018

What is Power Pivot?

Want to create a PivotTable where formatting “sticks” and data may be referenced from a myriad of various sources at the same time? Want to analyse PivotTable outputs but frustrated with the limitations of calculated fields or the GETPIVOTDATA function? If so, then Power Pivot is for you!

In this series we will be sharing with you how to use Power Pivot, as well as some little tips and tricks here and there about the tool.  So, to start it all off, what is Power Pivot?

Power Pivot is a COM add-in tool in Excel which may be used to transform large volumes of data into sophisticated data models, allowing you to perform powerful data analysis. 

Power Pivot offers several features unavailable in “standard” Excel.  One such feature is the ability to compile data from multiple sources and combine them into one interrelated database.  Another useful feature is it can create calculations called a ‘measure’.  Measures calculations are used in data analysis, with some of the more common measures being sums, averages or counts.  Simple and more complex calculations may be created using Data Analysis eXpressions (DAX) formulae.  Measures may be developed and stored locally in a file to create summaries, forecasts and insights.

Power Pivot also possesses the ability to compress the data in Excel as an internal database – known as the “Data Model” – where you may store millions of rows of data.  The small file sizes make it easier to share workbooks with colleagues, with the added benefit of isolating the external database to prevent corruption.  And what’s more, it’s easy to use!

Hopefully we have piqued your interest in Power Pivot, with its features and utilities.  Stay tuned for our next post on which versions of Excel Power Pivot is compatible with.

In the meantime, please remember we have training in Power Pivot which you can find out more about here.