PowerPivot Compression: Mysterious Ways

  Johnny take a tour of your data, and tune……up your columns and your rows, to free up some roomYou’ve been following some rules, with the former VertipaqNow you’re seeing some results, that you don’t understand(Click image for the original music and lyrics) Modifying Lyrics From U2’s Best Album Ever Yes, “Achtung Baby” is U2’s best album ever.  Yes, I am deliberately trying to pick a fight. (“Former” VertiPaq?  Why yes, Microsoft recently renamed the storage engine under the hood…

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VLOOKUP Week: Who Needs VLOOKUP Anymore?

  VLOOKUP Week – Brought to You by Mr. Excel(Click Image for the Official Site of VLOOKUP Week) What is the “Scariest” Feature in Excel? A couple of years ago at lunch, Bill remarked to me that VLOOKUP was the “scariest” feature in Excel, and that PowerPivot’s introduction of relationships was going to make Excel a lot “friendlier” to the average user. This sparked a few minutes of friendly debate, as I had always considered pivots themselves to be the…

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Poll Results

Even though it is still open, the one-question poll results have stabilized.  In fact, the percentages were pretty stable even from the beginning. When I first “opened” the blog more than two years ago, the readership was overwhelmingly “BI” plus a smattering of SharePoint folks.  There weren’t enough Excel folks aware of PowerPivot to really even register back then. The growth of the Excel audience here from essentially zero to approximately 70% of the readership actually parallels, perfectly, the total…

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The 3rd Most Common Button in Data Apps is…

 A little bit of food for thought today, delivered in a pictorial/humorous style but with a serious point. A Running Joke That Never Gets Old I’m quite fond of the following one-liner that I’ve been using in presentations for awhile now: “Export to Excel is the third most common button in data and business intelligence apps…  after OK and Cancel.” That generally brings laughs.  It’s ironic of course, since so many business intelligence suites are marketed in part on the…

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Friday Bonus: My Son “Invents” the Spreadsheet

  Row-Wise AND Column-Wise Calcs!(Click for Bigger Version) My 9-Year Old Son Has Never Touched Excel… No, I’ve never sat my son down in front of Excel.  Does that reflect good parenting or poor parenting?  I can see both sides of that one. But it doesn’t matter.  Life finds a way doesn’t it? He put this together to “optimize” his army in his Lego Battles game.  Each row is a series of yes/no properties of each character – does it…

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Another Angle to “The Three Seconds of Now”

  Yesterday, Tom LaRock posted an insightful followup to my post on Moore’s Law and Inflation. He’s a lot better at brevity than I am, so I encourage you to read it.  I really liked this part: “…he took my idea and was able to quickly gather data, perform analysis, postulate his own theory, and return the entire results back in a very short amount of time. This is the future for data professionals. It isn’t about racking servers. It’s…

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Analysis in the Three Seconds of Now

  “NOW”, by Alison Farmer(Click to visit her site) Our Perception of “Now” is Three Seconds in Length For several years now this has been one of my absolute favorite paintings.  I liked it long before I knew the meaning, but when it was explained to me I was doubly hooked:  the string that she is holding is divided into three equal lengths:  three seconds.  The moment of “now.” Apparently there is a lot of research indicating that three seconds…

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