Get Your Name Printed in Power Pivot Alchemy :)

March 27, 2014

 

***UPDATE:  Pre-order window moved to Tuesday April 1st, and moved from Amazon to MrExcel.com:

0) Add the pre-order window to your calendar

1a) MrExcel.com Physical Book Page (USA Orders Only!)

1b) MrExcel.com eBook Page (All Countries)

***BONUS:  In addition to getting your name printed in the book, ALL pre-orders from MrExcel.com will include IMMEDIATE access to the “rough cuts” version of Alchemy in PDF form.  Think of this as the 99% complete version of the book, a “final beta” of sorts.  You can start reading next week, and then receive the final version when it’s ready in a few weeks.  (Immediate access to the PDF is included with pre-orders of the physical book OR eBook).

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About 160 People Got Their Names Printed in the First Book, and Seemed to Really Enjoy It.
Time to Do That Again for My Long-Delayed New Book, Alchemy.

The long tug of war draws to a close…

Yes folks, it’s basically done.  For over a year now, Bill and I have taken turns playing the roles of “Busy Guy Who Keeps Putting it Off” and “Impatient Guy Who Wonders Why the Other Guy Keeps Dragging His Feet.”

For the record, it looks like the game is ending with me holding the hot potato.  Bill will forever remind me that I was the last hold up, I know this.

Order Tuesday April 1st Between
12 and 1 PM US Eastern Time

Pre-order the book on MrExcel.com during that 1-hour window and we will include your name in the book before it goes to the printer!  (Yes we still have a narrow window for changes).

0) Add the pre-order window to your calendar

1a) MrExcel.com Physical Book Page (USA Orders Only!)

1b) MrExcel.com eBook Page (All Countries)

(No Need to Send Screenshots Since We’ll Have Your Name on the Order)

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Guest Post: Our Power View Story (and Power Pivot Settings Cheatsheet)

December 12, 2013

By Avichal Singh www.linkedin.com/in/avichalsingh

You read about my Power Pivot journey in my first blog post and in my subsequent blog post I elaborated on migration to Analysis Services Tabular Model (SSAS Tabular). I realize now though, that I did things out of order and need to address that in some way. As my journey outlined, before we switched over to SSAS Tabular, we moved our Power Pivot workbooks to SharePoint and started using Power View Reports. And Power View has been a key element of our success. For this post I’ll go back to the future and speak about

- Our success with Power View

- All the settings in Power Pivot related to Power View

p.s.: When I refer to Power View I am referring to Power View on SharePoint. I am not referring to Power View functionality built in to Excel 2013, since that is a fairly different experience than Power View on SharePoint.

Power View Success Story

I love Power View, except when I don’t. It can feel limiting at times and frustrating, especially to an excel user (which is all of us Smile). After demonstrating a really slick Power View report with all the bells and whistles (check out a sample from Microsoft BI at Power View Demo. Mine don’t look as good as this), the first question I often get from the user is, “Great, now how can I export this to Excel?” And my answer is – you can’t Sad smile
“Export to Excel is the third most common button in data/BI apps…after Ok and Cancel” (click for a real fun post!), and Power View does not have it. Yet! If the powers that be are reading, I think it’s feasible that an icon appears when you hover over Power View report elements, to export the underlying data in excel in a simple table format. Please consider that for the next release. Now that I am in begging mode might as well ask for – ability to re-label measures/column names in Power View Report and show numbers as Percentage of Total (like in Excel Pivots). The latter is doable using DAX but not easily so.

Okay, now let’s move on to some love ©©©

  • Power View reports are easy to build, maintain and use
  • Shared Power View report give you a Single Version of Truth (kinda)

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***UPDATE: Excel 2013 Standalone Will NOT Add Power Pivot/View Until September 10, 2013

August 27, 2013

 
***
Update Oct 11, 2013:  I’ve been given the “all clear” by Microsoft and from readers that as of this week, Excel 2013 Standalone DOES include and successfully install Power Pivot!

See this post for details.

***

After a few readers of last week’s post reported that installing Standalone did NOT add Power Pivot and Power View, we followed up with my contacts at Microsoft.

Microsoft quickly tracked down a problem in the upgrade logic, and it will be fixed in the September 10th update (that gets automatically downloaded).  So hold tight until then.


Europe Underestimated: Why Power View Hates Bob Phillips, and a User Group Update

June 19, 2013

 
Lots more interest still flowing in through the registration page.  Updated status (changes in CAPS)…

Places that are ready:  NEW YORK, DALLAS, INDIANAPOLIS, KANSAS CITY, LONDON, NORTHERN ENGLAND, Portland, Detroit, Washington DC, Vancouver BC, Boston, Cincy/Dayton, Milwaukee/Madison, Seattle, Atlanta.

Places that are getting close:  CHARLOTTE, NASHVILLE, BIRMINGHAM (Alabama), GENEVA, COPEHNAGEN, OSLO, STOCKHOLM, Minneapolis/St. Paul,  Chicago, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Perth, Melbourne, Sydney.

Places that just need an organizer:  NorCal and Denver still slacking in this regard Smile

But there’s an actual Power View technique/fix to be reported here, one that paints a much nicer picture of Europe especially…

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Europe Has a Lot More Bubbles than Originally Thought Smile

I got a comment/question from Bob Phillips yesterday:

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PowerPivot vs. Power View: What’s the Difference?

June 18, 2013

 
I’ve been getting this question a lot lately:  How does Power View relate to PowerPivot?  Is PV a replacement for PP?   (And why does PV have a space in it while PP does not?)

First:  Understand that PowerPivot is Kinda Two Things

Let’s rewind all the way back to Office 2010, a world in which PV does not exist.  (For most of you, we call this time Today.  And for those stuck on 2007 or 2003, you may refer to this as Tomorrow.  Or maybe even the Day After Tomorrow).

In that world, which is where this blog largely lives, it’s helpful to reflect that PowerPivot has two parts:  the PowerPivot window, and the Excel window.  They have the following relationship:

PowerPivot's Relationship to Excel

 

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Open Letter to My Friends at Microsoft: The Power of Excel’s Internal Network Effect

May 21, 2013

 
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Excel on the Left.  Other Data Tools on the Right.

Today I’m going to “get my nerd on” in a big way.  Buckle up.

The genesis of this post is an email I’ve been meaning to send to my contacts at Microsoft – one I’ve been thinking about writing for at least a year.  But I also figure it’s the sort of thing you folks might find interesting, and I really don’t have time these days to write the same “opus” twice, so here goes – two birds with one stone.  And it’s a friendly stone.

Has there ever been a tool as flexible as Excel?

Let’s take a moment and just marvel at Excel’s “range.”  (VBA macro programmers – yes the joke is intentional).

You can do damn near anything in Excel.  Calendar chart visualizations.  Music videosBeautiful artMore music videosRespiration wavelengthsChess gamesWord clouds.

But those are just the outliers really – the novelties.  The truly valuable examples are much less dramatic and happen hundreds of thousands of times every day.  I’ll give some examples in the next section.

Feature A Was NEVER “Intended” to Be Used With Feature B!

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“Hey You Got Your Slicer in My Conditional Formatting!”
(And then the whole jar fell into a bucket of DAX)

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Guest Post: GeoFlow using Panama’s Census Data

May 9, 2013

imageIntro from Rob

Very busy week for me.  Fortunately Miguel is at the ready with another guest post.

It occurs to me that we’ve now had guest posts from the US, the UK, Holland, Canada, and Panama.  That’s pretty cool. 

Miguel told me that I was going to LOVE the first picture in this post.  And I do.  But I must say that, once I saw the title, I expected something along the lines of the picture at the right.  The picture below is better.

OK, over to Miguel…

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Figure shows the population distribution for Panama in 2010
Made Entirely in Excel!

If you read my latest guest post at Powerpivotpro’s blog, you’ll know that I’m working on a personal project trying to get a more visual aproach of the latest census Data for the country of Panama (where I’m from and I currently live in).

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Guest Post from Kasper! Excel 2013, Power View, top 10, “long tail” and how DAX helps

January 3, 2013

Welcome to 2013!

Hi folks, welcome back Smile  Over the holidays, Kasper submitted a post – yes, THAT Kasper.  Appropriately for the year 2013, it is focused on Excel 2013.  Not many people have 2013 on their desktops yet (even me really – I just have one “test” laptop running it), but over the course of this year I’ll be slowing “rotating” Excel 2013 topics onto the blog.

Anyway, Kasper and I decided to “hold” his post until today so that everyone sees it. 

Over to Kasper…

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“I’ll be back” – Kasper de Jonge

Ok its been a while since I blogged an actual scenario here on PowerPivotPro but here is another one :) . Its that time at the end of the year and folks here at Microsoft are out enjoying their vacation so lots of meetings get cancelled,  this gives me the opportunity to do one of the the things I love, helping users of our products get the solution they need and write some blog posts :).

A few days ago I met a internal user who had 3 million rows of occurrences, products and dates in a SQL database and wanted to get some insights out of it, preferably in a highly visual output. We are fortunate here at Microsoft that we always get to play with the latest bits, so we have access to Excel 2013 that includes Power View.

In this blog post we will look at how we can show a top 10 list of best selling products in Power View and how we can solve a long tail problem that will allow us to visualize only the top best selling products in a chart and ignore the rest. I know these things are pretty straightforward in Excel (if you know where to find it) but it needs the help of DAX in Power View.

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Cloud PowerPivot to Launch Free Offering

November 6, 2012

 

***UPDATE – FULL: Wave one filled up fast, no need for 48 hours. We actually went over 100 during the night and hit about 130. We’re letting all of those in, but are taking down the signup form now.

Stay tuned for news about Wave Two Smile

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If Ebenezer Scrooge Were Alive Today, He’d Use PowerPivot.  And He’d Love This Post.
(Believe it or not this is an original image I commissioned ten years ago)

Taking my “High Priest” Role VERY Seriously

There are a few themes that I just keep hammering on, month after month.  Most of those revolve around the stunning new future opening up for Excel Pros.  I believe every thing I say about that stuff.  It is REAL.

One of the biggest and most transformational changes is this:  taking your workbooks to the web.  Workbooks were being emailed around back when Roxette topped the worldwide music charts.  PowerPivot workbooks published to a server are a very, VERY different experience, one that inspires MUCH more respect from the person consuming them.

Short Version: Free Forever for Lighter Workloads

This week, Pivotstream is launching something that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time: a way for you (yes YOU, dear reader) to harness the power of PowerPivot server (publishing workbooks as interactive web apps)… for free.

Not a trial. This is more of a Dropbox-style model where lighter usage is completely free, and you only pay if you want more capacity.  I want to remove any barriers I can so that you can experience what I’m talking about (without bankrupting my company of course), and I think we’ve figured out how to do that.  But before I get into details, let me show you something.

Just Add Upload

Thanks to a recent focus group I recruited here on the blog, I learned that many people expect there to be some sort of intensive conversion process – it seems like you would need to put a lot of work into a workbook before it becomes an interactive web application like the ones on our demo site.

So I recorded a video showing that it’s much, MUCH simpler than that.  Just upload Smile

Upload and Share – Short Video Illustrating an Even Shorter Process Smile
(I recommend watching in HD and Fullscreen)

Benefits to Excel Pro

I didn’t have time to cover this in such a short video, so here’s a quick table comparing the old way to the new way, through the eyes of you, the Excel Pro:

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PowerPivot V2 – To The Cloud!

August 2, 2012

Power View Report From PowerPivot V2 (2012) Workbook Running on Pivotstream Cloud Platform

My First Real Experiment with Power View – Built From a PowerPivot V2 XLSX!
(Running on our New V2 Cloud PowerPivot Platform)

Lots of Work Pays Off

The #1 question I hear every day is “when will Pivotstream offer support for V2 on their cloud platform?”  And in fact, that’s maybe the #1 question that I ask of the team every day, too.

There’s a lot of demand for it, given all the new bells and whistles in the V2 release.  But we’re no longer a fledgling little operation – we can’t just upgrade everyone overnight.  Actually, we could, but that would be irresponsible – we have to make sure none of our customers get burned in the process, and huge software releases like V2 have a tendency to be…  finicky.  If we upgrade everyone and things start breaking, saying “it’s Microsoft’s fault” is not an answer – we have to hold ourselves to a higher bar.

So our V2 cloud platform is a completely separate and parallel investment – new hardware, new domains, new base URL’s, etc.  A lot of time and money, in other words.  So if you’ve been wondering “what the heck are they waiting for,” now you know.

In Private Beta Now, Sign Up for the Public Beta

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