Monday Mini-Post: Excel to Power Pivot Cross the Gap Webinar (Fri Dec 5th)

November 24, 2014

By Avi Singh [Twitter]

UPDATE: We ran into technical issues with the Webinar on Dec 1st using Rescheduling to Fri Dec 5th. See event page for details. Switching to world class web conferencing this time (GoToWebinar)…um, but we are limited to 100 attendees (and a bit oversold, oops!). Join on time to make sure you get your spot – if unable to join, rest assured; you’ll get first dibs on the next one we schedule (planned in January)

Happy Monday! We’ll be going light this week for Thanksgiving, but we have big things cooking for next week. Monday Dec 1st we are hosting our Webinar Excel to Power Pivot: Cross the Gap. Webinar is targeted towards Excel users who are new to Power Pivot.

Most readers here are already across the gap, but do share this with others you know who might benefit. Like the guy in the next cubicle, who has the monthly Excel report that’s chock full of formulas across ten sheets and takes a week to update; and how he needs to schedule his vacation always around the weekly update because no one else can do it. Yeah, tell him his life is about to be transformed.

Click Here to Register for Webinar

5 common mistakes made by self taught DAX students

October 30, 2014

by Matt Allington

I am well under way in my career as a PowerPivot Consultant, Trainer and Workbook Hosting Provider.  And I have to say (now that I have delivered a number of Rob’s “PowerPivot for Excel” training classes) that I am finding delivering training to be one of the most rewarding things I do.

It occurred to me recently that people like me (and also Rob, Avi, Scott), that train users in PowerPivot are able to glean useful insights into the way people learn (and incorrectly learn) PowerPivot.  Today I am going to share with you 5 common mistakes that I have personally observed – maybe you will identify yourself in some of these things, or maybe you will confirm that you are doing just great.  Either way, it is worth a read to either discover a gap or confirm your skill.

But first: I have trained 2 general types of students

I have found there are 2 groups of students that sign up for my PowerPivot for Excel classes.  There are students that are very new, very green (see what I did there – green, get it?) and are using the class to get started.  They come in with very little knowledge about PowerPivot, but enough to know that this could be something awesome.  In the second group are students who have a reasonable amount of PowerPivot experience under their belt but realise there is more to it.  What is a “reasonable amount” of course can vary, but I would classify these people as “active” for 6-26 weeks with a total number of “invested hours” in the vicinity of 10 – 60 hours or so.  Often they are struggling to move forward, and this post covers the main reasons why.

I always ask my students to rank their knowledge on a scale of 0 to 10, and they normally rank themselves 0 (newbies) or about 3 or 4.

2 types

Read the rest of this entry »

Mini-Post: Getting Ready for the Seattle Class Nov 11-12

October 29, 2014

By Avichal Singh

Getting amped up for our first class in Seattle! Just got the box of books from Rob, which we hand out at the class. Check out all the other goodies you would get :-)


The Excel to Power Pivot workshops have been a blast, but the class is going to be even more fun. Just looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of cool new people as well, who are all excited about Power Pivot (we’ll get you excited, if you aren’t yet). Everyone learns in their own way, however

  • Live class is a terrific way to jumpstart your learning
  • It is amazing how much easier it is to really absorb and cement the concepts, even if you have been using Power Pivot for a while
  • It is also a great networking opportunity. Some of these folks may be your new Excel friends for life :-)

    Speaking from my personal experience here – after attending Rob’s class even with 5 year’s worth of Power Pivot experience – and I have heard the same from Rob and Matt. See you soon!

    Click Here to View Class Details & Registration

  • In-Person Power Pivot Class in Seattle, Nov 11-12 Signups Open

    October 22, 2014

    Intro by Rob:  You Will See What I Mean

    Last week I explained why Avi is the Right Guy For the Job, and mentioned that he might be a better “me” than me.

    Everyone in the Seattle area now gets a chance to see what I mean, as he will be teaching my official class there in November.  (He joins Matt Allington as the only two human beings I have certified to teach this class, other than myself, and it’s well-deserved company for both gentlemen).

    Enough from me though, I’ll let Avi take it from here.

    PowerPivotPro Comes Full Circle, Returns to Seattle


    Click for Info on the Seattle Class

    Rob started his Power Pivot journey here in Seattle as one of the founding engineers for Power Pivot. I feel honored to bring that full circle and offer the next  Power Pivot class right here in Microsoft’s backyard. I have spent past several years at Microsoft, building large scale BI systems based on Power Pivot; and training internal and external users alike. Read or watch my Power Pivot journey or read all my posts.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Excel to Power Pivot: Cross the Gap, Change the World

    October 21, 2014

    by Avichal Singh

    Oh boy! What an intro…thanks Rob. “A better me than me”…now I would need to live up to that. Let’s get to work.

    Change the World

    What happened to ‘Cross the Gap’ you say. Well, that’s covered later. This is more important, plus we are never about doing things in the expected order (e.g. we like building BI faucets before plumbing Smile).

    #1 challenge with Power Pivot is awareness. You can generalize that for Power BI, although each component of Power BI also has it’s unique challenges (e.g. Power Query).

    #1 road block in spreading awareness is Power Pivot availability.

  • Excel 2010: Power Pivot is a free add-in
  • Excel 2013/Office 365: you need to be a maze runner Smile (see illustration below)

    Either the whole world should downgrade back to Excel 2010 or we can beseech Microsoft to do something about Excel 2013/Office 365. I tossed a coin and the latter won out. So here it is folks: Free Power Pivot!

    CALL TO ACTION: Sign yourself and recruit others to support the Petition to Microsoft to “Free Power Pivot!”. Make Power Pivot freely available in Office 2013, Office 365 (and beyond)

    Check it out, sign the petition, ask your friends, neighbors, heck even call your Grandparents.

    One clarification though, the request to Microsoft is
    - To make it “freely available
    - and not necessarily “free”, as in a free handout

    If you need more inspiration, read

  • Bill Jelen (Mr Excel)’s lament

  • Comments on the original post: “Hey, Who Moved My (PowerPivot 2013) Cheese?”

  • Scott’s comment on the petition says it all “Amazing product, amazingly hard to getRead the rest of this entry »

  • Reminder: Live Class in Philly in < 2 Weeks

    October 10, 2014

    Post by Rob Collie

    PowerPivot University - Philadelphia

    Final Reminder:  I Will Be in Philadelphia Oct 21-22, Teaching a Two-Day Class
    (at the Microsoft Facility in Malvern, specifically)

    1. More Details
    2. Blog Post on Why You Should Attend
    3. Register

    See you there!

    Aussie Aussie Aussie! Pivot Pivot Pivot!

    September 26, 2014

    Post by Rob Collie

    Just a quick reminder for our friends Down Under, make sure to catch the one and only Matt Allington at one of his upcoming classes in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney. 

    I wouldn’t let just anyone teach my materials – Matt is one fantastic dude.  It will be fun, productive, and life changing.  I swear on the CALCULATE function.

    2-day live Power PIvot training in Australia!

    Tuesday Grab Bag of Biz and Fun

    September 16, 2014

    Post by Rob Collie
    mullet with labels

    Today’s Post is Like a Mullet Haircut:  Business in the Front, Party in the Back

    Let’s Go!

    Series of quick updates today, mixture of pure fun and serious biz, sometimes simultaneously.  In this post:

    1. Download the Draft Index for the Online University – whether you are currently enrolled or not, this may be relevant.  Grab it here.
    2. Live Class in Philly – seats still open for Oct 21-22, more details here.
    3. “Secret Summit” Between Microsoft and Power Pivot early adopters last week.
    4. DAX:  The Power of Paper
    5. Yours Truly taken into police custody for Possession of Industrial-Grade Data Tools


    Read the rest of this entry »

    The Benevolent Virus Spreads to Australia :)

    September 3, 2014

    Post by Rob Collie

    PowerPivot Pro Training Australia

    “Scaling Out”

    Despite me being arguably the loudest advocate of our favorite technology, it remains true that this Power Pivot thing is much bigger than any one person, and everyone needs help.

    I’ve already reached the limits of my own personal travel calendar.  As much as I would LOVE to jetset around the world and teach classes everywhere, well, my family would never see me except for occasional burned-out stopovers at home.

    The fortunate position I find myself in is that I’ve met AMAZING people over the years.  When I need help, I have the luxury of consulting the Rolodex of Awesome.

    So when the time comes to help spread our most benevolent of viruses to the other side of the world, I’m ridiculously happy to be able to call up people like Matt Allington.

    (If you haven’t heard Matt’s story, you should quickly click on his name above, right now, because it will blow your mind – I am still putting mine back together actually.)



    Certified in My Methods

    PowerPivot Pro Training Australia

    As of Today, Matt Allington is the ONLY Person
    I’ve EVER Certified in My Teaching Methods

    In July, Matt made the voyage from Down Under to the shores of Lake Erie for an intensive week at PowerPivotPro HQ.  I deprived him of sleep.  I fed him nothing but Ohio food, like 3-pound grilled cheese sandwiches.  I subjected him to relentless DAX torture.  He bent spoons with his mind.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    In-Person Class in Philly, Oct 21-22!

    September 2, 2014

    Post by Rob Collie

    How recent students have described the class


    Our July Class in Cleveland – 90% of these Fine Folks Came from Out of State!
    (And One From Australia!)

    Taking it to the East Coast – and Beyond

    After running three consecutive classes in Cleveland (April, July, and August), and seeing a packed classroom for the last two, we’ve decided that I should start occasionally venturing out of the Heartland and teaching the class elsewhere too.

    This time we’re going to be partnering with Microsoft itself, and teaching in their MTC (Microsoft Technology Center) just outside of Philadelphia.  An exciting step for sure, uniting me (former ‘Softie and Power Pivot’s most passionate advocate), with, you know, the company that makes the product.  Probably should have figured out some way to cooperate sooner, but such is the independent nature of current and former ‘Softies.

    Click Here to View Class Details & Registration

    Optional Gathering/Dinner on “Middle” Night


    Some Folks from the August Class Throws the “Excel Gang Sign” at Dinner
    (Can You Spot MrExcel Himself, Bill Jelen?)

    On the night of the first classroom day, we’ve been running an informal gathering at a local restaurant, and many people reported that it was one of their favorite social outings ever.  Just being surrounded by people with similar backgrounds, mindsets, and problems is a unique experience, especially for the Excel crowd.

    So of course we will organize such an outing in Philly as well.  Venue TBD (if you have suggestions, send them our way).

    Included:  Thumb Drive and 50% Off Online University

    All Students Receive a PowerPivotPro thumbdrive containing the materials from the course:


    And also a 50% off discount code to the online video course.  Past students have found it to be a helpful “reinforcement” to the live class (as well as covering topics that we don’t have time for in two days), so we have decided to offer it as a bundle.

    More Info and Registration…

    Click Here to View Class Details & Registration

    Next Week’s Sold Out Class: One Spot Re-Opens

    July 25, 2014

    Hi folks.  Next week’s 2-day class (Wed-Thu, 7/30-7/31) taught by me (Rob) has been sold out for awhile now, but we had a last minute cancelation.

    So if you live in the Cleveland area, or feel like some last-minute travel, drop us a note at

    If you ARE considering the trip, you won’t be the only one traveling in, btw.  Of next week’s class, 16 of 17 students are coming from out of town.  Maybe you want to be lucky number 17 of 18.

    We’re also doing a social outing/dinner for the class on Wednesday night.  The famous Matt Allington will be joining us from Down Under.

    Note that we’re doing another class in August as well, so if you’re not inclined to join us on short notice, there’s another option as well.

    Updates from July 4th / World Cup Week

    July 2, 2014

    A Summer State of Mind


    Let’s Call This “Recharge Mode.”

    After an INSANE couple of months, we’ve been taking it this week at PowerPivotPro HQ.  July Fourth holiday week, World Cup games on TV, a relatively quiet email inbox, lots of physical therapy for the still-ailing knee…  all adds up to “no new posts this week.”

    But I do have a few quick updates:

    August Power Pivot Class, Book Bundle, Spanish Book

    Power Pivot Training Course   Power Pivot Training Course


    Our July class here in Cleveland completely sold out – demand exceeded our supply of seats.  That’s a good sign for Power Pivot awareness and adoption, for sure, and

    So we’re going to do another class in August.  Details here.

    Power Pivot Book Bundle

    Reader Jim Fleming wrote me and pointed out this bundle.  Get all three for $27 (eBook versions – web delivery) or $54.95 (print AND eBook versions combined – US shipments only)

    Power Pivot Book en Espanol!

    Last, but NOT Least – Miguel Escobar’s Translation of “DFPP,” Right Here in My Hand.
    Ultimately, No Country or Language Should be “Safe” from the Benevolent Virus Called Power Pivot.