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.

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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


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    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.

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    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.

    July 30-31 Cleveland Class: Now With Special Guest!

    June 3, 2014


    Yeah, the Crazy Aussie Himself Will Be Attending:
    Former Coca-Cola BI Director, Matt Allington!

    July 30-31 – Cleveland, Ohio. 

    Conquer Data AND Meet Living Proof of Legitimacy.

    Last time I taught one of these, I was flattered that half the class came in from out of state – Indiana and Pennsylvania, I believe.

    Well, the famous Matt Allington, who left his BI Director Job at Coca-Cola to join the Power Pivot Revolution, is taking that to the next level, and flying in from Australia.

    Class Info

    Two full days, $1249 per student. 

    1. Download the PDF agenda HERE.
    2. Reserve your spot HERE.

    Convince Your Boss?

    We hear this a lot:  “I’d love to attend, just not sure how to sell it to the boss man/lady.”

    You could always say, “well, a BI Director at Coke has bet his career on it, for $1249 we can have that power too.”

    Failing that, drop us a note and we’ll help you with a tailored value proposition:

    Mini-Post: 2-Day Class in Cleveland, July 30-31

    May 1, 2014

    teacher power pivot

    Yes, I Look Precisely Like This in Person Smile with tongue out
    (But No, I Don’t Have One of Those Little Teacher Batons)

    The last time we did this was a blast.  So we thought we’d do it again, this time with more advanced notice.  I met some truly amazing people – even the lunch breaks were just a lot of fun.  And, as amazing people are inclined to do, they are now off doing amazing things with their data.

    Half the class actually traveled in from out of town last time, which is an inversion of my normal dynamic of flying out to a client’s headquarters.  It’s a very cool feeling to wake up at my house, get in the car, and go teach Power Pivot all day.

    It makes it all feel very mainstream, which is of course becoming more true every day.  The first time I taught Power Pivot professionally was 3.5 years ago out in California, and for what felt like a long time after that, ALL of my clients seemed to be “out West.”

    That I can now teach classes without leaving town is, in itself, a sign of the times.  Just fantastic.  And I hope to see a few of you there.

    This time I think we will also schedule a “social event” of sorts at the end of the first day.  Even if it’s just grabbing a beer or something similarly simple, it’s something I wish we’d done the first time, especially for the out of towners.  Purely optional and informal.  But fun.

    Syllabus, pricing, and registration information here

    Occupy BACON: Let’s Do This. (Sessions & Discount)

    March 18, 2014


    It’s Possible that Maybe I Added Something to Their Banner Image :)
    (Click Image to Visit Site)

    Year One Was Great, So I’m Speaking Again – San Jose CA, May 7-9

    I really enjoyed the inaugural PASS Business Analytics Conference, aka PASS BACON, last year.  Before that, I’d never been to a conference that was even remotely aimed at “my kind of people.”  That all changed for me last year.  I think we have found our home.

    THIS is the kind of conference we need – one that’s accessible without heavy technology expertise.  One where Business Impact take center stage, and the only pre-requisite is that you enjoy working with data.  (And it helps if you don’t flinch at the word “Microsoft.”)

    Which suits us Excel folks to a tee, doesn’t it?  They might as well put us on the front page.  But an explicit mention of Excel would scare off those other people – the non-Excel people (that we outnumber 100 to 1).  Honestly I think we should just take this thing over.  You know, like…  Occupy BACON.  (Brief pause while I replace the previously-bland title of this post with precisely that).

    Putting my time where my mouth is, this year I am “doubling down” and presenting two sessions – a full-day “pre-con” and a “regular” session – see below for details.  AND I’m in discussions about presenting a third session as well, stay tuned on that.

    We like dominating the "BACON Challenge"Last Year’s Referral Champion Wants to Repeat!

    A little bird told us that last year, more people signed up for PASS BACON using the PowerPivotPro discount code than any other discount code.

    Pretty cool, eh?  Anyway, there’s a discount code again this year, but I’ve been slow to share it.  Let’s pretend we did that to give all those “non-Excel” websites a head start, given that whole “100 to 1 outnumber” thing (in reality I have just been swamped).

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