We've started doing a lot of Training in Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel. This is a wonderful add-on to Excel that allows you to collect data from varying locations and combine than with a PivotTable or Chart. PowerPivot is often used to build Business Intelligence Dashboards in Excel. We've found that people who attend our Training get really excited in what PowerPivot can do.
But the first question to answer is "How do I get PowerPivot for Excel". The answer depends on the version of Excel you are using.
If you have Excel 2010 you can download PowerPivot from Microsoft here
Be careful to select the right version X86 for the 32bit version of Office, amd64 for the 64 bit version.
When you run this download, you'll get an add-on installed for Excel and you should see the "PowerPivot" Tab in the Excel Ribbon.
If you get problems installing the add-on, or don't see the PowerPivot tab in the ribbon you may need to install the .Net Framework from here
and the Visual Studio 2010 Tools for Office Runtime from here
In Excel 2010 look at File/Options/Add-Ins and select "Manage COM Add-ins" at the bottom and click "Go". You should see the PowerPivot for Excel entry. Ensure it is selected to load PowerPivot.
You'll need the right version of Office 2013 to use PowerPivot. To quote Microsoft "This feature isn’t available in Office on a Windows RT PC. Power View and PowerPivot are only available in the Office Professional Plus and Office 365 Professional Plus editions". (Yes, this is nuts isn't it, PowerPivot 2010 is available to anyone with Excel but 2013 you have to buy the "correct" version) Look at File/Account in Excel to check you've got Office ProPlus.
PowerPivot is shipped with Office Professional Plus, but annoyingly is not enabled by default. Thankfully it's a simple job to turn PowerPivot on.
In Excel 2013 go to File/Options/Add-Ins and select "Manage COM Add-ins" at the bottom and click "Go". You'll see the add-ins available select "Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel 2013"
Once you've enabled the addon you'll get the "PowerPivot" tab in the Excel 2013 Ribbon.
Leave PowerPivot turned on
Now you've enabled PowerPivot, in whichever version of Excel you're ready to use it. You can leave the extension enabled all the time, it doesn't cause any problems with existing spreadsheets or change anything Excel already does, so it's quite safe.
Now we've got PowerPivot you can start exploring it. I'll be posting more over the next few days giving an introduction to this wonderful tool. If you can't wait for that, just contact us to arrange a PowerPivot course.