By Alison Box

PowerPivot

Why the Excel Vlookup Function is “So Last Year, Darling” – Part 2

In my last blog, I showed you how easy it was to use Power Pivot to produce a Pivot table that pulled in data across two tables, Drinks and Categories (without using a Vlookup).  Well, we’re going to carry on ditching the Vlookup by looking at Power Pivot’s equivalent function, called “Related” Remember in our fictitious wine bar (in down town Billingshurst) we were able to find out that we stock most drinks that are from the “Wines” category;- But… Read More

By Alison Box

Power BI Resources PowerPivot

Why the Excel Vlookup Function is “So Last Year”

If you don’t want to suffer from premature ageing, the most important thing is to move with the times and not get set in your ways.  This might be a traumatic thought for Excel users who have been so attached to the Vlookup Function for the past 20 years that giving it up might be like losing a beloved relative. Why is the Vlookup Function “so last year”?  Well, one of the best new features in Excel 2013 is the… Read More

By Stuart Box

Power BI Resources

Power BI preview

Last week Microsoft made several important announcements about Power BI, you can read the whole thing on the Microsoft Official Blog I've taken a look at what this means for those of us in the UK working with Power BI. It's always interesting working with the latest version of Microsoft's new tools, but sometimes you have to tread a little carefully. First Things First - A Price Cut Probably the most important thing for those contemplating Power BI, or those already using… Read More

By Stuart Box

Power BI Resources

Excel Power Pivot – Just how big is BIG?

As I started working with Power Pivot and Power BI I was aware that it allowed large amounts of data to be manipulated by Excel, but just how large? and how does it do that ? Just how big was the "Big Data" being talked about. I spent a little while digging to find the answers. I was confused, how could Excel handle "Millions of rows"? Did the Excel Rows and Columns limits increase to new limits or was there… Read More

By Stuart Box

Excel Office 2013 Office 365 Power BI Resources

Microsoft Power BI for Office 365, this is not your Father’s Spreadsheet

Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 is a fusion of tools designed to provide data analysis, visualisation, ad-hoc query and sharing of Excel data and spreadsheets. It brings together the "Power Tools" for Excel, Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View and Power Map, with cloud-based online facilities which allow you to view, store, share and query the dashboards you create with Excel and the Power tools. It is not simply an add-on to Excel, but a radical enhancement of the… Read More

By Stuart Box

Excel Power BI Resources PowerPivot

PowerPivot 6 – The Joy of Sets

Time Intelligence Functions One of the most powerful features of PowerPivot is the ability to analysis your data across time periods.  To use the Time Intelligence functions, you must have a table in the PowerPivot window that comprises all the dates from the date range of your data.  For example, my wine sales range is between 1st September 2010 and the current date.  Therefore, I’ve created a Date Table that lists all the dates between these two dates.  I’ve also… Read More

By Stuart Box

Excel Power BI Resources PowerPivot

PowerPivot 5 – Measure for Measure

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.” ― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure Creating Measures A Measure is a formula that is created specifically for use in the Values area of a PivotTable (or PivotChart), very similar to Calculated Fields in a normal Excel Pivot Table.  However, in PowerPivot a Measure uses DAX functions.  The Values area of a Pivot Table will always require some kind of aggregation and… Read More

By Stuart Box

Excel Power BI Resources PowerPivot

PowerPivot – 4

Calculations in PowerPivot PowerPivot doesn’t use Excel’s formulas or functions but uses its own special expressions, known as DAX (Data Analysis Expressions). DAX Functions are different from Excel Functions in the following ways:- DAX doesn’t reference single cells or ranges of cells (e.g. B1 or C2:D11). A DAX function always references a complete column or a table. If you want to use only particular values from a table or column, you add filters to the formula. DAX includes functions that… Read More

By Stuart Box

PowerPivot

PowerPivot – 3

Continuing with our look at PowerPivot. You should now have PowerPivot installed as an add-on to Excel, and configured some data connections to it. My most recent blog post showed how we can create relationships between disparate data imported or connected to PowerPivot. Now, with some data available, we can start to create a Pivot Table. Creating PivotTables with PowerPivot To create a PivotTable from the tables in the PowerPivot window, you can either use the icon on the PowerPivot tab… Read More

By Stuart Box

PowerPivot

PowerPivot – 2

If you've been following these blog posts, you'll have PowerPivot installed in Excel (click here to read PowerPivot 1). Now we'll start to get some data into PowerPivot, and as you'll see this is one of the most powerful ways you can join together disparate data. Once PowerPivot is installed, click on the PowerPivot Window Icon on the Excel ribbon. This opens the PowerPivot client window, a separate window that controls PowerPivots's access to data. From here you can import data into PowerPivot, as… Read More