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PowerPivot for the Data Analyst: Microsoft Excel 2010 (MrExcel Library) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0789743152
ISBN-10: 0789743159
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

ANALYZE HUGE AMOUNTS OF BUSINESS DATA FASTER, MORE EASILY, AND MORE ACCURATELY! Use Microsoft's free PowerPivot add-in for Excel 2010 to analyze immense amounts of data from any source, perform state-of-the-art business analysis far more easily, and make better decisions in less time! Simple, step-by-step instructions walk you through installing PowerPivot, importing data, using PivotTables with PowerPivot, using super-powerful DAX functions and measures, reporting to print or SharePoint, and a whole lot more. Whatever your Excel data analysis experience, this book will help you use PowerPivot to get the right answers, right now-without IT's help! - Import and integrate data from spreadsheets, SQL Server, Access, Oracle, text files, Atom data feeds, and other sources - Analyze multiple tables together, without complicated VLOOKUPs - Format, sort, and filter data in the PowerPivot window - Add calculated columns using new DAX functions - Create powerful reports from PowerPivot data-and format them so executives instantly get your point - Discover PivotTable tricks that work even better in PowerPivot - Control multiple PivotTable elements on one worksheet, with one set of Excel 2010 Slicers - Use DAX Measures to quickly perform tasks that were difficult or impossible with Calculated Fields - Compare today's sales to yesterday's-or to sales from the parallel period last fiscal year. - Use Named Sets to prepare asymmetric reports, show actuals for past months and plan for future months. About MrExcel Library: Every book in the MrExcel Library pinpoints a specific set of crucial Excel tasks and presents focused skills and examples for performing them rapidly and effectively. Selected by Bill Jelen, Microsoft Excel MVP and mastermind behind the leading Excel solutions website MrExcel.com, these books will - Dramatically increase your productivity-saving you 50 hours a year, or more - Present proven, creative strategies for solving real-world problems - Show you how to get great results, no matter how much data you have - Help you avoid critical mistakes that even experienced users make

About the Author

Bill Jelen , Excel MVP and the host of MrExcel.com, has been using spreadsheets since 1985, and he launched the MrExcel.com website in 1998. Bill was a regular guest on Call for Help with Leo Laporte and has produced more than 1,200 episodes of his daily video podcast, Learn Excel from MrExcel. He is the author of 30 books about Microsoft Excel and writes the monthly Excel column for Strategic Finance magazine. You will most frequently find Bill taking his show on the road, doing half-day Power Excel seminars wherever he can find a room full of accountants or Excellers. Before founding MrExcel.com, Jelen spent 12 years in the trenches working as a financial analyst for finance, marketing, accounting, and operations departments of a $500 million public company. He lives near Akron, Ohio, with his wife, Mary, Ellen and his sons, Josh and Zeke.

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Product Details

  • Series: MrExcel Library
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (June 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789743159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789743152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The good:
* Excellent information on new features and capabilities of PowerPivot tables. Lots of good examples.
* Good compare & contrast with base PivotTables.
* Good documentation of some of the v1 PowerPivot limitations.
* The prose is very easy to read.

The gaps:
* The book was written before the final product was delivered. It would be good to see some errata/revisions covering changes made in the mean time for early buyers.
* Probably somewhat related to the above, the discussion of DAX is fairly limited. DAX is the real key feature that makes PowerPivot more powerful than base PivotTables. (The best reference source I've seen so far is the MS "Data Analysis Expressions in PowerPivot for Excel 2010" document.)
* It would have been nice to explain some considerations when moving models from PivotTables to PowerPivot. For example, PivotTables by definition have to have everything in one giant table. PowerPivot models end up working better with separated lookup (dimension) tables in my experience so far.
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Format: Paperback
Excerpt from my full review at PowerPivotPro:

My biggest overall conclusion after reading Bill's book is that Excel users will be hard-pressed to find a better place to start their PowerPivot journey. Bill is not a SQL guy and he is not an MS employee - he has been building spreadsheets in the wild since before Pivots even existed. And for many years now he has made his living simply teaching others to get the most out of Excel.

That history and perspective shows through in the book. Reading it is VERY different from reading any of the MS documentation on PowerPivot for instance - that MS content is excellent at describing PowerPivot, but it just isn't written by a multi-decade Excel maestro, so it doesn't tell Excel users, in detail, what will be familiar to them and what will be new.

What the book is NOT

Clocking in at 294 pages, this book doesn't try to do everything, which I think is wise. I don't think any Excel pro wants to pick up, as a starting point, a 1200 page bible. This book is an excellent intro and you will hit the ground running fast, but at some point later, you will eventually go looking for:

- An in-depth guide to high-powered DAX measures
- An in-depth guide to the implications of various table structures and relationships
- Performance-tuning reference
- A how-to reference for deploying PowerPivot for SharePoint
- List of best practices, tips and tricks, workarounds for Excel Services on SharePoint

Like I said, as an Excel pro, you are MUCH better off NOT trying to tackle those up front. You can get incredible mileage out of PowerPivot without once touching those topics. You will want to someday, but you don't NEED to, so I highly recommend Excel pros pick up this book as their starting point.

-Rob Collie
PowerPivotPro
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Format: Paperback
This book examines in detail PowerPivot which is a free add-in for Excel 2010. It makes possible the analysis of very large amounts of data normally beyond the capability of Excel. PowerPivot is not for the faint hearted and is aimed at experienced users of Excel who are familiar and comfortable with lookup functions, pivot tables and databases.

To take full advantage of the book, you will need to download PowerPivot from [...] and also the author's example files from [...] There are 32-bit and 64-bit versions of PowerPivot and it is essential that you choose the one which matches your 32-bit or 64-bit version of Excel 2010.
The introductory chapter is a personal and interesting account which puts PowerPivot into context and shows the enthusiasm that Mr Excel has for his subject. After discussing how to obtain and install PowerPivot the book then begins to go into detail about how and when to use this application. Whilst it is clear that the author is a passionate advocate of PowerPivot, he is also critical of what he sees as shortcomings - for example, not easily being able to sort in month order - and he devotes a whole chapter to explaining the circumstances in which you might decide that a conventional pivot table might be a better approach.

The book gives detailed descriptions of the steps involved in many different tasks clearly illustrated with accompanying diagrams and supported by the exercise files that you can work through yourself.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ther book is written in a logical and understandable way. I am a newbie to PowerPivot but this book takes a step by step building approach to learning while still offering a vibrant enough index to serve as a reference.

So far I have this and four other books and am still searching for one that has business problems followed by various approaches to solve them. I'd still kill for a book that listed an index topic like; "Median - finding the median value that can be reported as a category median, sub-category median, and sub-sub-category median." Or, "Dates - Finding the average duration between multiple events for each unique subset of transactions." Etc.

This book is still very good, and very much worth the money. I would buy it again if I didn't own it. I'll keep looking for the ultimate "solution" book.
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