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DAX Formulas for PowerPivot: A Simple Guide to the Excel Revolution

DAX Formulas for PowerPivot: A Simple Guide to the Excel Revolution [Kindle Edition]

Rob Collie
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Microsoft PowerPivot is a free add-on to Excel from Microsoft that allows users to produce new kinds of reports and analyses that were simply impossible before, and this book is the first to tackle DAX formulas, the core capability of PowerPivot, from the perspective of the Excel audience. Written by the world’s foremost PowerPivot blogger and practitioner, the book’s concepts and approach are introduced in a simple, step-by-step manner tailored to the learning style of Excel users everywhere. The techniques presented allow users to produce, in hours or even minutes, results that formerly would have taken entire teams weeks or months to produce and include lessons on the difference between calculated columns and measures, how formulas can be reused across reports of completely different shapes, how to merge disjointed sets of data into unified reports, how to make certain columns in a pivot behave as if the pivot were filtered while other columns do not, and how to create time-intelligent calculations in pivot tables such as “Year over Year” and “Moving Averages” whether they use a standard, fiscal, or a complete custom calendar. The “pattern-like” techniques and best practices contained in this book have been developed and refined over two years of onsite training with Excel users around the world, and the key lessons from those seminars costing thousands of dollars per day are now available to within the pages of this easy-to-follow guide.

About the Author

A former Microsoft engineering leader, Rob Collie is an entrepreneur, author, and consultant who believes Excel is enjoying a renaissance in power and importance - a trend that provides massive opportunities for the millions of Excel practioners worldwide. His passion is empowering and the Excel Professional to seize those opportunities. When he's not training, consulting, or writing, Rob can be found in his laboratory, devising new tools and techniques for the Excel community. He also operates the world's leading PowerPivot website ( and occassionally sleeps.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really don't like giving a review that is less than 5 stars because I want to encourage authors. Writing any book and especially a technical book has got to be a pretty hard job. Rob Collie who used to work at Microsoft and has a very engaging tone of voice in his writing, has gone out of his way to be friendly and to make learning DAX an understandable task. And by and large he succeeds. So why the 4 stars and not 5?

The errors are everywhere as a mismatch between what is in the book and the order of trying to follow it in the download files that he makes available. There is no errata that I could find anywhere.

In a nutshell I think the problem is this. The download files are badly done and seem like a rush job

The names of the database tables in the Access Database are nothing like the names of the powerpivot tables. you have to work out (because he never tells you that FactInternetSales is 'Sales'). This is not the end of the world, but why not either take the time to tell you, or just keep the names in parallel. Early on he introduces a column called transactionType into the Sales table which he claims to import but in fact is called [field2] in the download Access Database. I was trying to follow the book like a tutorial but this becomes quite laboured because quite often there is a mismatch of some sort between the book and the file, confusing enough to make it extra work to follow along.

When you open the Excel workbook for any particular chapter you find that the order of the sheets is not the same as the examples being worked on. The examples don't all seem to be there and worst of all, the sheets are called things like 'sheet1' 'sheet7' 'sheet6' with no referencing whatsoever between the physical book and the Excel workbook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, but not for the faint hearted 16 Jun 2013
By Belvoir
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gives full explanation of power pivot but not for the faint hearted! Gets heavy quite quickly so a good understanding of data structure and Excel is useful. Otherwise work slowly through the book practising as you go, and you'll grasp it in time. Well written though with a few mistakes and omissions throughout so could have done with a final review before publishing.
Overall highly recommended but you might also consider a book giving you a gentler introduction along side it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to PowerPivot 12 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an Excel guy rather than a BI specialist per se, this is exactly the sort of book I needed as an "in" to PowerPivot. (I already had Art Tennick's DAX formulas book, Russo and Ferrari's 'Give your data meaning' as well as Bill Jelen's 'PowerPivot for the Data Analyst before I purchased this).

It's written in terms a simple Excel nerd can understand and Rob's, dare I say corny, enthusiasm is really quite infectious - if you've read his blog, you know what I mean. It's pretty clear how highly he regards the product!

The chapters are short and to the point, whilst also giving clear examples and the sort of incidental tips and tricks that can make such books invaluable to me. I have the Kindle version of this so I can read a couple of chapters on the train in the morning and experiment once I get to work.

In conjunction with Bill J's book, I think this will put most Excel people on a very good footing with PowerPivot. (The other two books I mentioned are also very well-written with plenty of detailed information and examples and are great resources once you have the basics under your belt)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PowerPivot - made exciting! 1 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've only recently discovered PowerPivot and was looking for a book with the potential to get me up to speed quickly. Finding "DAX formulas for PowerPivot" via Rob Collie's blog I thought it might be, if not the whole answer a big part of it.

Only one thing delayed my purchase and that was the book's sub-title: "The Excel Pro's Guide to Mastering DAX."

"Excel Pro." Mmm. Couldn't really put myself in that category. I use Excel of course, but my biggest "advanced" use of it is as a front-end for querying SQL Server databases. And my interest in PowerPivot has been whetted via research into the SQL Server BI stack which I'm hoping will be useful in my work.

However, I purchased the book and I'm very glad I did.

I read a lot of technical stuff - books, blogs and articles - but rarely have I read anything that deals with a complex subject in such an easy to digest style. It truly is a "how-to" manual. And considering that as a reader I was new to the subject it really is quite impressive.

Written in an easy going style that draws the reader on from one example to the next, the book divulges the "knowledge" in bite-sized chunks. The text is not, like some technical books, so small that the reader is left contemplating an appointment with their optician, but is big throughout. With formulas even larger and in bold. Excellent use of screenshots on almost, or so it seems, every page enhances further the "follow this guide..." feel.

The author is an expert in his subject. That should be obvious anyway, just by the fact that he has written the book. Rob Collie is something more though.
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