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Microsoft Excel 2013 Building Data Models with PowerPivot (Business Skills) [Kindle Edition]

Alberto Ferrari , Marco Russo
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Your guide to quickly turn data into results.

Transform your skills, data, and business—and create your own BI solutions using software you already know and love: Microsoft Excel. Two business intelligence (BI) experts take you inside PowerPivot functionality for Excel 2013, with a focus on real world scenarios, problem-solving, and data modeling. You'll learn how to quickly turn mass quantities of data into meaningful information and on-the-job results—no programming required!

  • Understand the differences between PowerPivot for Self Service BI and SQL Server Analysis Services for Corporate BI
  • Extend your existing data-analysis skills to create your own BI solutions
  • Quickly manipulate large data sets, often in millions of rows
  • Perform simple-to-sophisticated calculations and what-if analysis
  • Create complex reporting systems with data modeling and Data Analysis Expressions
  • Share your results effortlessly across your organization using Microsoft SharePoint

Product Description

About the Author

Alberto Ferrari has achieved Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Maestro status and is a consultant and trainer who specializes in developing Microsoft BI solutions. He is the coauthor of Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel 2010 and Expert Cube Development with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services and SQLBI Methodology.

Marco Russo is a software consultant and Microsoft Certified Trainer who focuses on Windows development and BI solutions. He has achieved Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) Maestro status and has coauthored many books, including Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel 2010 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services: The BISM Tabular Model.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 19098 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (15 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #65,668 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great at explaining advanced details of Powerpivot 28 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This books provides explanations about functionality within Powerpivot,.

This is not for beginners but clear explanations help you to increase your understanding. Having used Powerpivot for 2 years in most examples new insights are provided. These are the steps required to become a real expert.

The format has many similarities with Powerpivot for Excel 2010 Give your data meaning. This expands and improves this book and is useful for both Excel 2010 and the Excel 2013 versions of Powerpivot.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a fantastic introduction to the new functionality in excel 2010/3 and to a limited extent MS SQL Server Analysis services Tabular model and self service business intelligence. The authors provide a detailed, clear and concise text which many businesses will find transformational in modelling data. Highly recommended for excel power users and those responsible for business intelligence in their company.
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I struggled with Chapter 7 "Understanding Evaluation Concepts" and found that it wasn't until I read the first chapter of "DAX patterns 2015" by the same authors, that I understood it better. This other book is more concise, so it's easier to grasp what really needs to be understood. Really you need both books I think. This is a shame as this book should explain it better. That said this book does include a lot more information. However, I'm not impressed with the examples they give and found a youtube channel "ExcelIsFun" had a very good playlist all about DAX, which gave more realistic examples that help you grasp it better. Thank god for "DAX Patterns 2015" I was loosing the plot a little.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 1 Dec. 2014
By spiros
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
product in perfect condition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to Master PowerPivot 8 April 2013
By Oleg Gvozdenko - Published on
I got this book as part of the PowerPivot workshop that Marco and Alberto teach. I am about half-way through the book now, and I am at the point where I am starting to re-read chapters to make sure I fully understand the concepts. The material is dense with facts and examples, and the book will take you from 0 to 60 in the first few pages, especially if you have not had a lot of PowerPivot exposure prior to this.

The pace of new information introduction seems to accelerate, and there is more and more reliance on you remembering concepts from earlier in the book, that some may find a bit discouraging (for a shot of confidence boost, check out Collie's book, which is a fantastic beginner's book). I think an expectation on the author's part is that the reader will not understand everything on the first try, and will re-read sections for more complete understanding - just be prepared for that.
I read 4 PowerPivot books so far, and while some go mile wide and a foot deep (Jelen's book), and others go foot wide and a mile deep (Collie's book), this one tries (and does) boil the entire ocean. The book has both a technical edge of thorough, complex DAX scenarios with explanations of potential errors and why the errors occur, and a more conceptual side, which goes in some depth explaining Data Modeling and thinking in Evaluation Context terms.

At its current Amazon price, it is an extremely great value. It is THE book if you want to master PowerPivot. If you are more of a casual user, you may find it more challenging than necessary, but the sections on CALCULATE and Evaluation Context are truly invaluable and are not really well-covered in other books, so it is well worth getting this book just for that.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect book for the right audience 29 Mar. 2013
By Student - Published on
There is a certain niche audience for this book: intermediate to advanced excel users who aren't necessarily BI/datawarehousing types. If you are a fairly basic excel user, this would not be a book to start with. You should already know vlookups, pivot tables, etc. before getting into PowerPivot. And, if you are a grizzled BI professional, this may serve as a good reference, but you can breeze through parts of it.

I guess I'm pretty much the target audience here, then. I'm an all-day excel user, but had not yet gotten PowerPivot as my company was still on excel 2007. Moreover, I only have a passing familiarity with cubes and BI stuff, facts and dimensions and star schemas, oh my!

But I had heard about this PowerPivot fad (kidding!) and have been intrigued.

I recently upgraded to Excel 2013 on my home computer just so I could begin to play around with this new feature. While I don't love the look and feel of excel 2013, it was worth it.

Okay, enough about excel itself. What do I think of this book? Why did I choose this one over one of the many others? How the heck am I reviewing it before it has even been released? Do I like asking questions as a cheap rhetorical device before essentially answering them myself? YES! I also like to refer to myself in the third person, just to sound important.

As for the third question: I subscribe to an online library that, for some reason, already has this available.

Honestly, the main reason I chose this book over many others is that it has a very comprehensive coverage of the subject by authors who's previous book came highly recommended. Some books are more introductory (Jelen's), some focus on DAX alone, some are more for the Sharepoint stuff, this one seemed to have it all.

The authors spend a good bit of time going over database/warehouseing concepts and lingo for those of us who may need a bit of a refresher. As mentioned above, that was something I felt I could benefit from.

There is also coverage of the new PowerView feature, which reminds me a bit of a simplified Tableau for data exploration and dashboarding. It might be nice to see more on this subject. But I think that would be a separate book. And I'm sure we will see some written soon. After all, the title is "Building Data Models," not "Building Dashboards and Reports."

There is extensive coverage of the DAX language, which is something I have no experience with, so, again, good to have most of what we need in one book. Though I know whole books have been written on DAX.

From what I can tell, the Collie book is more readable and "fun." This one is more or less typical of similar technical books. I mean, it's not a suspense/thriller.

I have downloaded the supporting files and they are extensive. So far, all seem to be working correctly and are important to work through as you follow along with the book.

Overall, recommended if you are an excel pro who wants a single source book to learn about PowerPivot, DAX, PowerView, and data modeling in general.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to work with PowerPivot 1 Jan. 2014
By Michael Mclaughlin - Published on
I've worked with every release of Microsoft Excel, and I know it takes effort to keep up to date with certain releases. Clearly, the Data Analysis eXpression (DAX) Language introduced in Excel 2010 went unnoticed by many, which was sad. DAX is truly a powerful extension to the analytical and modeling approaches in Microsoft Excel.

I'd like to recommend this book to those who haven't learned or mastered how to use DAX in Excel 2010, 2011, or 2013 and those who want to master PowerPivot.

DAX works with tables but if you don't use tables, I guess you can skip DAX because you must have infinite time to produce marginal analytical outcomes (tongue in cheek humor). However, if you're like most folks, you want a book to get you up-to-speed quickly, and that's what this book will do for you.

Just a couple caveats, the book assumes:
- An intermediate knowledge of Excel functions
- Basic knowledge of SQL and database modeling concepts
- It introduces but doesn't cover all potential advance uses
- It discusses VBA approaches in one short chapter

If you're serious about Business Intelligence (BI), and familiar with getting your data from an Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server database or SharePoint server, this is a great book for you to learn PowerPivot and the DAX language.

Don't forget, you get best results when you pre-select data before applying analytics in Excel. Remember the more refined the data model you start with the easier it is to structure analytical tools to leverage the data model. While DAX is powerful, it doesn't replace the speed and query optimized behaviors of effective Oracle, MySQL, or SQL Server queries.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious DAX... 17 Jan. 2014
By Matt Hughes - Published on
I'm pretty sure that Rob Collie's book on DAX Formulas should be read before tackling this book. I struggled with the content at about page 150...then I bought Rob Collie's book on DAX formulas...then I came back to this book. All the detail that doesn't get covered in Rob's book shows up in Alberto's book. I needed them both. Some issues with choppy sentence structure with this book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Coverage of Powerpivot and Data Models 27 April 2013
By Bryan D Povlinski - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I haven't gotten through the entire book yet, but I've been using it as a resource in my position where I'm currently an avid Excel user. Alberto and Marco have covered the full spectrum of what you can do with Powerpivot and provide a wealth of information on how to form and shape your data model for best use in reporting and analytics. I would highly recommend this book if you're getting started with Powerpivot.
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