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on 7 November 2010
I would normally recommend Bill Jelen's books without hesitation (I do have many of them) but I was very disappointed with this book (PowerPivot for the Data Analyst).
Sample files are available but the book does not seem to mention the name of file(s) needed for a particular topic, although you can more-or-less match them to the chapter. However, some of the tables shown in the book have data that does not appear to be in any of the sample files so it would be necessary for you to create them yourself. I like to follow-along with the examples to get a good understanding of the subject but I have not been able to get past Page 2 of Chapter 5 - yes, I could create the three small tables but I then have to wonder how many more later in the book would also need to be created.
I therefore bought another book on the subject of PowerPivot/DAX formulas and that uses the Microsoft Northwind data - I have almost finished working through all the examples.
It seems that the MrExcel book was rushed to Press before being up to the usual MrExcel standard. If you intend only to read the book, it will probably be considered very good - if you want to try the examples yourself, you may be a bit frustrated by having to create some of the data yourself.
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on 5 January 2011
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 itself and also the author's example files. 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. These include:
* Importing data
* Sorting
* Defining relationships between multiple tables
* Creating pivot tables using multiple sources
* Using the new DAX data analysis functions
* Using Slicers
* Creating charts

There are plenty of tips with two whole chapters on "cool tricks" separately devoted to working with conventional pivot tables and those created using PowerPivot. Advice on solving problems caused by "bad data" is included.

There are a few typographical errors in the text but the tasks are very well explained and so it is not difficult to work through the examples using the files provided to arrive at the required result.

In addition to the book and downloadable resources, there are 13 very watchable and informative You Tube videos in which the author demonstrates a topic from each chapter. These last only a few minutes each but give a good overview and may well be worth watching first before you attempt the exercises.

Overall, this is an excellent introduction to PowerPivot which takes you all the way from importing data to creating dashboards for the boardroom. If you are looking for a stimulating book to guide you towards a good knowledge of PowerPivot, choose this one.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 August 2010
PowerPivot is an add-in for Excel. This program within a program is not really aimed at the average person, it is meant for high end analysis. Basically, if your data analysis involves millions of entries and requires that you compare several complex data sets, then PowerPivot might be for you. Otherwise, you might do better sticking with Excel.

With that said, the dashboard layouts by PowerPivot look fabulous. They look more like website layouts and less like Excel spreadsheets. Plus, they are fully interactive.

PowerPivot For the Data Analyst: Microsoft Excel 2010 recognizes the potential of PowerPivot while keeping a tight grip on the limitations and inherent problems. In this way, the author provides a more realistic view of using PowerPivot while giving plenty of tips about how to get what you need from your data.
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on 23 July 2010
Don't have Powerpivot installed and fast read this book. The negatives as well as positives clearly explained so I quickly grasped how this new tool may fit in to a low cost Business Intelligence strategy. Also learnt a lot about standard pivots and therefore book was very good value for me and definitely one of my best book buys.
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on 16 March 2015
Found this version to be the terrific for introduction to PP. Although it has various misprints and errors throughout the book, there are no problems following the logic. Especially the parts on DAX and hints/tips are great. Highly recommended.

If big data is your game, buy this book. If not, stick to regular pivots.
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on 2 May 2011
The author spends so much time complaining about various things that by the end of the book you'll be forgiven if you didn't bother installing Power Pivot - as I nearly didn't.

Which would be a shame as Power Pivot is an amazing bit of software; incredibly powerful, intuitive and as it turns out, you really don't need to read a book to use it.
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on 10 August 2010
This is a great book which clearly take you through what is a complicated topic. Powerpivot tables are a must for any true data analyst! I can thoroughly recommend this book and also the powerpivot functionality within Excel 2010.
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on 30 September 2010
Bill Jelen's books are always well written and a worthwhile investment.

If you want to learn Powerpivot for Excel 2010 using the sample data that's available for this book, be aware that Microsoft appears to have forgot to code for regional date format variations in the Powerpivot add-in. This means you have to set your PC to display American dates in the regional settings to make it work.

Microsoft don't seem to be in any hurry to patch this bug or even acknowledge it's a problem.
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on 4 January 2014
I have received the text today.
It was well packaged and arrived in good condition.
I started reading it and the material is very well written.
I am very satisfied all in all.
THANK YOU.
Robert
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