Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
PowerPivot comes as an add-in for Excel 2010. To use PowerPivot, you need to download
the installer from and follow the instructions
from the installation program.
After you install PowerPivot, you can see it—and use it—by means of a new section on the
Excel ribbon named, obviously, PowerPivot.
Working with Classic Excel PivotTables
Since the Excel 97 release, Excel spreadsheet users have been able to analyze data using the
PivotTable. Prior to the availability of PowerPivot, using PivotTables was the main way to
analyze data. The PivotTable tool is an easy and convenient way to browse huge amounts
of data that you collect into Excel sheets. This topic does not explain in detail how the
PivotTable tool works; you can find a lot of good descriptions elsewhere. However, it is
helpful to recall the main features of the PivotTable tool to compare it with PowerPivot.
Let us suppose you have a standard Excel table, imported from a query run against a
database that contains all the data that you want to analyze. To get this data, you probably asked
someone in your IT department to provide some means to access the database and a specific
query, to retrieve the information. Your Excel sheet would look like the one in Figure 1-1.
Because the table contains raw data, it is very difficult to analyze. You can look at this
worksheet on the companion DVD under the name CH01-01-StandardPivotTable.xlsx.
FIguRE 1-1 Sample data for the PivotTable.
Having all the data available in a sheet, we can now choose to insert a PivotTable. The wizard
prompts us for the table to use as the source of the Pivot and for where to put the PivotTable,
and then it provides the standard Excel PivotTable interface shown in Figure 1-2.
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