Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
understanding Data Models
We are now going to introduce data modeling with a simple story. Michelle works in
accounting and is an Excel power user. Her manager asked her to perform the sales analysis of different
product models, without (clearly) giving any further advice about how to do that. She knows
that the first step is always to find all the data needed. So she asks Bill, in the IT department,
for some advice. His answer sounds like this:
“Well, we have a database with a table named Product, which contains all
products. There are several satellite tables that provide descriptions; these are
simple domain tables. Moreover, each product has a model, is linked with its
photos in different resolutions and, if the price is changed, we hold all the history
of price changes in an appropriate table. If you want to focus on models, start
looking at Production.ProductModels, and from there you can easily catch all
the sales by following very easy-to-see relationships. I think you can get all this
data from Excel and then start your analysis.”
Following the Standard Excel Method
Michelle knows that she needs to load data into Excel worksheets to be able to perform any
kind of analysis. Following Bill’s instructions, she starts by loading the ProductModel table
into an Excel worksheet.
Without knowledge of PowerPivot, she first tries the standard Excel solution. Using the Data
menu, choosing the From Other Sources option, and then choosing the From SQL Server option,
Michelle establishes a connection with the database, finds the ProductModel table, and loads
it into Excel. She ends up with a worksheet like the one shown in Figure 4-1. You can see the
example on your computer by using the companion workbook CH04-01-MichelleExcel.xlsx.
FIguRE 4-1 The ProductModel table in an Excel worksheet.
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