Archive - Blog Posts on Microsoft

Use Power Query to Create Power Query Documentation - I wrote a blog post on last week on how to create a standard Power Pivot calendar using Power Query – from scratch.  I was doing some research this morning on how I could extend this concept to create a 4/4/5 Calendar (which is often used in the Retail Industry).  I was looking at […] Read More
How to Correctly Install Power Pivot for Excel 2010 - As most subscribers of my blog would already know, I am a professional trainer of Power Pivot here in Australia. I do a lot of work for Corporations at their own premises with their own PC equipment. Not every company has made the move to Excel 2013, and in fact I sometimes find companies have […] Read More
Power Query Issues with Power Pivot - Edit 16 May 2015: I now know the exact cause and cure for this problem.  See this post here PhilC at asked me for advice on the best way to use Power Query with Power Pivot.  If you have come to this post via Google, it is probably because you have had issues and […] Read More
Power Pivot Forum now supports DAX Formatter - Well Power Pivot Forum has been live for 8 months now and has over 100 users, more than 400 posts and many thousands of page views. The Power Pivot forum continues to grow as new users are finding the need for help with their DAX problem. Recently one of the forum members (xChillout) suggested that […] Read More
How to Bulk Refresh PowerPivot Workbooks on your PC - There are a number of different ways that you can refresh PowerPivot workbooks automatically on a schedule. The main ones I know of are: Using Power BI Using SharePoint Auto Refresh Using some sort of custom built desktop automation tool The problem with Power BI and SharePoint The problem with Power BI is that you […] Read More
How to access PowerPivot on iPad - One thing I find when working with my customers and meeting PowerPivot users is that a lot of people want to know how to access PowerPivot when they are mobile.  Most frequently people want to access PowerPivot reports on iPad, however in many cases just presenting data for PC users in an ‘easy to consume’ […] Read More
PivotTables for iPad - Microsoft has released an upgrade to its Office Apps for iPad (version 1.1) that now includes – wait for it…. PivotTables for iPad Support!  Wooohoo. But unfortunately there is good news and bad news. First the good news. You can indeed open a workbook that has PivotTables and you can interact with them on screen. Now […] Read More
PowerPivot Forum Recruitment Drive - Back in early May I realised that there was not much in the way of a dedicated forum for PowerPivot users, especially for the general user.  There are some specialised forums out there for Microsoft Developers but not much for the average user.  As a result I went ahead and set up a new PowerPivot Forum and […] Read More
Query Plan Analysis - Query Plan Analysis: The 5 Culprits that Cause 95% of Your Performance Headaches I am fairly new to SQL Server, and I am by no means an expert. I learnt my database ‘skills’ using MS Access. In a recent engagement with a client, I had a need for a tool that could handle > 10GB […] Read More
Matt's curated best self serve BI content
Deep Dive into Power Query M Language - In this session, Matt Masson and Tess Palmer do a great job of showing everyone the depth and power of the Power Query M language that is the backbone of Power Query – it makes my list. Clearly they didn’t expect too many people in the audience to be able to follow them along the […] Read More
Solving Complex Business Problems with DAX – TechEd 2014 - This is a continuation of my series on “best of” from TechEd 2014. This session by Kasper de Jonge makes my best of list. It is quite technical in places and digs in deep. I particularly like when he talks about “evaluation context”. Erik explains that there are 2 types of context (row context and […] Read More
PowerPivot Forum
PowerPivot Forum Open for Business - As I spend more and more of my time working full time with PowerPivot and associated Excel products, I have been looking for suitable forums that are focused around PowerPivot. I have not found anything out there that I really like. So I spent some time over the weekend setting up a brand new PowerPivot […] Read More
Excel will save you millions
Why Excel will SAVE you millions - Yesterday I read this post called “Why Excel is costing you millions” by Gayle Ryan.  I have never seen a more misleading and ill informed post about Excel, and I was motivated to provide a response to this article here. Ryan starts out by talking about static reporting, and how that is no longer enough […] Read More
Create a PowerPivot Date Table with Power Query - I really love PowerPivot and Power Query. I have been doing Rob Collie’s on line training course on using PowerPivot. When I got to the section on Time Intelligence, it occurred to me that Power Query could be used to create the date table that you need. I did a bit of research and pieced […] Read More
Faster Data Insights with Power BI - A couple of weeks ago Microsoft held a full day online session called Faster Data Insights With Power BI. There were 8 sessions of about 50 mins each that covered various aspects of the new Power BI suite. The sessions have now been converted to YouTube videos and are available from this YouTube Channel Playlist. […] Read More