BI using Microsoft Excel & PowerPivot

Introducing PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is one of the most commonly used productivity and analytical tools in the world.  Microsoft has doubled down on that position by introducing PowerPivot for Microsoft Excel as a download for Excel 2010 and by including PowerPivot and Power View as standard for Excel 2013 and Office 365.

In addition, the development team at Microsoft continues to expand the functionality of Microsoft Excel through newly released components such as Power Query and Power Map.  These add-ins provide greater flexibility for business intelligence solution design both at the data querying, modelling and transformation level and also at the presentation layer level.

Leveraging Microsoft Excel and PowerPivot for business intelligence activities has multiple benefits:

  1. Limited up front software investment and dramatically reduced total cost of ownership
  2. Users are already familiar with Excel; typical barriers to adoption do not exist
  3. Excel contains an incredibly flexible calculation engine that can be utilized to create powerful solutions
  4. PowerPivot extends Excel both in terms of functionality (build complex relational data models using multiple disparate data sources) and capability (process millions of rows of data at lightning-quick speeds)
  5. Data Models built using PowerPivot for Excel and validated through end-user testing can ultimately be transferred to SQL Server Analysis Services to run in a managed server environment and owned by IT

Building Business Intelligence Solutions using PowerPivot

While developing data and business analysis solutions using Microsoft Excel is not a new concept, harnessing the new Business Intelligence functionality made available through Excel PowerPivot is a different challenge requiring a unique skillset.  Sikich’s BI consulting team specializes in developing PowerPivot business intelligence solutions for enterprises of all sizes.  Let Sikich assist you in:

  • ETL and data warehousing activities that may precede other steps
  • Creating dynamic, live data connections
  • Building structured queries to limit the data to that which is required
  • Performing data modeling activities to properly define data relationships and ensure that analysis returns the correct data at the correct levels of aggregation
  • Creating appropriate time dimensions, hierarchies, perspectives, calculated measures, and KPI’s specific to your business
  • Building analytical tables, charts, graphs and other data visualizations, including interactive Power View reports
  • Assembling the components from above into executive dashboards complete with slicer buttons to dynamically slice and dice with a single mouse-click
  • Sharing PowerPivot dashboards through additional Microsoft tools such as SharePoint and Power BI for Office 365.

Contact Sikich today to learn more about building business intelligence solutions using Microsoft Excel and PowerPivot for Excel.

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