Unpivoting data using the data explorer preview for Excel 2010/2013:



Data Explorer add-in is amazing! It’s helps you: combine, find and re-shape your data in Excel 2010/2013. I’ve blogged about: 1) How to merge Table Data and 2) How to clean duplicate data and now in this blog post, I want to share a step-by-step on Unpivoting data using the Data Explorer add-in.

Before we begin, If you haven’t downloaded and installed the data explorer add-in for Excel 2010 & 2013, you can find Information about it here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/download-data-explorer-for-excel-FX104018616.aspx 


What is un-pivoting? I hear you ask. Instead of explaining it, let me share an Image:

data explorer unpivot excel

BTW, the above data is from my Facebook Page Insights.

So our problem statement is (please refer to above Image): we are given table blue and we need to output table green. In other words, we need to Unpivot the data.


Here are the steps:

1) Open Excel, Open Data Explorer add-in. And Connect to your data. Wait when you see the Query Editor.

2) (Optional) In the Query Editor, Rename the query. I renamed it to “Unpivot Data”. And this how my query editor looks:

data explorer unpivot excel 2

3) Now, Select the columns that need to be unpivoted > Right Click > Unpivot Column

Note that I’ve selected all columns that I want to UnPivot:

data explorer unpivot excel 3

4) You’ll see the updated results in the query editor window. I renamed the columns “Attribute” to “Age and Gender” and “value” to “reach”. If you want to rename the columns, select the column > Right click > rename.

data explorer unpivot excel 4

If everything looks OK, click on Done in the bottom right corner

5) There you have it, Unpivoted data in Excel 2010/2013 using Data Explorer add-in!

And then its super easy to create charts, Here’s one I created after I had unpivoted the data:

data explorer unpivot excel 5

Insight: For my blog, my Target Audience seems to Male between the age of 18-24 and then 25-34.

FYI: The Date Range of the Data Set of 1st Jan 2013 – 25th Apr 2013.

That’s about it for this post, Here are some Related articles:

Your comments are very welcome!


Merging/Joining datasets in Excel using Data Explorer add-in



Merging/Joining/Combining data-sets in Excel has not been an easy task. There are third-party add-ins that makes it easy but out of the box, excel didn’t have an easy way to merge/join table data. But now with the Data Explorer add-in, we have an add-in that let’s us merge/join data in excel w/ few clicks.

If you haven’t downloaded and installed the data explorer add-in for Excel 2010 & 2013, you can find Information about it here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/download-data-explorer-for-excel-FX104018616.aspx 


Input is Table 1 & Table 2. The output we need is merged Table.

Table 1:

Date Daily New number Month
1/1/2012 0 1
1/2/2012 0 1
1/3/2012 0 1
1/4/2012 0 1
1/5/2012 0 1
1/6/2012 0 1
1/7/2012 0 1
1/8/2012 0 1
1/9/2012 0 1


Table 2:

Month Month Name
1 January
2 February
3 March
4 April
5 May
6 June
7 July

Merged Table:

Date Daily New number Month Month Name
1/1/2012 0 1 January
1/2/2012 0 1 January
1/3/2012 0 1 January
1/4/2012 0 1 January
1/5/2012 0 1 January
1/6/2012 0 1 January
1/7/2012 0 1 January
1/8/2012 0 1 January
1/9/2012 0 1 January



Let’s see how data explorer can help us Join/Merge Table 1 & Table 2.

1) create query that connects to Table 1 & Table 2.

data sources explorer excel

2) Once you have queries that connect to the tables need to be merged, then click on Merge

3) Once you click on Merge, you’ll see a dialog:

Here you need to configure three things:

a) First Table

b) Second Table

c) Columns that will be used to merge/join data

In this case, this is how my merge dialog looks:

merge join excel data explorer

4) Once configured correctly, click on OK. You’ll see a dialog box where you can configure the output of the merged table. click on the new column to see the options that are available to you to configure the output of the merged table:

merge join excel data explorer 2

5) In this case, I’ve selected just one column month name that needs to be merged. You can also explore the aggregate tab in case you’ve numbers that needs merging.

merge join excel table data explorer 3

6) This is how the output looks:

merge join excel table data explorer 4

7) Rename the new column.

Select the new column > Right Click > Rename

8) Click Done if it looks OK.

9) The merged data is now available to you in Excel!

And one can analyze it!

Let’s see before and after. Note that instead of month numbers, we now have month names

merged data join table visualized excel 3

In this post, we saw how to merge/join/combine data from two different sources in Excel 2010.

Remove Duplicates in Excel Tables using Data Explorer Add-in:


In this blog post, we’ll see how you can remove duplicated and clean data in excel tables using Data Explorer Add-in.


Our Excel Table has following Data:

Month Month Name
1 January
1 January
1 January
2 February
2 February
3 March

And we want to remove duplicates to make the data-set look like this:

Month Month Name
1 January
2 February
3 March


In real world data-sets, we wouldn’t have few rows but lot’s of rows and doing it manually wouldn’t be the wisest option. With that in mind, let’s look for a few-clicks solution that can help us remove duplicates.


If you haven’t already, download the Data Explorer add-in preview available for Excel 2010 & 2013. It can do a lot more than removing duplicates – it’s a great add-in and it’ll save you lots of time especially if your job involves discovering, cleaning and combining data for analysis purposes. After you’re done installing the add-in, use the steps below to remove duplicates in an excel column:

1. Open Data in Excel. Switch to Data Explorer Tab

2. For the purpose of the demo, I am assuming that you already have the data in excel file. If not, you can connect to other sources via the add-in.

3. Data Explorer add-in > Excel Data> From Table

data explorer excel remove duplicates

4. After you’ve clicked on the From Table, a query editor will pop up:

excel data explorer query editor

5. Select both columns

(you can select both columns by: select first column > hold down the ctrl key and then click on second column)

6. Right click > Remove Duplicates

data explorer remove duplicates excel

7. click on done if you see that the duplicates have been removed correctly

data explorer excel remove duplicates 2


In this blog post, we saw how to remove duplicates and clean data in Excel using the Data Explorer Preview add-in.

If you’ve not downloaded and installed the data explorer add-in for Excel 2010 & 2013, you can find Information about it here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/download-data-explorer-for-excel-FX104018616.aspx 


1) URL to download the add-in may change in future

2) The steps that I described may also change because as of today the ad-in is in “preview” stage and things may change in future.

Business Analytics project is like an iceberg:


Business persons may not realize that Business Analytics project may involve significant efforts for the under the hood technical tasks like Data Cleaning, Data Integration, Building-a-data-warehouse, creating ETL processes, gathering business requirements among other tasks. And that explains the title of this blog: Business Analytics project is like an iceberg. It’s because, a business person may just see the tool used to visualize data but may not realize the work that went into making it “analytics-ready”. From a project management standpoint – before a project is initiated, the discussion about this different aspects of the project need to communicated to the business stakeholders so that they are in the know of efforts involved in building an analytics solution. And with that, Here’s the summary of this discussion in form of an Image:

iceberg business analytics data cleaning business intelligence data warehouse

Related articles

How to solve common Data Quality Problems using Data Quality Services? (Part 1)


New Journal Article: First article of 2, where you will be able to see how you can use SQL Server 2012’s DQS to solve common data quality problems. http://bit.ly/172Kh5L

Topics covered:
– Data standardization
– Identifying and correcting unrealistic or invalid values
– Validation and correcting records using Regular Expressions

Read Here: How to solve common Data Quality Problems using Data Quality Services (Part 1)

PASS Business Analytics Conference Keynote Day #2


Dr. Steven Levitt’s (Indiana Jones of economics & Author of Freakonomics) work involves finding insights from data. In the keynote, he shared some of the interesting & fun insights that he found from data.

One Example: Dr. Levitt: According to the data, It was 7 times more dangerous to sell crack in Chicago than it was being in combat in Iraq. https://twitter.com/markvsql/status/322707949158006786

He also talked about other insights that he found which could also be found in his book Freakonomics. After getting audience fascinated about what analyzing data can do – he moved to his real world experiences of analyzing data for businesses. And tied all these fascinating insights back to some tips he had for the audience. Here is a brief recap of the tips he shared:

> “Ideas don’t come out of the blue. Almost always ideas come out of the data” – Dr. Steven Levitt

> “You guys are the future. What you’re doing is the key to a business’ success or failure.”

> Experiment & Test Hypothesis using DATA

> Misconceptions can cripple you. Let the data speak, even when it might be difficult

> Most important people = who understand and know what to do with data, not those who pretend they know the answer.

> Dr. Levitt: without data any biz will be left behind, must experiment and accept failure

*Above text is linked to tweets.

That’s about it for this post. What do you think about the tips that Dr Levitt shared?


PASS Business Analytics Conference Keynote Day #1


In this post, I’ll summarize the PASS Business Analytics Conference’s Keynote Day #1:

The structure of the Keynote:

PASSt Business Analytics Conference

One of the NEW challenges that Data Pros face today is complexity involved in building a BI solution. Following slides nicely represent the challenge from the Tools standpoint:

pass business analytics conference keynote hadoop

Image Courtesy: https://twitter.com/SQLGal/status/322342662013321216

Microsoft’s Goal is to SIMPLIFY the above situation

NEW Tools:

> Data Explorer (Excel add-in)

> Power View in Excel 2013

> Geo Flow

Key Take away from the demo’s was:

Power View is a great tool that you could use to extract insights from data.

E.g. Insights about Music Charts from Germany:

Now combine the power of Power View w/ the new capabilities like Data Explorer that let’s you find, combine & refine data via Data Explorer.

In the Demo, they combined data in hadoop w/ data in relational sources. This is Powerful!

And Also

The Preview for GeoFLow in Excel was announced!

They had a great demo on a pretty big touch device:


Sorry for the poor image – but imagine a touch device of that size w/ an interactive data visualization that has 3D geo maps!


They had a nice message at the end of the keynote: