Data Explorer is now “Power Query” AND yes, you can use with Excel 2010 Pro Plus!

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Microsoft announced a cloud based business intelligence platform called Power BI – as a part of that, the project (in public preview) that was previously called “Data Explorer” will be released as “Power Query”. It’s a great tool that have used to find, clean and shape data in Excel 2010, very useful! So one of the first things I checked was whether Excel 2010 can run Power Query or not. Turns out, it does! It works with Excel 2010 professional plus (Please read the system requirements on the official download page for details)

power query excel 2010 professional

And of course, I downloaded and installed it on my Excel 2010 professional plus.If you’ve not installed Office 2010 SP1 or higher, do that too.

Please note that this change affects some of the blog posts that I’ve published on this blog, Here’s the list:

1) Exploring, filtering and shaping web-based public data using Data Explorer Excel add-in
2) Web Scraping Tables using Excel add-in Data Explorer preview
3) Unpivoting data using the data explorer preview for Excel 2010/2013
4) Merging/Joining datasets in Excel using Data Explorer add-in
5) Remove Duplicates in Excel Tables using Data Explorer Add-in

That’s about it for this post. Update your “Data Explorer” tab to “Power Query” if you haven’t already! It’s a handy tool and I am glad to see that Data Explorer Power Query runs on Excel 2010 Pro Plus!

Exploring, filtering and shaping web-based public data using Data Explorer Excel add-in:

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Data Explorer let’s you “Explore” (search) for web-based public data. This is a great way to combine data that you may have in your data-sources with public data sources for data analysis purposes. Sometimes your data might not tell you the reason behind the observed trends, so when that happens – you can try to see if a public data-set might give you the much-needed context. Let me give you an Example before we start hands-on w/ data explorer so that you have better understanding of importance of public datasets. Here’s a sample that I found here. So, Here’s a demo:

An auto company is seeing sales trends of Hybrid cars and SUV’s from the sales data-sources. But what is the reason behind that? company data does not show that. Someone hypothesizes that it might be because of gas prices. So they test out the hypothesis by combining gas prices information available via public data. And turns out gas prices might be the driving force of sales trends! SEE:

if the gas prices increase, then the sale of SUV go down and the sale of Hybrids go up:

data analysis combine data with public datasets

You know that public data can be helpful! So how can you search for public data-sets? Well, You can manually search online, ask someone, browse through public data repositories like azure data market (and other data markets), there’s also a public data search engine! OR you can directly search for them via Data Explorer.

Here are the steps:

1) Excel 2010/2013 > Data Explorer Tab > Online Search > type “Tallest Buildings”

excel public data search data explorer2) I selected one of the data-sets that said “Tallest completed building…. ”

excel data from internet

3) Now let’s do some filtering and shaping. Here are the requirements:

– Hide columns: Image, notes & key

– clean columns that has heights data

– Show only city name in location

OK, let’s get to this one by one!

4) Hiding Columns:

Click on Filter & Shape button from the Query Settings:

excel data shaping cleaning

Select Image Column > Right Click > Hide:

excel hide remove columns

Repeat the steps for notes & key column.

Click on DONE

5) clean column that has heights data.

Click on Filter & Shape to open the query editor

A) let’s rename it. Select column > Right Click > Rename to Height > press ENTER

B) let’s remove the values in brackets. Select Column > right click > split column > By delimiter > At each occurrence of the delimiter > Custom and enter “(” > OK

excel split a columnThis should transform the data like this:

excel data explorer split a column

Hide height.2 and rename the height.1 to height

Click on DONE

6) Let’s just have city names in the location column

click on Filter & shape to load query editor:

A) select location > right click > split column > by delimiter > Custom – Enter: ° in the text box like this:

an excel split by delimiter dataclick on OK

Hide Location.2, Location.3, Location.4 & Location.5

Select Location.1 > Right Click > Split Column > by Number of characters > Number of characters: 2 > Once, as far right as possible > OK

cleaning data in excel shaping filtering

Hide Location.1.2 and rename Location.1.1 to Location

One last thing! making sure that the data type of height is numbers.

Select height > change type > number

Also,

Select floors > change type > number

click on DONE. Here’s our filtered and shaped data!

filter data excel shape clean

7) LET”S VISUALIZE IT!

For the purpose of visualization I copied first 20 rows to a separate excel sheet and created a chart:

z excel data visualization

That’s about it for this post. Here are some related Posts on Data Explorer:
Unpivoting data using the data explorer preview for Excel 2010/2013
Merging/Joining datasets in Excel using Data Explorer add-in
Remove Duplicates in Excel Tables using Data Explorer Add-in
Web Scraping Tables using Excel add-in Data Explorer preview:

Your comments are very welcome!

Web Scraping Tables using Excel add-in Data Explorer preview:

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In this blog post, we’ll see how you can do some web scraping of HTML data tables that you see on the inter-webs!

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 

First, let’s try doing copy-pasting of tables found on websites into excel without data explorer add-in.

So I found some very interesting tables here: http://powerpivot-info.com/post/16-powerpivot-dax-function-list-with-samples

And here’s my copy-pasting efforts:

excel copy pasting html tablesNow, that requires formatting! I don’t want to do that especially if I am doing that for few more tables – let’s see an elegant way of going about web scraping tables using Data Explorer add-in:

Step 1:

Keep the URL handy.

Now, Open Excel 2010/2013 > switch to Data Explorer tab > click on From Web

Step 2:

Paste the URL that has the tables you need:

excel web scraping html data tables

Step 3:

The dialog box would list all the tables from that HTML page and so you’ll need to select the table that you want.

(optional) if your tables have headers as first rows. Make sure to mark them as headers: Right Click a Column > use First Row as headers

excel data explorer query editorStep 4:

Click DONE and your excel sheet will populate itself w/ the data from the table.

excel data copied from website data explorerThat’s about it for the steps!

Notes:

1) Data Explorer add-in will let you “explore” external open datasets that’s out there on the internet.

2) Please make sure that you’re not violating any copyrights before you go about web scraping and sharing your work.

And here are some related Posts on Data Explorer:
Unpivoting data using the data explorer preview for Excel 2010/2013
Merging/Joining datasets in Excel using Data Explorer add-in
Remove Duplicates in Excel Tables using Data Explorer Add-in

That’s about it for this post, your comments are very welcome!

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

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Introduction:

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 

Problem:

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.

Solution:

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

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Problem:

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 

Situation:

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

………………………………

Solution:

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:

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

Problem:

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.

Solution:

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

Conclusion:

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 

Note:

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.

PASS Business Analytics Conference Keynote Day #1

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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:

GEO FLOW For EXcel

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

Conclusion:

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