Every Data Analyst Needs to check out this FREE excel add-in: Power Query!

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Power Query is amazing! It takes the data analysis capabilities of Excel to whole new level! In this post, I am going to share three reasons:

1. it enables repeatable mash-up of data!

Have you every had to do your data analysis tasks repeatedly on the data with same structure? Do you get “new” data every other week and need to go through the same data transformation workflow to get to the data that you need?

What’s the solution? Well, you can look at MACRO’s! Or you can request your IT department to create a Business Intelligence platform. However, what if you need to modify your data mashup workflow then these solutions don’t look great, do they now?

Don’t worry! Power Query is here!

It enables repeatable mashup of data like you might have never seen before! You need to try it to believe.

It’s very easy to input new data to Power Query and it enables you to retrieve final output based on new data using a “refresh” feature.

Each data-mashup is recorded as steps which you can go back and edit if you need to.

Power Query Refresh

2. It’s super-flexible!

Any data mashup performed using Power Query is expressed using its formula language called “M”. You can edit the code if you need to and as you can imagine such a platform enables much-needed flexibility for the analyst’s.

3. It has awesome advance features!

Do you want to Merge data? How about Join? Are you tired with VLOOKUP’s! Don’t worry! it’s super easy with Power Query! Here’s a post: Join Excel Tables in Power Query

How about Pivot or Unpivot? Done! Check this out: Unpivot excel data using Power Query

How about searching for online & open data sets? Done!

How about connecting to data sources that “Data” section of Excel doesn’t support yet? (Example: Facebook) – DONE! Power Query makes that happen for you.

And That’s not a complete list!

Plus you can unlock the “Power” (pun intended) of Power Query by using it with other tools in Power BI Stack. (Power Pivot, Power View, etc…) OR you can use the your final output from Power Query with other tools too! After all it’s an excel file.

Action-Item!

If you haven’t already then check out Power Query! it’s free and works with Excel 2010 and above.

Author: Paras Doshi

News from PASS Summit’14 for Business Analytics Professionals: #sqlpass #summit14

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This post is a quick summary for all Business Analytics related updates that I saw at PASS Summit’14:

1. Theme of the Keynote(s)/Session(s) seemed to be around educating the community about the benefits of the NEW(er) tools. I saw demos/material for cloud-based tools like SQL databases, Azure stream analytics, Azure DocumentDB, AzureHDInsight & Azure Machine learning. The core message was pretty clear: A data professional does two things – 1) Guards data OR 2) helps to generate Insights from Data – And they will need to keep up-to-date on the new tools to future-proof their career.

Read more about this here: http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2014/11/05/microsoft-announces-major-update-to-azure-sql-database-adds-free-tier-to-azure-machine-learning.aspx

2. Coming soon: Power BI will be able to connect to on-premise SSAS data sources (multi-dim & tabular).

3. Coming soon: A better experience to create Power BI dashboards.

Read more about Power BI updates here: http://www.jenunderwood.com/2014/11/05/pass-summit-2014-bi-news/

4. Azure Machine Learning adds a free-tier! You won’t need a credit-card/subscription to sign up for this.

5. I also saw sessions proposing new way of thinking about an architecture for “Self Service BI” and “Big Data” which might be worth following because since these are newer tools, it’s definitely worth considering an architecture that’s designed to make the most of the investments in these new tools. That’s it & I’ll leave you with a quote from James Phillips from Day 1’s keynote:

Quick note on evolution of Business Intelligence & Microsoft’s vision for BI space:

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I attended “Enabling Familiar, Powerful Business Intelligence hosted by PASS BA VC last week & I got to listen to Microsoft where they shared their vision for the BI space, so I thought of posting this quick note about it:

“Corporate BI” has been around for may years. This space has established players like Microsoft, SAP, IBM, Oracle. But in recent times, “Self Service BI” space has been gaining momentum. Players like Qlikview & Tableau that lead the Self Service BI space have been ranked as leaders in the Gartner 2014 magic quadrant. Microsoft has also been making serious advancements in this space since last few years & with their latest offering called “Power BI” they have shown that they putting their bets on Self Service BI space. So, as Microsoft said in the event, they view themselves as the only player that offers a full suite of Corporate BI as well as Self Service BI:

Evolution of BI

you can watch the recorded session here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yKhxSPlykg

Questions Power Users Ask about Excel: #2 of N

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In this series, I intend to document common questions asked by Power users about Excel connected to SSAS cubes (or data warehouse) after they go beyond the basic stage of understanding & using Row labels, column labels, report filter & values in Pivot Tables. This post is #2 of N:

How to add calculated measures (Excel 2010)?

Situation:

Power users in your organization/company are developing Excel 2010 reports against OLAP Cubes. They want to add their own calculations for analysis.

BUT Excel 2010 does not allow end-users to add their own private MDX calculations.

Solution:

A Free Community Excel add-in helps in this case. It’s called “OLAP Pivot Table Extensions”. Here are the steps to download, Install and use it:

1) Check Excel Version (32-bit/64-Bit)

Open Excel > File > Help> About Microsoft Excel

excel version 32 bit or 64 bit

2) Download OLAP Pivot Table Extensions and Install it

Download URL: http://olappivottableextend.codeplex.com/ > Navigate to Downloads Tab & install the right version based on your local excel version.

In my case, I had 64-bit excel so I’ll download the 64-bit version of OLAP Pivot Table extensions.

Excel Pivot Table Extensions

Close Excel and Install add-in

3) Add simple measure

Open Excel.

Connect to Cube.

Let’s add a simple measure that calculates the difference between two measures.

So I created a simple Pivot Table that looks like:

Excel Simple Pivot Table OLAP

Now let’s add a calculated measure:

Select the Pivot Table > Right Click > OLAP Pivot Table Extensions

OLAP PIVOT TABLE EXCEL EXTENTSIONS

On the next screen, please enter the name Difference. and the simple formula:

[Measures].[Meausre1]-[Measures].[Measure2]

(please replace measure1 & measure2 with the measure names from your cube)

And click on Add to Pivot Table

Simple Formula OLAP excel calculated member

You can now see that the calculated measure Difference got added to the Pivot Table!

 

Excel olap pivot table with calculated member

Note

1) OLAP Pivot Table extensions is not supported by Microsoft. It’s a community software.

2) To maintain the single version of truth (after all that’s why you create cubes/Data-warehouse’s!), it’s recommended that calculated measures that end users want in the cube.

Conclusion

In this post we saw a very common question “How to add calculated columns” asked by Power users about excel while they analyze data from SSAS cube.

Previous Article: http://parasdoshi.com/2013/12/10/questions-power-users-ask-about-excel-1-of-n/

How to embed or integrate Power View reports into SharePoint pages?

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Why do you want to do that?

One of the common tactic that you can consider to drive adoption of a Business Intelligence system is to integrate/embed the BI reports to the APPS/SITE that the users are already using. Don’t make your users come to you, go to them! As a part of that, I figured out a way to integrate/embed Power View in a Site that was used by existing user base.

You can integrate/embed Power View reports in SharePoint web Parts. Here’s How:

Power View sharepoint integrate embedImage Credit & For step by step tutorial, please refer to: Integrate Power View with SharePoint using web parts

Note:

Environment: SQL Server 2012 in SharePoint Integrated mode w/ Power View Activated for the site. Also, SharePoint Enterprise 2010.

 

PASS BA VC EVENT: Integrating SSRS with SharePoint on Nov 25th, Monday:

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Topic: Integrating SSRS with SharePoint

Register TODAY! URL: bit.ly/PASSBAVC

Speaker: Kevin Goff

Topic Abstract:

Have you ever seen a SharePoint site that integrates reports from SSRS, and wonder how all the pieces fit? If so, this session is for you. I’ll cover the necessary integration/configuration steps for integrating SSRS 2008R2/SSRS 2012 with SharePoint 2010/2013, as well as deploying reports to a SharePoint location. Because different versions of SSRS integrate differently with the available versions of SharePoint, I’ll provide a feature matrix for specific version integrations. I’ll also show how to integrate SSRS reports into SharePoint/PerformancePoint Services dashboard pages, as well as how to schedule reports for delivery to SharePoint document libraries. You’ll also see the improvements from Microsoft that make reporting against SharePoint lists much easier than before. At the end, I’ll show 2 new features in SSRS: Data Alerts in SharePoint, along with the new SSRS data visualization tool, Power View

I hope to see you there!
Paras | VP of Marketing | PASS BA VC

 

Power Pivot DAX: Difference between two DATE values

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Requirement:

Take difference between two data values.

Example:

EndDate: 11/20/2013

StartDate: 11/14/2013

DateDifference: 6

Let’s start writing some DAX!

Ok, seems simple, right? Try creating a measure DateDifference:=[EndDate]-[StartDate]

Did that work? NO? Does it return date?

Don’t worry, Here’s the solution. Try creating following DAX Measure:

[code language=”sql”]
DateDifference:=1.0*([EndDate]-[StartDate])
[/code]

That’s about it for this post. Here are some related Posts:
Calculate the difference between two dates in DAX
Q: How can I calculate difference between two dates in DAX (seconds, minutes, hours, days and months)
NETWORKDAYS() Equivalent in PowerPivot?