How to add Sparkline data visualization to Google spread sheets?


I like using spark lines data viz when it makes sense! It’s a great way to visualize trends in the data without taking too much space. Now, I knew how to add sparklines in Excel but recently, I wanted to use that on Google sheet and I had to figure it out so here are my notes:

1. Google has an inbuilt function called “SPARKLINE” to do this.

2. Sample usage: =SPARKLINE(B2:G2) — by default you can put line chart in your cells.

3. Then there are other options including changing the chart type. You can find them documented here:

4. One of the best practices that I advocate when you spark-line to “compare” trends is to make sure that you have the consistent axis definition. So the sample usage for that could like this:


(if you want to do this for excel then here’s the post: )

After you’re done, here’s what a finished version could like on Google sheet:

Google Sheet Data visualization spark line

Here’s the working google sheet:

How to sort measure values in an excel 2010 based ad-hoc report using SSAS cubes?


I helped a user today to sort measure values in his excel based ad-hoc report using SSAS cubes & so I’m posting the tips here for note-keeping. There are two ways to do this & here they are:

#1: Select a cell that has a measure value > Right click > Sort > sort the values in ascending or descending from here:

sorting Excel ad hoc report ssas cube#2: Alternatively, you can also do the same thing by: Select a value from the filed that needs sorting > go to Home Tab > Sort & Filter > from here you should be able to sort data in ascending for descending order:

sorting data excel analysis services cube


In this post, I shared two ways you can sort the measure values in an excel based ad-hoc report using SSAS cubes. Do you allow excel based ad-hoc reporting over SSAS cubes in your organization?


How to Change Data Source of an Excel 2010 Pivot Table?



There’s an excel 2010 pivot table that’s getting its data from TestServer. How do I change the data source so that the Pivot Table get’s it data from ProdServer?

Note: This is a common scenario among Business Intelligence Developers who might want to switch between different servers (Test/Prod) to for comparing data.


1. Establish the connection to a NEW data source via Data Tab in Excel.

2. Select the Pivot Table whose connection needs to be changed.

3. From the Excel Toolbar. Go to Pivot Table Tools > Options > Change Data Source

Pivot Table Change Data Source4. Choose the NEW connection from here. (you can use the connection that you created in step #1)

Choose the new data source Pivot Table5. Click OK and that should have successfully changed the data source for you. Please test the column names/values that might have been affected since you changed the data source.

That’s about it for this post. Your comments are very welcome!

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: 


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


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:

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:


An auto-refreshing Word Document that fetches data numbers from Excel:


In this post, I’ll show you how you can create a word document that:

1) Gets numbers from Excel

2) auto refreshes when the data gets changed/updated in Excel

Note: I am using Excel 2010 & Word 2010 for the purpose of this blog.

Here are the steps:

1. Scenario:

Let’s say we have a line in word that says “The revenue for year _____ was $ ______”

and we want to fetch data numbers for Year and revenue from Excel.

2. Let’s go!

here’s the data in Excel:

excel data numbers

3. In excel; copy A2 that has value 2012

4. switch to WORD:

now this is IMPORTANT. do NOT just paste it.

move your cursor to the destination position > right-click > paste options > Link and Merge formatting 

link and merge formatting

There’s also an option of link and keep source formatting, this is how it looks:

link and keep source formatting

5. repeat the steps for revenue

6. Close Word.

7. Open Excel and change the value of year to 2011 and revenue to 4000

8 Now open Word 2010, say yes if a dialog box pops up

And here you go:

linked word file to excel data


In this post, we saw how to create an auto-refreshing word document that fetches data numbers from Excel.

Adding a TrendLine to a Time Series Line Chart in Excel 2010:


I was playing w/ a time series data set in Excel 2010 and learned how to add a Trend-line and in this blog post, I’ll share how I added it:

First up, How is Trend-line useful? Here are few answers:
– It helps us see how data is changing over time, in other words, it helps us find “trends”
– It helps us forecast future.

With that, here is the chart without Trend-line:on time flight arrivals excel without trendline

Now let’s add the trend-line and you’ll be able to compare on your own how Trend-line makes it easier to spot “trends”. Here are the steps:

1. select the line > right-click > add trend line

add trendline time series

2. configure the trend-line options

trend line configuration options excel

3. I also changed the line style

4. And Here’s the chart w/ trend-line

american airlines on time flight arrivals excel with trendline


In this post, we saw how to add trend-line in the time series chart in excel 2010