PowerPivot Is Making Microsoft Excel More Effective Than Ever.

It generally takes software a little time for its bugs and the kinks in its usability to be worked out. It’s not unknown for the glitches to become features (as with the N64’s GoldenEye game) but that is generally for games and home software.

With business software users are looking for speed and reliability. They are also looking for a good support base of training providers and also YouTube guides and blog posts. This means that when they have problems there are plenty of places to turn to for a solution.

In general this means that broad software adoption takes some time. When software initiallly launched it will generally contain bugs. In addition the broader support base of training and online resources is not available.

As time progresses the bugs are ironed out and the support base of the business builds out giving corporate customers the confidence to sign up.

Microsoft PowerPivot is reaching just that positoin.

A Known Solution

Excel PowerPivot was first introduced in 2010. It slowly gathered momentum and after three years it was upgraded. Since then it has continued to be developed and also more widely understood and supported. It now even offers mobile support.

This means that PowerPivot has now reached its ‘cruising altitude’ and is being broadly adopted by large companies.

It offers a number of substantial benefits. The primary one being that it allows Excel savvy users to crunch and manage huge amounts data on their desktop computer. They no longer need specialist software and hardware, and access to an IT expert to process their data.

Uses

For example. In order to extract data from a database with PowerPivot you no longer need to go to the database analyst in your corporate IT department and ask them to run a report for you.

You can simply connect to the database directly, run your query and pull the data into Excel yourself.

Similarly large corporations are increasingly using SharePoint as file stores. This allows people to collaborate on and share documents very quickly and simply.

PowerPivot allows people to run reports against spreadsheets that are held in a SharePoint file store. They no longer need to cut and paste the underlying data each time they want to run their analysis. Simply set up the connection once and each time you refresh you data your spreadsheet will pull the upto date data from the underlying spreadsheet.

This guide gives more details on connecting spreadsheets in SharePoint.

Support

As PowerPivot has evolved and improved so too has the support infrastructure around it.

There are now plenty of YouTube videos and web guides explaining all aspects of PowerPivot from advanced PowerPivot modelling to beginner’s guides to PowerPivot and PowerBI.

If people hit a problem or get stuck there is generally a solution to their problem out there. However if they can’t fix the problem then there is also an ecosystem of trainers and consultants who they can call to help them fix the problem.

Where Next?

 

So where next for Excel PowerPivot?

It is only going to be used more and more widely. Adoption is taking off as, as described above, it’s ecosystem is maturing and people are developing increasing confidence in the solution.

PowerPivot only became native in Excel 2016, before that it had been a free user add-in. It can be found in the Data tab of your Excel ribbon.

The fact that Microsoft have now made this a core feature shows that Microsoft see this as a core piece of Excel for the future. Their continuing support along with the ever expanding resources available to PowerPivot users means that this application of Excel is only going to be used more and more in the future.