CHAPTER 35Introducing Power Pivot

Recognizing the importance of the business intelligence (BI) revolution and the place Excel holds within it, Microsoft has made substantial investments in improving Excel's BI capabilities, specifically focusing on Excel's self-service BI capabilities and its ability to manage and analyze information better from the increasing number of available data sources.

The key product of this endeavor is Power Pivot. With Power Pivot comes the ability to set up relationships between large, disparate data sources and to merge data sources with hundreds of thousands of rows into one analytical engine within Excel.

Starting with the release of Excel 2013, Microsoft has incorporated Power Pivot directly into Excel. This means the powerful capabilities of Power Pivot are available to you right out of the box!

In this chapter, you'll get an overview of those capabilities, exploring the key features, benefits, and capabilities of Power Pivot.

Understanding the Power Pivot Internal Data Model

At its core, Power Pivot is essentially a SQL Server Analysis Services engine made available through an in-memory process that runs directly within Excel. The technical name for this engine is the xVelocity analytics engine. However, in Excel, it's referred to as the internal data model.

Every Excel workbook contains an internal data ...

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