Chapter 13

Using External Data for Your Dashboards and Reports

In This Chapter

arrow Importing from Microsoft Access

arrow Importing from SQL Server

arrow Leveraging Power Query to get external data

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the data you come across could be neatly packed into one easy-to-use Excel table? The reality is that sometimes the data you need comes from external data sources. External data is exactly what it sounds like: data that isn’t located in the Excel workbook in which you’re operating. Some examples of external data sources are text files, Access tables, SQL Server tables, and even other Excel workbooks.

This chapter explores some efficient ways to get external data into your Excel data models. Before jumping in, however, this humble author wants to throw out one disclaimer: There are numerous ways to get data into Excel. In fact, between the functionality found in the user interface and the VBA/code techniques, Excel has too many techniques to focus on in one chapter. Instead, then, in this chapter I focus on a handful of techniques that can be implemented in most situations and don’t come with a lot of pitfalls and gotchas.

Importing Data from Microsoft Access

Microsoft ...

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