Chapter 12

Tabular Models

What's in this chapter?

Introduction to PowerPivot

Importing data into PowerPivot

Explaining the PowerPivot window

Analyzing and enriching data

In Chapter 9 you learned about Microsoft Business Intelligence Semantic Model (BISM). You learned that it is made up of two components: multidimensional mode, which corresponds to the previous unified dimensional model (UDM), and tabular modeling, which is a more recent approach first implemented in the initial release of PowerPivot in SQL Server 2008 R2, with an add-in for Excel as the model development tool.

The Analysis Services team received a lot of positive feedback on PowerPivot. It considered different approaches for how to evolve it and make it available for corporate BI developers, as well as enable the underlying model for Power View for self-service business users performing highly interactive, visual analysis. SQL Server 2012 has two development tools for creating tabular models: an enhanced PowerPivot add-in for Excel and a new tabular development environment in Visual Studio for BI applications. This chapter focuses primarily on PowerPivot for Excel and covers these topics:

  • Creating a tabular model using PowerPivot for Excel
  • Enhancing a tabular model by integrating additional data
  • Creating relationships between tables
  • Analyzing data in a model through sorting and filtering
  • Enriching a model by defining custom calculations

Introduction to PowerPivot

A key aspect of Microsoft's vision behind self-service ...

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