Power Pivot and Power BI: The Excel User's Guide to DAX, Power Query, Power BI & Power Pivot in Excel 2010-2016 Second Edition, Second edition
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From the Author
It was hard juggling book writing with the training/consulting/travel. But I am glad we persevered. Big thanks to our IndieGoGo crowdfunding supporters, who not only made it possible to print this book in full-gorgeous color, but also inspired us to burn the night oil in writing those last chapters.
I sincerely believe that Power Pivot and Power BI can transform the lives of Excel users worldwide - after all I was one of them. But change is hard, even when it's for the better. We hope we can help you go from Excel to Power BI with this book and our services at PowerPivotPro.
From the Back Cover
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One example was Chapter 14. They stress the importance of setting up a calendar table correctly, but clip off the picture so that it doesn't show all columns. The accompanying spreadsheets have the final pivots, but nowhere can I find the table referenced in the chapter. I know the authors disclaim that it's not a "polished" product, but if you are going to provide spreadsheets, they should help instead of confuse.
I am going to continue my search for a book that provides a more hands on, learn as you go approach, since for me this book simply failed in that regard.
I decided to write a review today, because I want to share how important it is to take this in small pieces, and really use the power of self-discovery for many of the lessons in Rob and Avi's book. The book is very well written, in easy conversational tone, yet some of the concepts are very hard to grasp, and require lots of hands-on absorption to really understand. I now have a solid 2 1/2 years of intensive hands-on data modelling in Power Pivot under my belt. I have attended public classes, worked with a consultant on a big Power BI project, watched many you-tube videos, read and written blogs, and I even host a couple of Power BI user groups at my office. And yet STILL today, as I read all the way to the end of the book with full understanding for the first time, I caught some new concepts and had to think about it and absorb. This is a both a book for beginners, and it is a book for advanced users to absorb over time. I can't recommend it highly enough.
If I compare it to other Power BI Books - well I don't know, like I said this is the first I've read on this subject!
If I compare it to other educational books I've read - it's great! Maybe Power BI is just a really easy subject to write on...I kinda doubt that though.
Top international reviews
It does touch on these publishing issues, but the focus is really on Power Pivot and basic DAX formula knowledge. Putting things in the correct linear perspective, the subject matter is Power Query - Power Pivot - more Power Pivot - Power Bi.
The book has taught me the valuable lesson that Power Pivot is the work horse that will do the cutting, slicing and summing. Power Query can feed it with well structured data tables, and this book has help greatly with organising that data; Power BI can present up almost anything in most required formats, as long as I have the Power Pivots in good starting order, and change can be managed easily thereafter.
It has therefore given me a perspective of how these 1.Query -> 2.Pivot -> 3.BI can and should work together. So whilst I was looking for the answer to 3. this book has eloquently, amusingly and clearly, steered me back to 1. & 2.
I will be using it with a real-life business over the next 4 months and may have to revisit this review to report on whether it has been a good working companion. It has certainly given me a clear steer on structure, "Do"s and "Don't"s.
Unlike another book on PowerPivots by a different author, the writing style used is perfect! If you're considering buying any book about PowerPivots, buy this one first!
Powerpivot is one of those things where you often have to repeat something 10 times or more before you understand it and you can remember it. So it was with this book, where I read and re-read parts of it over and over and tried things in Excel. As an accountant, I now feel reasonably confident with Powerpivot's formulas, filters, and table relationships to build reports for audit purposes, having read and understood the first third or so of this book. The last two thirds of the book are beyond me, and suited for data analysts.
The book comes in a large format, printed on glossy paper.
I think it is a much better introduction than Bill Jelen's 2010 book, which now looks out of date, given the changes made to the Powerpivot icons etc. since 2010.
I was hoping for maybe a little bit more from this book when compared to the original. Probably the most important addition is the section describing how to use Power Query to add data to the PP model.
Rob Collie is maybe the most well known expert on this topic....so I highly recommend this book for someone wanting to acquire this skill.
However, learning DAX, the concepts of relational database structures, and how to feed this into and Excel pivot table or Power BI, takes time and can be frustrating. Work through this book slowly and practice A LOT.
A recent change of jobs has prompted me to revisit this, and this book was the right catalyst. The opening chapters are pitched correctly to get users to focus on what they already know and use it as a stepping stone to acquiring new skills.
The examples are progressive and are all independently usable... you don’t have to get very far in the book to acquire new and useful skills.
Being able to pivot separate tables is a game changer and is well covered... the progression out to Power BI visualisation and Power Query is well handled but other books are required for deeper dives. The volume of data that can be handled in power pivot is awesome...and the book guides you to elegant and efficient functions and measures.
The authors clearly have been in the trenches with practitioners for whom excel is the often the only hammer to hit a problem, regardless of its nail-like properties...and their insights are very valuable to avoid catching thumbs...well done.
I like the rigour in their approach plus the way they introduce topics. It really helps me to understand the context of what I’m doing before I get into the details and this book delivers it. Well written and well produced. If you’re interested in MIcrosoft’s BI offerings and you want a good intro that will take you a long way this is the book for you.
I think the text is very accessible, although I'm a relatively advanced Excel user - I think it was pitched at a level that anyone could understand without it being condescending or overly technical.
It does look like covers the topics in detail so it might prove useful in the future - after I have purchased yet another book that might provide some example data to work with. If you're familiar with the Brian Larson books then you'll know what I mean.
Despite my understanding still being hazy I've already been able to complete several complex business requirements. The authors provide several patterns that helped me out.
They introduce topics in a sensible way and don't avoid the complexities. It just takes re-reading in order to drop the SQL mindset and enter the multi-dimensional world.