In My Opinion, There Aren’t Many Things More Exciting Than a New Ribbon Tab Full of Goodies
(And One That I Can Add to Excel 2010 or 2013 – I Hear That’s Important for Some Reason)

Maybe There’s a Future in this “Numbers” Thing…

It does seem like Microsoft has figured out that data is a big deal.  Every time I turn around, I am hearing of a new software development team joining Microsoft’s efforts in the Excel/BI/Overall Data Crunching space.

Often, such teams are merely whispers – shadowy rumors on the wind.  Friends disappear from their familiar roles and reappear in places they can’t talk about.

Other times, someone new to me walks up and just hands me a piece of nearly-finished software.

This is one of those latter cases.

Some Highlights

I don’t have time for a full tour today, and honestly I haven’t even explored all of the functionality yet.  So let’s hit some highlights shall we?

1) It’s another free download

You can go grab it right now.  Everything I am showing in this post, you can also do on your own desktop.

Download it here.

2) It works with 2010 or 2013.

So… those of us sitting tight on 2010 can still use it. You will note that my screenshots come from 2010.  That is no accident – it sure sounds like most of you are staying 2010 for now and I see no reason to blog things you aren’t using.

2) Technically it’s still a preview

A beta, in other words, which in many ways is even better, because we can provide feedback.


You see these buttons?  These are AWESOME.  Use these.  Real, live human beings read what you send, and sometimes even respond.  This is how software should be done:  put something out there, make it easy to provide feedback, engage with the customers when the feedback comes in.

3) Grab data from New Sources,  Like XML, Facebook, & File Folders

Loading Hadoop, Active Directory, and Facebook data into PowerPivot is Now Simple  Loading XML and File/Folder Data into PowerPivot is Now Simple

* = Sorta New.  ** = Really New.


Talk About Timely – This Request for File/Folder Import
Came in On LinkedIn Just Yesterday

4) All of these can be pulled into PowerPivot as refreshable connections

By default in 2010, it will load the data into an Excel sheet, which is not where us PowerPivot Pros want it.

No worries though, when the query pane pops up, turn this setting off:


And then go to the PowerPivot window.  Under Existing COnnections you will find that the Data Explorer queries are available:


Select This and Click “Open”

This lets you “land” the data in PowerPivot:


Mission-Critical Facebook Data:  Now Available in PowerPivot
(Yes, Actually Useful When it’s Your Company’s Facebook Page etc.)

5) More to Come

I haven’t even clicked these highlighted buttons yet.  No time for now, will revisit next week: