By Avi Singh [Twitter]

Thanks to all those who attended our past Excel to Power Pivot webinar on January 20th. Some of the attendees also joined us later for our first ever online class. For those who missed out, keep reading to learn about our upcoming options.

First of all, it is a joy and a privilege to speak to all of you about my favorite topic – Power Pivot/Power BI. So thank you for giving me that opportunity. My favorite part was the Q&A session at the end where I got a chance to interact with all of you. At the bottom of this post you will see some of the key questions, that were asked and answers. I figured that might help all the readers of this blog.

We plan to be running these webinars every month; best way to stay informed of our upcoming events is to subscribe to our blog. We are locked onto the Citrix/GoToMeeting platform, which has performed flawlessly for our recent events. But we are looking to increase the maximum capacity, to accommodate more attendees.

There is a special opportunity, to attend our webinar on February 3, as part of the BA marathon, being conducted by the SQL PASS folks. Details as below:-

SQL PASS Business Analytics BA Marathon

Productivity Revolution in Excel By Avi Singh, Chandoo
Tue Feb 3rd 11AM PST (click to change Time Zone)
Register at PASS BA Marathon

Yes, I am collaborating with the “awesome” Chandoo for this Webinar. Gosh!

…now as promised here are the popular questions from our past webinar.

Questions from past Webinar

Some questions were asked over audio and others via the chat window. Some of these topics are meaty enough that we will follow up with full blog post and/or YouTube Video.


  • Q: Is the webinar recorded?
    That was the number one question, and the answer is no, we do not record these sessions. We recommend you subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we post recorded content about Power Pivot and Power BI. Or subscribe to our blog to stay notified about future webinar events.
  • Q: Various questions around the next step from Excel Power Pivot – i.e. the Server Options (SharePoint, SSAS Tabular, Power BI)
    These were asked in various ways, folks described the struggles (file sizes, file complexity, trouble sharing, autorefresh etc.). The way out is exploring one of the server options – SharePoint, SSAS Tabular, Power BI. Read posts on SSAS Tabular and Thin and Core model advantages from adopting a Server route. Look for new posts around this topic.
  • Q: Discussion around obstacles while learning Power Pivot/Power BI
    I shared articles around 5 common mistakes made by self taught DAX students and how to choose amongst the various learning options at P3 Adaptive . Either way you learn, do not give up.
  • Q: Discussion around limitations of Power Pivot, max file sizes, performance issues etc.
    Good discussion here, I had used dataset with ~ 300M rows. Jeff (attendee) reported watching Bill Jelen’s demo with a billion rows. Of course a lot goes into this. We have lots of articles on performance and a full module on performance in our online class
  • Q: How can a flat file (CSV or text) with more than 255 columns get imported to PowerPivot?
    Use the magical Power Query. Most likely you would want to Unpivot many of these columns.
  • Q: I am using Power Pivot for Excel 2010 but do not see any of the new functionality (like Diagram View)?
    You may not have the latest version of PowerPivot for Excel 2010. Grab it here.
  • Q: Questions around using Power View, Power Query, Power Pivot with various Excel versions…
    We are as anguished about this as you are. We had launched a initiative to Free Power Pivot. That applies to all Power BI tools, all of which should be freely available. I am really hoping this confusion goes away with Office 2016 release, but the problem may remain for Office 2013 edition where there is the most confusion.
  • Q: Do relationships have to be one to many?
    Out of the box Power Pivot only supports One to Many relationships. Many-to-Many relationships can be supported using DAX measures (article). Many to many support could be coming, we have seen this supported in the new Power BI Designer
  • Q: Can I establish a live connection with the SQL Server so the data in the model will be always up to date?
    This is supported using Direct Query mode when using Power Pivot’s elder cousin SSAS Tabular. Most folks can get away with setting an automatic refresh if they do not need true real-time reporting.
  • Q: What is a good resource for learning to use Excel cube functions with the Power Pivot data model?
    Check out the first article about cube functions: Intro to Cube Formulas
    …or explore all Cube Formula articles.

    Power On!
    Avi Singh