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First paragraph of Chapter 1 of the book.
But my regular airline experience took a new turn yesterday.

Tables Turned:  Someone “PowerPivot Ambushes” ME!

(I’m traveling this week so today’s post will be short, but covers two very cool stories from the past two days.)

I’ve long had a habit of ambushing people in coffee shops and on airplanes (particularly on airplanes) when I see them using Excel, or when they say they use Excel a lot.  They’re just minding their own business and…  WHAM!  PowerPivot demo!  After they finish recoiling in terror from the freak show sitting next to them breaking out the laptop, they start seeing what it can do, and they start getting very, very excited.

In January of last year, for the first time, I ambushed an Excel person and they already knew about PowerPivot.  That was a big inflection point in my experience.

But yesterday, on a plane, something very different happened.

My seatmate was a physician’s assistant.  Does that career mean there’s no Excel in her life?  Heck no!  She’s up to her eyeballs in spreadsheets.  She even has many of them at her fingertips on her iPhone.  And she was not just a user, but an enthusiast – someone who just likes working with them.  While she wasn’t a PivotTable user (yet), that enthusiasm was enough for me to subject her to a description of what pivots do, and what PowerPivot does.  No demo, just a discussion.

When we landed, the guy in the row in front of us stands up, turns around, and says:

“Hey sorry for eavesdropping but I heard you talking about PowerPivot and PowerPivot is amazing.  Just flat out amazing.  We’re pushing it a lot with our clients.  A LOT.”

Huge smile on his face.  He has The Disease.

But I don’t think he expected MY reaction.  I mean, to him, it’s just natural that he digs PowerPivot.  My over the top enthusiastic response kinda shocked him I think – how was he supposed to know that I’m the guy who’s been traveling the country for 3+ years opening people’s eyes to this tool?  That there’s someone out there like me who’s kinda…  dedicated to it?

Unreal – to be overheard talking about PowerPivot and then get “jumped” by someone else?  Do you feel those floodwaters tricking between your toes folks?  It’s happening.

NBC News Catches a “Sniff” of PowerPivot!


NBC News Picks up the Sniff Communication Story – Click for Article

The news story from Friday – about my neighbor’s research that we analyzed with PowerPivot – is going even more mainstream.  No, the article does not mention PowerPivot, but in many ways that is how it should be.  PowerPivot produces insight, and for every author/producer there are 15 or more consumers of insight.

NBC News is not the place to talk about the implementation.  We know how the numbers were crunched don’t we? Smile

Rob Collie

One of the original engineering leaders behind Power BI and Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, Rob Collie founded a consulting company in 2013 that is 100% devoted to “the new way forward” made possible by Power BI and its related technologies. Since 2013, PowerPivotPro has rapidly grown to become the leading firm in the industry, pioneering an agile, results-first methodology never before seen in the Business Intelligence space. A sought-after public speaker and author of the #1-selling Power BI book, Rob and his team would like to help you revolutionize your business and your career.

This Post Has 4 Comments
    1. Colin:

      That is awesome. PTA could now mean Pivot Table Ambush in the computer world and possibly offer more education than the common vernacular of PTA. a staid, boring imposition of regulations contrasted with as Rob loves any movie reference, Mel Gibson in Bravveheart, face painted in blue screaming to British forces- FREEEEDOMMM, We know how liberating oivot tables and in turn PowerPivot can be Repeat after me FREEEEEDOMMM. Doesn’t that feel good? I’d Love to see Rob and the army in blue face paint and kilts in some airport on the news, the TSA couldnt handle it !!

  1. Hey! So I had totally forgot to look up the blog until today. A co-worker (and fellow excel user) and I were out to lunch and she asked about my trip. I was telling her about my two interesting seatmates- on my two shortest flights- and my two completely miserable and smelly seatmates who of course, were on the longest flights. Anyways, we got back to the office to check out the blog. I think the excel “enthusiast” is a bit of a stretch, but happy to contribute to your positive airline experiences. Thanks for not ambushing me with a demo!

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