I believe that written posts are better than videos most of the time – written posts allow people to skim or read in depth – or surreptitiously read a blog post during a meeting without tipping everyone off that you’re not paying attention Smile Written is also better for search engines.

I’m not changing my mind about that.  But there are some things that you just can’t show in a written post.  This one falls under that heading.

The other thing different today is that rather than show off some clever or powerful technique, I’m “going retro” and focusing on something very fundamental about PowerPivot, and how PowerPivot actually makes Excel a less scary place, and not just a more powerful place.

That’s what this short video is about. Oh, and Star Wars. And my sister, who I recently discovered is a Pivot Pro but hadn’t told me.  That traitor!


For the benefit of the search engines in our lives, let me explain that VLOOKUP is used for merging or blending two tables of data in Excel.  It’s the original mashup tool!  But it’s a scary function with arguments like “lookup_value” and “table_array” and my personal favorite “[range_lookup]” which really should be named “[always_set_me_to_FALSE]”.

It turns out that VLOOKUP is harder for some people to use than pivots themselves!  I’ve long viewed PowerPivot’s relationships capability as a far superior alternative to VLOOKUP, but purely from a speed and elegance standpoint.

It turns out that PowerPivot is also a much friendlier and more approachable alternative as well.

Bill Jelen was right about that.  But he’s still wrong about compact axis in pivots.  (Let’s see if he picks up on this bait).