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Unprompted Confirmation

In last week’s post I explained why I now “kick off” my training sessions with the bold promise of “Power Pivot will change not only your career, but also your LIFE.”  (Please go back and read that, briefly, if you have not – because this post won’t make as much sense otherwise).

Well, a funny thing has been happening lately – I’ve been getting emails from people saying that it HAS changed their life.  Literally in those words.

Are these people just being nice to me, confirming my bold statement?

Nope, because none of them has heard me say it before – these are people I have never met in person!

In fact, this pattern of emails was the reason why I got started writing last week’s post.  I actually intended to JUST write THIS post, the “has it changed your life” post, but along the way I realized I needed to add the background, so this got split into part two.

Please Share Your Stories!

If you are feeling like this, please leave a commentIf you’ve experienced life change as a result of Power Pivot, please leave a comment at the end of this post!

Or if you’re a bit shy about that, drop me an email.  My address isn’t hard to find or guess.

Take it Away, Rob’s Inbox!

imageThese are real emails from real readers, slightly edited to maintain their privacy.  In all cases, I am bolding the “life changing” portion of the quote:


Really looking forward to seeing you in person at your class next month.  PowerPivot is kind of changing my life and I’m psyched to learn more.

Simple and direct.  Now, here’s one where I have to use the bold button three times:

I am sending this email to you for expressing  my gratefulness to you and acknowledgements to you for little things that are beyond your scope when you write with such enthusiasm about PowerPivot.

These little things are sometime life changing for some of us …

I was always an advanced user in Excel (go to person) in the job positions that I worked & loved pivot tables. Nothing fancy so far.

Suddenly I came across powerpivot and then your site/blog. Your love about powerpivot  convinced and excited  me for the revolution of it. After reading your book and enrolling in your online University I became a hero in my work. Some close friends with companies ask for help to design  some solutions & they felt amazed by the outcome . It was life saving for  them.

I started freelancing designing simple powerpivot  solutions.

And now here I am, starting my personal trip to unknown, quitting my day job and start my own company here in Europe, doing what I love most – Data & Excel. So I wanted to thank you from my heart for the motivation, confidence and belief in PowerPivot Revolution. You are a life changer….. 

BIG step!  Not for everyone, for sure.  Also note that I think he is doing it the smart way – line up clients first.  It’s one thing to know Power Pivot, and to know its potential.  But neither of those is a guarantee of getting sufficient work.  So please folks, be careful if you are considering following the Matt Allington route.

PP is doing two things I’ve noticed internally. 

Firstly better solid choices…  info, things we can see now, etc….anomalies shine out…way too much to be bracketed.  It has set us on edge a bit but, there is a sense of vision and clarity in the murkiness…

Secondly a bit of initial ramping up lines in the sand between the two major departments.  The info has clearly pointed out a huge lack of initiative in one of the two departments…  Email mortars aren’t just blowing smoke anymore.  Now we can really own up to things from either end. 

The transparency is going to shake some things up but, in the long run, the two parties will be married by the power of information and that large amount of lost money will float into our pockets, instead of others’…

Keep up the good fight and thanks for helping change my life.

That one saved the “money quote” for last, heh heh.  One of our other clients calls Power Pivot a “bullshit killer” – and that theme was reflected above as well.  (Hrm…  must…  resist… creating…  “bullshit killer” custom clip art.)

The ability to manage data has really skyrocketed my career in ways I never thought it would.

OK, that one doesn’t use the verbatim words.  But it’s close!  And even better – it’s from someone whose career is sports science and athletic conditioning.  Yep, everyone has data.

Share Your Story!

If Power Pivot has Changed Your Life, Share it with the World - in the Comments BelowLet’s treat the comments thread on this post as an open invitation to share your stories.  I think it’s good for everyone else to hear, plus of course I am naturally curious.

And if you haven’t quite reached life change yet, don’t despair!  These things often take time, and usually also a dose of good fortune – the right confluence of timing and opportunity.

Rob Collie

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. Over lunch, I had just finished telling our COO about offering up a PP solution at the tire place while getting a slow leak patched that morning.

    Meanwhile, I was eavesdropping the table behind us and heard “Data” and “Excel” within a few seconds.

    I said “Excuse me but, you should really look at PowerPivot”

    The guy said he had thought he heard of it, wasn’t sure, and didn’t really have time.

    I said “Well, you have heard of it now. If you listen to me and find a little time, your life just changed exponentially to the good.”

    The Big Guy called me a PowerPivotProphet as we walked out.

    I told him I was nothing but a Disciple.

  2. Rob, we’re literally having conversations about this every day! It led to me leaving my company of 16 years where I worked as a technology consultant, just so I could startup a new company (with my business partner) focused solely on data analytics and business intelligence! Our flagship solution will feature PowerPivot (along with Power Query and some of the other powerful “Powers”).

    Rob, you must understand… for me to leave and start my own company was a HUGE leap for me. I’ve been that “salaried guy, working hard, always having reliable benefits and steady paycheck.” But when we saw the opportunity to help so many people in so many ways… we couldn’t pass it up.

    I just received an e-mail from my brother-in-law asking where he could find a class on VBA. I told him “Take the PowerPivot. Leave the VBA.” I know there is a place for VBA, but he needs so much more. He has background in Microsoft Access.

    Rob, from that first Atlanta Modern Excel User Group meeting, you have been a steady influence on our passion and enthusiasm for this work. Your resources have been a tremendous help to so many. Keep up the good work!

  3. It’s not so much that PowerPivot has changed my life ‘yet’, it’s that I see this as one of my “once in a lifetime opportunities”. And I believe there are only a few of those opportunities that come up in each person’s life.

    As an Excel Pro, I have mastered the use of the VLookup function and extremely long nested If formulas. Although others rely upon my reports containing these elements, they have been viewed primarily as Excel based ‘low level’ solutions. Even though nobody else where I work can do what I do, the solutions are not highly valued. Sad, but true.

    PowerPivot has given me the opportunity to change how data is used at my place of employment. Although this will likely provide me with additional career opportunities where I work, I have begun to view it differently.

    Learning PowerPivot is a natural extension for Excel Pros. Learning the DAX language is reasonably easy once operating within the PP environment. The PP environment uses the same (VertiPaq/xVelocity) engine as Microsoft’s flagship database system – Sql Server Analysis Services (SSAS) when in tabular mode. Because of this, PP and SSAS work well together. SSAS has begun to offer, and encourage the use of, the ‘in memory’ tabular model. Database professionals are begrudgingly starting to transition to the tabular environment because I believe it’s considered the next logical next step. SSAS tabular can be used as the server side database for websites. And people who own and operate large database driven websites are often successful. So if you want to be successful, then learn PowerPivot. At least that’s how I see it.

    Although none of us know exactly where our lives will go, PowerPivot has opened my eyes to new and exciting possibilities.

  4. 2-3 years ago I was a senior financial analyst, a year ago I was a business analytics manager, this year I’m a senior business intelligence developer, and in another year or so I hope to become a solution architect. PowerPivot and the managed self-service philosophy from Microsoft has been central to all of this as it provided the capability to deliver more powerful, scalable solutions and it provided a clear roadmap both for the teams I’ve worked with and my own development. I went from being an Excel and Access VBA pro that the enterprise IT department didn’t really respect (but couldn’t quite replace with Cognos for some reason) to building data models and ETLs (with good DAX measures up front of course!) that brought me into the IT department where I now apply the agile, practical approach to BI. These days I spend a lot of time in SSIS but only for the purpose of building a clean, rich SSAS Tabular model that users will carve open with rich DAX measures. The greatest satisfaction of the journey has been seeing business ‘users’ elevate their value and overall happiness at work – sometimes just one good DAX measure or one new PowerPivot user can make a real difference.

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