Yeah I’m a Bit Slow… Back in October, Microsoft released a roadmap blogpost detailing plans and direction for their BI platform. I kinda pressed the Snooze bar on paying attention, because hey, I was super busy, plus… I always tend…
A CIA Manual for Inaction Perhaps you’ve seen this making the rounds on Facebook: in the 1940’s, the CIA created a sabotage guide for citizens of France and other occupied countries. You know, to screw with the Nazis, which is…
President Reagan in his famous “Tear down this wall” address, asked for the Berlin wall to be brought down. Believing that freedom and security go together. With the same sentiment, we make a call to tear down another wall. Tear…
By Avi Singh [Twitter]
At a recent client visit, I found myself thinking of trajectories.
A small shift now can change the trajectory of the rest of your life
After the class, I was chatting with one of the attendees. Here is what I learned:
- The attendee, let’s call him ‘John’, has been working for many years at this revered institution.
- He had been using Excel, but he thanked ‘Dan’ who several years ago had introduced him to Excel Pivot Tables
- That changed his trajectory. And many years later, here he was, sitting in my Power Pivot class…
- And I wondered…how it would shift the trajectory of the rest of his life
Post by Rob Collie Four quick topics today: Mini-application for for PowerPivotPro jobs Specific job opp in Seattle area Indy class sold out Last week’s Power BI post and the (even more interesting) followup discussion 1) “Mini-Application” Form for PowerPivotPro…
Post by Rob Collie
A Recent Trip to the Hospital Highlighted the Folly of The Way Things Work
That Oh So Sneaky “Adoption Problem”
I spend a lot of time talking to software vendors. One vendor specifically of course, whose name rhymes with “Bike Row Loft.” But all software vendors share one basic habit, which is that they’re constantly asking, “How do we get more customers to BUY our tools?”
But I also spend a lot of time talking to their customers. And while the vendors expect their customers’ most pressing question to be “which software tools do I buy,” the reality I see is FAR different.
Buying software is just the FIRST step down a very difficult road. You choose the software from Vendor X, announce the decision to your organization, send Vendor X a check… and that’s the starting gun.
Yeah, Vendor X sees that as the END of the story. And so do their competitors, Vendor Y and Vendor Z, who slink away defeated. But you, the purchaser of the tools, well, your story is just beginning isn’t it?
Now you have to get your PEOPLE to start USING the new tools. And to KEEP using them. I’ve discovered that this is by FAR a much bigger problem than choosing the tool.
“The New Operating Room Sucks, Who Designs These Things?”
Post by Rob Collie
This is Power BI Designer, a New Product from Microsoft, and It’s Relevant to ALL of Us.
Major Seismic Activity out of “Mount Redmond”
Some of you may have seen it already, but just in case you haven’t: in recent months, Microsoft has been touting a preview of what it calls Power BI Designer. You can download it here for free, and install it right next to all of your other tools, TODAY.
I’ve held off, a LONG time, in writing about Designer. Because I wasn’t yet sure what to make of it. I’ve been wary of it, critical of its existence. It’s taken many, MANY off-the-record conversations with my former colleagues at Microsoft, and a lot of reflection, but now I am ready to talk about it, and even endorse it – with a few caveats near the very end of this post.
My Start Menu is Getting Crowded with Data Tools:
Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Power BI Designer, and Power Update
Designer is Clearly… Familiar to Us
Once you install it, you immediately start noticing some similarities to things we know and love:
Same Basic List of Data Sources We See in Power Query
And then the ribbon has some old friends for us as well…
Post by Rob Collie
NASA JPL is Using Modern Excel to Perform Financial Analysis On Their
Space Projects, Because Modern Excel is the Best.
(That’s me with Opportunity’s “sister” during a training engagement this Spring)
Too Hot for the Official Excel Blog!
This Post Was Originally Written for the Official MS Excel Blog But Never Went Live
(Their PR Censors Deleted 70% of it and wanted big changes to the rest, so I’m posting here instead)
A couple months ago I was asked if I’d like to do a post for the official Excel. Heck YES, I said. (Duh).
And then I realized, I couldn’t let such an opportunity go to waste. I had to Go Big with this one. Roll the dice. Use it as a chance to change the entire conversation around Excel – in ways that Microsoft itself SHOULD be doing, but hasn’t.
So many products now use “we’re better than Excel” as their entire marketing campaign. I’m swarmed by these ads on Facebook. And none of these other products are better. In fact, none of them are even close to being AS good as Excel, much less better.
Post by Rob Collie
Bad Data DOES Lead to Bad Results. But Good Data Can STILL Lead to Bad Results.
Garbage in, Garbage out. We’re all familiar with this. If you’re being given junky source data, it’s going to be hard to perform ANY meaningful analysis or reporting on said data until the quality of the inputs is addressed.
The term “Data Quality” has come to mean precisely that – the quality of your inputs.
But at my recent PASS BA presentation on the Bottom Line, I was talking at length about how we often generate poor outputs – our reports and dashboards often leave much to be desired, because we ourselves, the producers of the work, need to be better.
It’s one of my most-emphasized themes: we’ve been given this amazing new toolset (Power Pivot and the rest of the Power BI stack). We shouldn’t just use it to produce the same stuff we produced for decades (even though we can do so much faster and more efficiently than before).
We should strive for more meaningful metrics for instance – metrics that remove noise and produce a clearer picture than the age-old default of “raw dollars.”
A product may be generating more dollars than last year for instance, but that could be misleading. Is it generating more profit (it may also be more expensive for us to acquire this year)? Is it generating more profit per store (we may have increased the number of stores that sell it)? Per day (maybe it was introduced in May of last year, but this year it’s been available since Jan 1)?
Post by Rob Collie If you believe in redemption I’m calling to you from another dimension -The Flobots Turn the Corner, Press the Accelerator This post will have a definite “personal” flavor to it, but also a strong professional flavor…