I have been using Business Intelligence software (Cognos, mostly, and Crystal Reports) for over 25 years. Power Pivot has become my “go to” software, and the Collie/Jelen team is my Number One resource. Our business tag line is “turning mountains of data into useful reports”. We can do it for you, but if you really want to know how to do it yourself, buy both books, download Power Pivot and Power Query (free from Microsoft but with some conditions), grab some data files, and have some fun. The writing style is entertaining, the examples are clear, and the techniques are well tested.
The Companion to the World’s Best-Selling Power Pivot Book
Rob Collie’s first book, DAX Formulas for Power Pivot (aka “DFPP”), has been the bestselling Power Pivot book since 2012. In this followup, Rob joins forces with MrExcel himself, Bill Jelen, to offer things that didn’t fit in the first book:
- “Recipes” and patterns that build upon the fundamentals covered in the first book.
- A very popular chapter named Conquering Common Calculated Column Conundrums.
- Power Query – the best thing to happen to Excel and BI since Power Pivot itself..
- Power View and Power Map – the precursors to Power BI Dashboards
If we may use construction as a metaphor for a moment, think of “DFPP” as teaching you how to use all of the tools of the trade (saws, drills, hammers, etc.), and then Alchemy as a set of blueprints for complete houses you can build using those fundamentals.
Read DFPP first, unless you already dream in DAX, and then add Alchemy to show you techniques that you need, but didn’t yet realize were possible, AND that stimulate you to create your own brand-new methods. The results, like the fabled alchemists transmuted lead into gold, are pure Alchemy.
Alchemy shares the same style that made DFPP a favorite of analysts everywhere:
- Example-Driven – each concept, function, and technique is accompanied by a tangible example. Everything is both explained AND demonstrated.
- Visual – the book features more than 300 illustrations, diagrams, and screenshots. You SEE everything.
- Jargon-Free – no prior experience required with programming or business intelligence technologies. If you’ve created a PivotTable before, you are ready.
- Accompanying Files – Download them all here, even if you don’t plan to buy the book!
Buy the Book or E-Book
In 2013 Rob Collie came to my former employer and provided them with an intensive two-day training class. This was my very first exposure to a life-transforming Power Pivot obsession and equally life-transforming co-author Rob Collie. I had the distinct pleasure to share a beer afterwards with this individual (at my insistence) to better know this trainer.
Following up on this experience comes Alchemy – those familiar with powerpivotpro.com will recognize some of this valuable material and find it a handy reference to grab when you just know one of these two has already been down a path you are on and should have a better way of doing it or a different way to enhance your approach.
He’s got a great wry humorous style of writing. One doesn’t usually associate humor with Excel but his wit and savvy observations shine through (as witnessed by the title of this review). This book could be read like a thriller..
Simply put, a brilliant sequel to Rob’s first book…
Three weeks ago, I started reading “Power Pivot Alchemy” which is also a book centered on using the Power Pivot Excel add-in. This time, Rob teamed with Bill Jelen (aka “MrExcel”) who is very well-known in the Excel community for his teaching tools and books on just about every facet of Excel. Rob and Bill are a good team which comes through the pages as two very experienced experts giving very qualified advice about solving pertinent problems rather than a typical “how to” or reference book. The book is written in the same casual voice with a lot of personality and humor leading the narrative. This is an excellent book for the moderate to advanced skilled Excel Analyst who needs to create advanced formulas and pivot tables with strong emphasis on best practices and targeted solution
This book contains extraordinary, detailed, and clear recipes for making magic with Power Pivot, DAX, M, and power view. Highly recommended!
Alchemy is the latest installment in the growing tradition of excellent and, most importantly, USEFUL educational content from two Jedi Masters of PowerPivot and DAX
The Excel and PowerPivot stuff in PowerPivot Alchemy is terrific. I found myself dog-earing pages from the beginning. If you have even a passing interest in PowerPivot, get this book.