Welcome to the latest PowerPivotPro Coffee Talk, where members of the community discuss various topics related to Power BI, Power Pivot, and Analytics/BI in general. These conversations take place during the week on a Slack channel and are then lightly…
Much-Coveted by Classic Sneaker Collectors: The Power Update Limited Edition of the Air Jordan One On Tuesday of last week, a popular SharePoint blogger tweeted the following, and it picked up traction as the day went on: use Excel…
I Bet You Think This is a Picture, Don’t You? Yeah, this is the place in most posts where you will find a picture… but aha! It is anything BUT! That’s not a picture, it’s a fully interactive Power BI…
Post by Rob Collie
Assortment of Quick and Fun Topics
I keep something called Ye Olde OneNote List of Future Blog Topics. You know, I think of something and go “ooh, that would be a good thing to write about,” so I add it to YOOLOFBT.
Problem is, said list sometimes grows a lot faster than the rate at which I produce finished blog posts. So… good topics just get buried sometimes.
Today, let’s make sure a few of those topics get to see the light of day. Like children who’ve been cooped up in the house all winter, they need to go outside and play in the yard.
#1: DataZen Post “Wins”
Last week’s post on Datazen positively shocked me with the number of page views it got. It set the all-time record for single-day views of a given post, AND that traffic also led to the single best day for overall PowerPivotPro.com traffic. (A rising Datazen topic lifts all posts. Something like that.)
And it wasn’t close, either. Both new records eclipsed the former records by healthy margins.
The take-away, I think, is that mobile visuals SELL. This excerpt from last week sums it up nicely:
So if you’re trying to increase Power Pivot buy-in at your company, Datazen is worth a look. It’s a gateway drug.
#2: Power Update Passes 2000 Downloads
Post by Rob Collie and Chris Finlan
Datazen (The Latest Addition to Microsoft’s Suite of BI Tools) is a Mobile Monster
(Monster in a GOOD Way. Yes, PowerPivotPro has its own DZ Custom Theme – You Can Too)
Datazen Q&A With Chris Finlan
***Intro from Rob: Today I’m interviewing Chris Finlan of Microsoft about MS’s recent acquisition of Datazen, and what this means to us in the Power Pivot and Power BI community.
ROB: Last month, Microsoft purchased a company named Datazen. Most people had never heard of Datazen before, but you had pointed them out to me last summer I think. You were already a big believer in them at that point, as were your customers.
CHRIS: Yeah, I love Datazen. I’m as passionate about it as you are about Power Pivot. I think it’s an extraordinary product, and have felt this way for quite some time Don’t believe me? Check out the date of my review in the Windows Store. (Spoiler alert: it was April of 2013 – that’s before I even applied for a job at Microsoft).
ROB: You’re truly a trendsetter in tech and clothing. I think one of the natural first reactions/questions from the community is, “wait, did MS just buy one of Power BI’s competitors, and if so, when do I use it versus, say, Power Pivot?”
CHRIS: No, DZ was designed from the beginning to “only” be a visualization layer on top of the Microsoft Data Platform. In your post on Visualizations Layers in Perspective: The Last Mile, you pointed out three key reasons at the end on why you’d buy a visualization tool. Datazen checks all three boxes (and oh by the way, there’s no longer anything to buy – it’s simply a benefit you receive when you license SQL Server Enterprise with Software Assurance).
ROB: Which means it’s free for many existing MS customers. More on that later. But I also want to talk about how DZ can be used to “light up” the great work being done by Power Pivot practitioners, because hey, that’s what we do around here.
Any Flat Table in Excel Can “Power” a Datazen Dashboard
EX: Power Pivot Produces a Flat Pivot (or DAX Query Table),
and DZ Can Use That Excel File as a First-Class Data Source.
(The ONLY Server Required Here is a DZ Server – No SharePoint, No SQL, No SSAS)
***Update #1: a Free Version of Power Update is now available. More info here.
***Update #2: There is now a forum for Power Update questions, located here.
Intro from Rob: I’m what you might call a “gift horse optimist” – strongly positive outlook, but when the hoped-for thing finally arrives, I find myself closely inspecting it, testing it, before I trust it enough to advocate it to others. I went through this same process with Power Pivot itself – I “saw” its gamechanging power in 2010, but it was a full eighteen months before I finally dropped all disclaimers and just started calling it far better – period – than anything we’ve had before.”
Similarly, I’ve long known that Power Update would be a MAJOR win for us in the Power Pivot and Power BI communities. But I am willing to advocate it now only because I’ve watched others – like Scott, and Tim below – use it successfully, in production environments, in recent months. (Also see my post last week “introducing” Power Update in case you missed it).
Take it away, Tim…
I first found out about Power Update two months ago via a LinkedIn post by Christian Floyd.
It took me a while to realize that he wasn’t talking about a theoretical future idea, but an actual product, something that exists today. Click the picture below to see the entirety of my foolishness. It wasn’t until I talked to him directly that I realized what Power Update really was and I was immediately interested.
He got me a beta version of Power Update and I began testing it at the company I work for: a manufacturing company in Cleveland, OH called The Robbins Company.
We started using Power Pivot at The Robbins Company back in 2013 and I wrote about our experience on this blog (click here).
Post by Rob Collie
***Update: check out Scott Senkeresty’s review of Power Update over on Tiny Lizard.
***Update #2: a Free Version of Power Update is now available. More info here.
***Update #3: There is now a forum for Power Update questions, located here.
A brand-new software utility designed from the ground up as
a “Companion” to Power Pivot, Power Query, and the entire Power BI stack.
Definitely Click on the Image for Larger Version – Surprises Lurk Therein
Do Any of These Sound Familiar?
Power Update Helps With ALL of These (And a Few More, Too)
“What IS It?”
OK, a few things: