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Power Query Adds SalesForce Connectivity: Totally Awesome, But Trouble Looms Ahead

Post by Rob Collie

SalesForce Data Into Power Pivot / Power BI? YES!

This is what it looks like when Microsoft Does Something Epically Awesome…
…But Dark Clouds Loom – Read on to Learn Why

We LOVE This!

Seriously, we do.  It’s AMAZING.  Multiple of our clients are going to jump all over this.  It’s going to change their culture – AGAIN.

If Power Query can connect to it, that lets you pull SalesForce data directly into Power Pivot.  No more export, save, import/paste/etc.

SalesForce Data Into Power Pivot / Power View? YES!

Power Query Can Import SalesForce Data Directly Into Power Pivot, Which Means You Can Then Visualize in Power View, For Instance

So, the primary point of today’s post is to make you aware of this new capability, and tell you how to get it.

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Cloud Data Approaching Critical Mass: Connection Cloud, SalesForce, PowerPivot, & Webinar on YouTube

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Cloud Data Like SalesForce Available to PowerPivot as if it Were in a Local Database:
My Long Wish for a “Data Highway” Gets Closer Every Day
(Click for the Webinar Featuring Yours Truly on YouTube)

Flashback 2001:  The “Data Highway” Concept

Back at Microsoft in 2001 when I was working on what eventually became Excel 2003, I pitched a vision that I called “Data Highway.”  (OK, not an original name considering the Information Superhighway thing coined by Internet inventor Al Gore, but invention is smart and theft is genius, or something like that.)

The idea behind Data Highway was simple:  all relevant data made available to the most popular tools (cough cough Excel), in a convenient and refreshable format.  No manual gruntwork required to “fetch” data in other words – saving your brain for actual thinking.

imageThere were three elements to the pitch:

  1. A common internet protocol for exchanging data.
  2. “Teaching” Excel, Access, and other tools to consume any data source exposed via that protocol.
  3. A marketplace for data where providers like Dun and Bradstreet could sell data to be piped straight into Excel.

Well the protocol flopped and our VP killed the marketplace idea before it got off the ground.  Having good ideas isn’t enough – you can’t be too early, and you also need to execute better than we did.

Fast Forward to Today

Here we are at the end of 2012, and we have all three elements available in different (but robust and real) forms:

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