Excel How To

Data analysis beyond 1 million rows: PowerPivot takes Excel to the next level

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As you have probably noticed we are staunch advocates for Excel – now we know that is an understatement, but we wanted to go a little into detail into the features of some of the add-ins for Excel which we use that make an incredible difference for businesses of all sizes. Our current focus is on Excel PowerPivot, which can import millions of rows of data from multiple data sources into a single Excel workbook and so much more. But we want to focus simply on how having capacity for more data can help you with your business reporting.

PowerPivot Excel
Source: Gnet Group

The best feature of PowerPivot is that it gives the business users the capability to analyse vast volumes of data at breakneck speeds. There is no longer the need to carefully choose what data you should bring in as sample sets to overcome the row limitations in standard Excel. Now you can choose the level you want to analyse and just how into detail you want to go into your data.

With PowerPivot you can load more than a million rows into Excel, in fact it has been known to easily handle over 200 million records. But what does this mean for your data analysis needs? The problem with handling large volumes of data using only Excel, with its capacity limit of approximately 1 million rows, is that you end up with hundreds of thousands of separate worksheets which you need to link and maintain manually in order to see the bigger picture.

PowerPivot means that you can handle huge volumes of data without compromising on speed, giving you quite literally millions of records at your fingertips and a wealth of information just a refresh button click away. To put this into perspective: some companies may well have their entire, all-time sales histories in a single workbook, available to analyse and report in an instant. It really does take your Excel capabilities to the next level.

PowerPivot also reduces the time spent reporting spreadsheet logic to other data sets. Thankfully you can say goodbye to redundancies – you won’t need to maintain sets of workbooks that are often almost identical; you can now have all your data in one master file where you can filter as you need to for your business requirements.

One other great perk is that the compression is incredible, reportedly it is able to shrink data sets by as much as 50 times when importing them into PowerPivot, mostly though it is between 10, 15, and 20 times compression. So it is quite easy to see how something as simple as having more capacity for records on a single worksheet can open up huge opportunity for reporting potential. We have customised BI solutions for multiple customers with large data, helping them to harness and analyse it, resulting in more powerful and valuable reporting.

If you would like to speak to one of our PowerPivot experts about how you can get more from your Excel reporting, leave your details and let’s connect.

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