Important This feature isn’t available in Office on a Windows RT PC. Power View and PowerPivot are only available in the Office Professional Plus and Office 365 Professional Plus editions. Read Excel 2010 workbooks with PowerPivot don't work in some versions of Excel 2013. Want to see what version of Office you’re using?
PowerPivot is an Office Professional Plus Excel 2013 add-in you can use to perform powerful data analysis and create sophisticated data models. PowerPivot enables an Excel user to mash up large volumes of data from various sources, perform information analysis rapidly, and share insights easily.
In both Excel and in PowerPivot, you can create a Data Model (Data Model: A collection of tables and their relationships that reflects the real-world relationships between business functions and processes, for example, how Products relates to Inventory and Sales.) , a collection of tables with relationships. The data model you see in a workbook in Excel is the same data model you see in the PowerPivot window. Any data you import into Excel is available in PowerPivot, and vice versa.
Much has changed in PowerPivot in Excel 2013. More about What’s new in PowerPivot in Excel 2013.
If you’ve never used PowerPivot before, start the add-in and then follow this tutorial to get the basic idea.
What to do in PowerPivot or in Excel
The basic difference between the two is that you can create a much more sophisticated data model by working on it in the PowerPivot window. Let’s compare some tasks.
|Import data from different sources, such as large corporate databases, public data feeds, spreadsheets, and text files on your computer.
||Import all data from a data source.
Filter data and rename columns and tables while importing.
Read about Get data using the PowerPivot add-in
||Tables can be on any worksheet in the workbook. Worksheets can have more than one table.
||Tables are organized into individual tabbed pages in the PowerPivot window.
|Edit data in a table
||Can edit values in individual cells in a table.
||Can’t edit individual cells.
|Create relationships between tables
||In the Relationships dialog box.
In Diagram view or the Create Relationships dialog box.
Read about Create a relationship between two tables
||Use Excel formulas.
||Write advanced formulas with the Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) expression language.
||Define Hierarchies to use everywhere in a workbook, including Power View.
|Create key performance indicators (KPIs (key performance indicator (KPI): A predefined measure that is used to track performance against a strategic goal, objective, plan, initiative, or business process. A visual cue is often used to communicate the performance against the measure.))
||Create KPIs to use in PivotTables and Power View reports..
|Create perspective (perspective: A subset of the objects in a data model - tables, columns, calculated fields, and KPIs - that track different sets of data. Typically defined for a particular business scenario, they make it easier to navigate large datasets.)s
||Create Perspectives to limit the number of columns and tables your workbook consumers see.
|Create PivotTables and PivotCharts
Create PivotTable reports in Excel.
Create a PivotChart
|Click the PivotTable button in the PowerPivot window. More about creating PivotTable and PivotChart reports from PowerPivot.
|Enhance a model for Power View
||Create a basic data model.
Make enhancements such as identifying default fields, images, and unique values.
Read about enhancing a model for Power View.
|Use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)
||Use VBA in Excel.
||Don’t use VBA in the PowerPivot window.
||Group in an Excel PivotTable
||Use DAX in calculated columns and calculated fields.
How the data is stored
The data that you work on in Excel and in the PowerPivot window is stored in an analytical database inside the Excel workbook, and a powerful local engine loads, queries, and updates the data in that database. Because the data is in Excel, it is immediately available to PivotTables, PivotCharts, Power View, and other features in Excel that you use to aggregate and interact with data. All data presentation and interactivity are provided by Excel 2013; and the data and Excel presentation objects are contained within the same workbook file. PowerPivot supports files up to 2GB in size and enables you to work with up to 4GB of data in memory.
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Saving to SharePoint
Workbooks that you modify with PowerPivot can be shared with others in all of the ways that you share other files. You get more benefits, though, by publishing your workbook to a SharePoint environment that has Excel Services enabled. On the SharePoint server, Excel Services processes and renders the data in a browser window where others can analyze the data.
On SharePoint 2013, you can add PowerPivot for SharePoint 2013 to get additional collaboration and document management support, including PowerPivot Gallery, PowerPivot management dashboard in Central Administration, scheduled data refresh, and the ability to use a published workbook as an external data source from its location in SharePoint.
More about MSDN: PowerPivot for SharePoint.
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