Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

PowerPivot Book Reviews

Posted by denglishbi on August 2, 2010

This past month I purchased both of the PowerPivot books that were available.  The first one I got was the Professional Microsoft PowerPivot for Excel and SharePoint (wow, that was a mouthful).  I would have to say that this book is geared more toward the IT Professional where it does a great job covering the installation setup on the server side, managing and troubleshooting techniques, and going over some of the development.  While I was going through the exercises in the book I did do a few blog postings in regards to some of my experiences with the PowerPivot product

The other part that I really like about this product was the additional insights that were provided by the product team members talking about how the product came to life and the different paths that were explored initially (originally MS Access was looked at…phew).  The exercises that were provided were helpful and the troubleshooting section was very useful, especially coming from the IT side of the world.  All-in-all I would highly recommend this book to the IT Pro and would give this book 5 out of 5 stars – image.  Definitely worth the $$$.

Next on the list came the book from Mr. Excel (Bill Jelen).  I have to admit that I had not heard of him until the great Alpha Geek Challenge came about that Microsoft launched promoting the PowerPivot product.  I tried to get involved in Round 2, but ended up in Round 3 going head-to-head with Mr. Excel.

This book is definitely geared towards the Excel user and that was expected.  I have not read any of Mr. Excel’s books, so I wasn’t used to his style of writing.  There are some comments made in the book about ‘blowing a gasket’, ‘insane things that come out of Redmond’, ‘going hack off the people in Europe’ (not sure what that even means), etc. that I did not find appropriate in a formal published book.  These comments would have been better suited for a blog posting possibly, but not for a book that I might want to recommend or keep on my bookshelf.  The book does a good job explaining the differences between Excel and PowerPivot, going over all of the functions available to you, providing some examples to go through, and providing advice for publishing workbooks (formatting and look-and-feel).  At the very end it talks briefly about the SharePoint side of the world, but at a very high level.  I did get a good laugh when it stated ‘Build a PowerPoint pivot table’ (easy mistake and the names of products now are really easy to mix up).  If you are an Excel user and are looking to make the switch to PowerPivot then this would be a good reference book.  The price is right and I would have to give this book 3 out of 5 stars – image

I know that there are a few more PowerPivot books coming out and I am definitely looking forward to taking a look at them once they are available

One Response to “PowerPivot Book Reviews”

  1. ALEX said

    Dan Ididnt know your look had changed with all that plastic surgery….LOL

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