Finding Your Way around Power Pivot – An Orientation

When you see Power Pivot for the first time it can be confusing.  It’s a new interface, with new ribbons and views.  Before you start working with tables of data and complex models, you need to get comfortable with the user interface. 

In this article, we will take a look around Power Pivots user interface so you get a good orientation.

Power Pivot user Interface Orientation

At any stage when you are in an Excel workbook, you can open power pivot by selecting Manage from the Power Pivot Ribbon.

Power Pivot Orientation
  1. When you are in Power Pivot, you can switch back to the workbook by pressing the excel symbol on your quick access toolbar
  2. Power Pivot contains 3 ribbons.  The Home ribbon, Design ribbon and Advanced.
  3. Column name box contain a drop down which lists all the columns in the current table.  By selecting one of these, you will jump to that column
  4. Formulas, such as calculated columns and measures are carried out in the formula bar
  5. Column headers on power pivot tables contain filters so you can quickly look at subsets of your data. 
  6. The calculation area is used to create measures, you will learn about these in a later section.  The calculation area can be turned on or off from the home ribbon
  7. The tabs show the different tables of data available in the workbook.  You can use these to quickly switch between tables.
How to use PowerPivot

Switching Between Views

You can also switch between views.  The image above that we have looked at in detail is known as the data view and is the default view.  Views can be found on the Power Pivot Home ribbon

Excels PowerPivot
  • Diagram view is used for viewing and setting up relationships and hierarchy.
  • Show hidden will ensure all tables are visible
  • Calculation area will turn on or off the calculation area in the power pivot window.

Power Pivot Ribbons

PowerPivot home ribbon

The Home Ribbon in Power Pivot includes commands for

  • Getting External data
  • Formatting
  • Sort and Filter
  • Quick calculations
  • View
Power Pivot design ribbon

The Design Ribbon includes commands for:

  • Adding DAX functions and setting calculation options
  • Setting up and managing relations
  • Setting table properties and dates tables
PowerPivot advanced robbon

The Advanced Ribbon will allow you update

  • Perspectives
  • Reporting Properties

There is also a Power Pivot Ribbon in the Excel interface. From here you can:

  • Access the Power Pivot user Interface
  • Add measure and KPIs
  • Add Excel data to the Power Pivot Model
  • Detect relationships

Power Pivot Orientation Video

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If you are not familiar with the PowerPivot user interface, take some time now to open Excel and take a look around Power Pivot. The Power Pivot user interface can be accessed via the PowerPivot Ribbon in Excel.

In the comments section below let me know how much experience you have with Power Pivot and what you have used it for in the past or what you are looking forward to using it for in the future.

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