Initially, I thought Power Pivot (PP) is a new application meant to replace Pivot Table (PT). Well, I was totally wrong. (If you do not know what is PT yet, it's time to find out. You will realise you have missed out a lot not knowing what is Pivot Table, a capable assistant for your analysis work.) Power Pivot, in actul fact, is an enhancement for PT. It offers you new ways of feeding data into Pivot Table instead of using data presented in a worksheet. It can retrieve data directly from MS Access databases, Dbase and those sophiscated database servers such SQL, Oracle, IBM, etc.
Some may wonder what's the big deal to be able to pull data from database servers when your IT department can download the data for you. It is different! Imagine your boss ask you to update a report that you have prepared for him previously.
The first thing you have to do is to request for the updated data from the IT department. If you are lucky enough, you may get it in a few hours. But most of the time, you would have to wait for days before you get your data, because your IT department have to put your request on queue. Then when you get it, you have to analyse it first so that to anticipate questions your boss may have about the report. Well if the report is not urgent, you can take your time to do it But when bosses ask for report, the deadline is usually yesterday. This means that you may have to cancel the appointments you have made or miss that special family occasion you have planned long ago for that evening.
Well, with PP, you are no longer at the mercy of your IT guys. You don't have to work over time to rush out the report and cancel all those appointments or miss that special family occasion that was planned long ago. With PP, the updated report is retrieved with a click of a button and you can analyse the report instantly. In fact, you can even impress your boss for getting the updated report to him in a flash!
Is that all from Power Pivot? Of course not. With PP, you don't have to trouble your IT manager to help you connect to the databases. It has already set up the connections for you.