Excel Tutorial: What Is Power Pivot In Excel 2016


If you are a regular user of Excel 2016, you may have come across the term Power Pivot and wondered what it is all about. In this tutorial, we will provide a brief overview of Excel 2016 and delve into the significance of Power Pivot in this version of the popular spreadsheet software.

Key Takeaways

  • Power Pivot is a powerful feature in Excel 2016 that enhances data analysis capabilities.
  • Enabling Power Pivot allows for the creation of advanced data models and analysis processes.
  • Using Power Pivot can lead to increased efficiency and productivity when handling large datasets.
  • Integration with other Microsoft Office applications allows for seamless data analysis and reporting.
  • Implementing best practices for using Power Pivot can optimize performance and enhance security measures for sensitive data.

Understanding Power Pivot

Excel 2016 introduced a powerful data analysis tool called Power Pivot. This tool has revolutionized the way users can analyze and manage large sets of data within Excel.

Definition of Power Pivot

Power Pivot is an Excel add-in that allows users to perform powerful data analysis and create sophisticated data models. It enables users to work with large volumes of data from various sources and perform complex calculations, all within the familiar Excel interface.

Features and capabilities of Power Pivot

  • Data Consolidation: Power Pivot allows users to consolidate data from multiple sources into a single data model, making it easier to analyze and manage large datasets.
  • Data Modeling: Users can create relationships between different tables of data, allowing for efficient data modeling and analysis.
  • Advanced Calculations: Power Pivot supports the use of advanced calculations and formulas, including DAX (Data Analysis Expressions), for more complex data analysis tasks.
  • Memory Optimization: Power Pivot is designed to handle large amounts of data and optimize memory usage, ensuring smooth performance even with extensive datasets.

Importance of Power Pivot in data analysis

Power Pivot plays a crucial role in modern data analysis, especially for users dealing with large and complex datasets. Its ability to handle vast amounts of data, create relationships between different datasets, and perform advanced calculations makes it an essential tool for professionals working with data in Excel.

How to Use Power Pivot

Power Pivot is a powerful tool in Excel 2016 that allows users to analyze large amounts of data and create data models with ease. In this chapter, we will explore how to enable Power Pivot, create a data model, and incorporate it into the data analysis process.

A. Step-by-step guide on enabling Power Pivot in Excel 2016
  • Open Excel 2016 and click on the "File" tab.
  • Select "Options" from the menu on the left-hand side.
  • Click on "Add-Ins" and then select "COM Add-Ins" from the Manage drop-down menu, and click "Go".
  • Check the "Microsoft Office Power Pivot" box and click "OK".
  • You will now see the Power Pivot tab in the Excel ribbon.

B. Creating a data model using Power Pivot
  • Click on the "Power Pivot" tab in the Excel ribbon and select "Manage".
  • In the Power Pivot window, click on the "From Other Sources" drop-down menu and select the source of your data.
  • Follow the prompts to import your data into the Power Pivot window.
  • Once your data is imported, you can start creating relationships between tables and building your data model.

C. Incorporating Power Pivot into data analysis process
  • Once you have created your data model, you can use Power Pivot to perform advanced data analysis.
  • Use DAX formulas to create calculated columns and measures that can be used in PivotTables and PivotCharts.
  • Utilize Power Pivot's powerful data visualization tools to create interactive reports and dashboards.

Benefits of Power Pivot

Power Pivot is a powerful data analysis tool in Excel 2016 that offers a wide range of benefits to its users. Below are some of the key advantages of using Power Pivot in Excel:

Enhanced data analysis and reporting capabilities

Power Pivot allows users to create complex data models and relationships, perform advanced calculations, and generate in-depth reports with ease. With its ability to handle large datasets and create sophisticated data models, Power Pivot significantly enhances the data analysis and reporting capabilities of Excel 2016.

Increased efficiency and productivity in handling large datasets

One of the major benefits of Power Pivot is its ability to handle large datasets efficiently. Users can import and manage millions of rows of data without experiencing performance issues. This allows for faster data analysis and reporting, ultimately increasing efficiency and productivity.

Integration with other Microsoft Office applications

Power Pivot seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office applications such as Power Query and Power BI, allowing users to leverage the capabilities of these tools for enhanced data analysis and visualization. This integration streamlines the data analysis process and enables users to create comprehensive reports and dashboards across different Office applications.

Advanced Functions of Power Pivot

Power Pivot in Excel 2016 offers a range of advanced functions that allow users to perform complex data analysis and calculations. Here are some of the key advanced functions of Power Pivot:

A. DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) language for advanced calculations
  • What is DAX?

    DAX, which stands for Data Analysis Expressions, is a formula language used in Power Pivot to create custom calculations and aggregations in Power Pivot tables. It allows users to perform advanced calculations that go beyond the standard Excel formulas.

  • Key features of DAX

    DAX offers a wide range of functions for data analysis, such as date and time functions, mathematical functions, statistical functions, and more. It also supports the creation of calculated columns and measures to enhance the analysis of data.

B. Managing relationships between different data tables
  • Importance of data relationships

    In Power Pivot, managing relationships between different data tables is crucial for performing accurate and efficient data analysis. Establishing relationships allows users to combine and analyze data from multiple tables seamlessly.

  • Creating and managing relationships

    Power Pivot provides tools to create and manage relationships between tables, such as defining primary and foreign keys and establishing one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many relationships. This ensures that the data is properly related and aligned for analysis.

C. Utilizing Time Intelligence functions in Power Pivot
  • Time intelligence for date-related analysis

    Power Pivot includes a set of time intelligence functions that enable users to perform date-related analysis, such as year-over-year comparisons, moving averages, and cumulative totals. These functions are valuable for analyzing trends and patterns over time.

  • Common time intelligence functions

    Some common time intelligence functions in Power Pivot include TOTALYTD (to calculate year-to-date totals), SAMEPERIODLASTYEAR (to compare values with the previous year), and DATESBETWEEN (to filter data within a specified date range). These functions unlock powerful capabilities for analyzing data based on time dimensions.

Best Practices for Using Power Pivot

When using Power Pivot in Excel 2016, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure optimal performance, efficiency, and security of your data. Here are some key best practices to keep in mind:

A. Organizing and structuring data for optimal performance

One of the essential best practices for using Power Pivot is to organize and structure your data in a way that optimizes performance. This includes:

  • Understanding your data: Before importing data into Power Pivot, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the data and its relationships. This will help in creating efficient data models.
  • Using proper data modeling techniques: Utilize relationships, hierarchies, and calculated columns to create a well-structured data model that enhances data retrieval and analysis.

B. Utilizing compression and optimization techniques

Another best practice is to utilize compression and optimization techniques to improve performance and efficiency:

  • Utilizing data compression: Enable data compression to reduce the size of the data model, which can significantly improve performance, especially when dealing with large datasets.
  • Optimizing calculations: Use efficient DAX formulas and measures to perform calculations within Power Pivot, ensuring that complex calculations are optimized for faster processing.

C. Implementing security measures for sensitive data

Security is paramount when working with sensitive data in Power Pivot. Implementing proper security measures is crucial:

  • Implementing role-based security: Utilize role-based security to control access to specific data, ensuring that only authorized users can view and analyze sensitive information.
  • Encrypting sensitive data: If dealing with highly sensitive data, consider encrypting the data at the source to ensure its secure transmission and storage within Power Pivot.


Recap: Power Pivot in Excel 2016 is a powerful tool for data analysis, allowing users to create relationships between different data sets, perform complex calculations, and generate meaningful insights.

Encouragement: As we conclude, I encourage all Excel users to explore and utilize Power Pivot in their data analysis tasks. The capabilities of Power Pivot can significantly enhance the depth and accuracy of data analysis, ultimately leading to more informed decision-making. Take the time to familiarize yourself with Power Pivot and discover the ways it can revolutionize your data analysis processes.

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