Well, I lied in my previous post on Chapter 3 of DAX Formulas for PowerPivot. I said that in chapter 4 we would start actually doing stuff in PowerPivot but it turns out we’re still getting introductory material.
This time it’s about the first step in building any PowerPivot workbook – importing data. He starts his introduction on loading data into PowerPivot with the important point that, in order to work with data in PowerPivot, the data must be loaded into your workbook. The way he says it is that the data must “land” in the PowerPivot window. He also makes the point that the data shown in the PowerPivot window is read-only. There is a way to manipulate it which he will get into later but the data imported from an outside source into PowerPivot stays the way it is at the time you imported it.
The rest of the chapter then walks through the different types of data that can be loaded into a PowerPivot workbook. He must have, at some time, been burned by not being able to change to a different data source type since he reminds us of this fact many times during the chapter. He also points out characteristics and caveats of the different data source types. In the chapter, Rob has some uncertainty about whether DataMarket is exposed to PowerPivot via the data feed protocol. This is true – DataMarket data comes in as a data feed.
Other important points made in the chapter:
- You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) import more data into your workbook than you need. This is something that is too easy to do in Office 2013 unless you import data from the PowerPivot window rather than the Data tab in Excel.
- The Table Properties command allows you to modify the query that was used to bring data into PowerPivot.
- The Existing Connections button should be used to import more tables from data sources already used in the workbook.