Is PowerPivot any good?
Is PowerPivot a gimmick to sell Excel, or a serious BI tool?
Although PivotTables and PivotCharts have been around since before even Excel 97 days (when they became more usable), even they were neglected as too “complicated” for busy users to employ. But when they were, did they transform reporting! Once setup, there was seriously easy re-grouping, summaries and instant drilldown – nice!
Then in 2010 edition, PowerPivot came along to take up the mantle. But it was even more awkward to setup, although with that came more power.
However, when setup properly (requiring a good structure in the background source data) it rocketed ahead and left behind the old record count and size limitations, and provided better Measures and a new “language” – DAX. This was a revelation, because DAX was taking over “proper” BI in SQL Server itself – replacing the rather clunky MDX language. Now, finally, things were aligning for consolidation – similar functions and scripting could be used in both Excel and SQL Server… and if that wasn’t enough, PowerBI came along!