Once the data is available in a Power Pivot model, it is ready for analysis and exploration. This analysis can be done using pivot tables and pivot charts in Excel. We will not, however, cover those tools here as they are not part of the “Power” platform.

Power View

Power View is a data exploration tool which creates presentation-ready visualizations with just a few mouse clicks. Power View is easy to use and produces high quality output. All of the authoring is done by selecting data from the Power Pivot model. Formatting is controlled by making selections from the Power View ribbon.

This simplicity of operation enables decision makers to quickly explore the data for insights without the technology slowing the process. This analysis is aided by the fact that everything in a Power View report is linked. Selecting a data item in one visualization on the report will not only filter or highlight the data in that visualization, but it will have the same effect on all of the other visualizations on the report.

Figure 4 shows a report created from the state population data model using Power View.

Figure 4

In the Figure, the New England data item is selected in the column chart. This causes Power View to highlight the New England data in the bar chart. It also causes Power View to filter the data in the table and the line graph to only show data for New England.

Power View is available in Excel. It requires Office 2013 Professional Plus or Office 365 ProPlus. Power View can also be used within SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition or SharePoint 2013 Enterprise Edition.

Power Map

Power Map provides a tool for creating animated explorations of geographic data. Power Map enables us to examine geographic data from various points of view. It is also very good at show how the data changes through time. These visualizations and animations are then put together into a video presentation. We can even add a soundtrack.

It should be noted that Power View also has the ability to present data on a map. However, where Power View provides a static representation of the data for analysis, Power Map creates a dynamic view of the data geared toward allowing the data to telling a story.

Figure 5 and Figure 6 show a Power Map presentation being created from the state population data.

Figure 5 Figure 6

Power Map is an add-in for Excel. It requires Office 2013 Standard, Office 2013 Home and Student, Office 2013 Home and Business, Office 2013 Professional Plus, Office 365 ProPlus, or Excel 2013 Standalone. Power Map can also be used within SharePoint 2013 Enterprise Edition.

Power Q&A

Power Q&A provides a natural language query environment for visualizing data in a Power Pivot model. The business user enters a question in plain English and Power Q&A selects an appropriate data model, retrieves the requested data from the model and creates a visualization of that data.

All of the Power tools discussed up to this point are available within Excel. Power Q&A is a different animal. It is only available through the Power BI web site (See the Power BI section for more information on the Power BI web site.)

Figure 7 show an example of a Power Q&A query. The English question entered by the user is shown in the text box. The automatic translation of that question is show in blue below the text box.

Figure 7