PowerView in Excel 2013

I have been playing around with the newly released Office 2013.  I cannot seem to find that many tangible Business Intelligence features in it, other than the PowerView feature that is now available in Excel.  This feature has been flaky at best; I am getting all kinds of errors trying to build some visualizations against an embedded PowerPivot data source.  By the way, PowerPivot is now bundled with Excel, no need to download it separately, but Microsoft did not make it easy to enable it.  To enable, go to Options->Manage Add-ins->COM Add-ins and find PowerPivot on the list.

Anyway, back to PowerView.  To create a PowerView visualization (not sure if I should call it a dashboard or a report), one should click on the PowerView icon on the Insert menu of the Office Ribbon. That adds a new worksheet with the familiar PowerView designer in it.  The designer has a few new features that I am very excited about:

  • Ability to modify background (use a picture or color)
  • Ability to insert pictures
  • Ability to create Maps (this is huge!)
  • Cosmetic changes that actually make this tool a lot more user-friendly
  • Ability to Drill up/down on the Matrix control (!!!)
  • Ability to change the font and size of the font for the entire visualization or its individual components

Issues: not very stable in this build… essentially, I now save my work after every change I make, but that will most likely be addressed as the product gets stabilized for the RTM.

Big Issues: PowerView does not support Analysis Services in Multidimensional mode, so I am starting to get really concerned about the future of this very robust technology… Oh, yeah, and it also still requires Silverlight….

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