Well, my talk to our companies semi-annual user group meeting is done and I think it went OK. No major glitches demoing in front of the crowd – a little awkward as since I was the only one with an live demo, I had to perch the laptop on the podium crowding my space for my notes but I survived. Apparently I went a little long as I was told they almost sent people up there to drag me off stage as my original timeslot was apparently 5 minutes or so shorter than I actually used but that’s OK – this is important stuff to get out there – or so I think . Talking with small groups in comfortable conference rooms is so much different than standing on a raised platform with spotlights on you but I made it without fainting so that was a plus.
One of the questions afterwards had to do with the machine I was running on – I think it made an impact when I showed them the laptop’s Task Manager showing how my footprint was just over 1 GB of RAM for a Power Pivot spreadsheet with over 5 million rows being contained within a 50-MB .xslx file. (On a related note – anyone else see Steve Sinofsky’s cool post today on the new Windows 8 Task Manager?)
I saw some good reactions when I introduced the slicers and talked of the Time Intelligence functions I had used for some key metrics (ARPU – AverageRevenuePerUser) and then show Year over Year, Month over Month time comparisons, and then the same for some other metrics created for the telecom industry.
And got a question over the Refresh ability and what was required but that was about it – since we are waiting to release functionality to go with this once Denali RTMs, few people tried to pin us down for specific release dates since they know better although I know some want this now.
I am thrilled that the CTP3 version allows us to store formatting on the Fact table and preserves that on the PivotCharts and Tables when they are brought forward as constantly reformatting columns with the previous version just gets too annoying.
What would I most like to see in PowerPivot in the final RTM version?
Well I submitted my ideas to Microsoft Connect tonight – I would love the ability to define what I think of as a “row view” for the fact table rows selected by a DrillThough operation when a user clicks a PowerPivot chart to drill down into the numbers. rather than show them my very normalized fact table details.
If you agree, please stop by this issue and give it a bump – If this is already available and I’m too blind to see it (wouldn’t be the first time), drop me a line will you as I really see this as a big deal when showing off PowerPivot to end users – the ability to format the drillthrough view is something I used to do with MDX awhile back for my SSAS-frontends and is really necessary before drillthrough is usable by end-users – and when its not usable – it’s the first thing they will ask for.
My suggestion is named PowerPivot CTP3 (Denali) DrillThrough Row Formatting and the link is here
Thanks – I’m off tomorrow so today’s my Friday – have a good weekend.