You know them. You have worked with them for years, and you might openly be one yourself. That is perfectly OK. You should always be you, in all situations and be proud of that fact. You are an Excel lover, have been for many years now, and can’t stand the thought of ever leaving the one that has treated you so well. Microsoft Excel comes out with its latest and best foot forward, including with Microsoft Excel 2016 and beyond.

It has always been there for you, enabling you to craft so many different amazing Pivot Table based reports. Welcoming you to concepts like conditional formatting, and helping you truly discover yourself when getting into Macro’s, VBA and Visual Studio for Office coding ability.

Further, it completely brought a new dimension to your relationship when it was able to bring with it the ability to craft custom functions based in JavaScript. So you are OK with being a lover of Microsoft Excel, and you should be OK with that.

Custom Function powered by JavaScript

function ADD42(a, b) {
    return a + b + 42;

Now you have been hearing about this new player in town, Microsoft Power BI. All about enterprise-grade data visualization stories, mobile workflows, ability to embed across anything and consume any data, anywhere easily. Microsoft Excel can do a lot of that. Still, there is nothing wrong with you learning more about a new tool. I mean it would only help extend your ability to continue your use and love for Microsoft Excel.

So you take your new friend Microsoft Power BI out for a spin. Using Microsoft Power BI desktop and learning how to connect to Excel as a data source. Further expanding beyond that and mixing even Microsoft Excel data sources, with other data sources from your company. Adding a SQL on-premise connection, as well as an OData feed – to have a more complete data story capability than you have ever experienced in your life.

What to do now though? You have all of that time, love and value invested in your relationship with Microsoft Excel. You’re crafting new stories with Microsoft Power BI and you’re wanting to help your fellow co-workers see the light in using both in your personal data stories, that can scale to enterprise-grade insights. The same co-workers that shame you for loving more than Microsoft Excel. Scream aloud: “Just give me my data!” or “We have 400+ Excel reports, that is all we need. Why fix something that is not broken? Why have you turned your back on Microsoft Excel?”

All the while you have a happy working relationship with both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Power BI. Then you discover the secret sauce. Finally! Enter into the scene, Power BI Publisher for Excel.

With this great new tool, you can easily enable your fellow lovers of Excel to continue their long invested relationship with the worlds most widely used BI and reporting tool. While also helping them realize you data stories that make their life easier. This helps them reach new levels of efficiency, trust, and scale that brings their love of excel into a new affair with Microsoft Power BI.

With this, you send over that introduction email, how to get connected with the publisher, download and install it. URL: Microsoft Power BI Publisher for Excel Download. (You need Microsoft Excel 2007 or greater to install the publisher.)

With the publisher installed your now able to help them start pining data ranges, tables, PivotTables, Charts, etc. (The only things you can’t pin just yet to Power BI App workspace are 3D maps or visualizations from Power View Excel tabs.)

Pin Range of data from Excel to Power Bi Dashboard

Simply log in to your Power BI subscription and once you have successfully achieved secure login, then you can highlight a range of data within an Excel and pin that range to an existing or new Power BI dashboard. You can do the same thing with PivotTables, Charts, etc.

To really win over Excel lovers, enabling them to consume your carefully crafted Power BI insights within their Excel workbooks is another great step toward incorporating the two tools. Frankly, this approach of connecting to a Power BI report as a dataset for crafting Excel pivot table reports is quite useful. This helps transition your users that so love their Excel pivot tables and experience while bringing to your company true semantic layer that helps instill trust and craft a single source of truth in which to tell you’re critical data stories from.

This, of course, will help start you down the path of truly helping court your fellow data consumers through a long fulfilling relationship that brings the best of both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Power BI together. In a future set of post, I will uncover with you more abilities and ways to incorporate the two tools so that you can truly enjoy all that both, working and coupled together can bring you and your company.

Until next time! 

Brandon George | | | | Master Data Story Teller

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