Please excuse the naivety of this question as sometimes I feel that I expect Power BI to do too much…this is a hardcore question not some navel gazing, philosophical meaning of life thingy!

Here it goes…Lets assume that you have a flat Fact table in excel that you want to pivot and you take that same fact table into Power BI and then engage in some table de-aggregation to slim down the fact table columns and build out say 3-4 dimension tables as well and of course you build relationships between the same.

The question is aside from bringing in a secondary unrelated table to introduce some additional logic and perhaps somewhat more advanced time intelligence can you expect to be able to cut the data significantly differently (i.e in a much more advanced way) in Power BI than you can in an Excel Pivot Table.

I get the enhanced ability to share data via mobile etc and the coolness of interactive visualizations, the big data ability however am I missing something big on the ability to cut data or is it really quite similar on both platforms?

The slicing and filtering is essentially the same.

The idea behind the building of a model around the data is more about reducing the size of the data and allowing you to manage large amounts of data.

That’s one of the bigger issues with managing larger amounts of data in excel. The size of your tables needs to be so much larger, with a lot of redundant data that could be more effeciently be modelled well in Power BI.

Also Power BI (and Power Pivot) has the better calculation engine plugged into it (orginally called Vertipac I believe, or something like that). And this also DAX to complete more complex calculations that you couldn’t simply do it excel with a standard Pivot Table.

In summary Power BI is just a far superior way to manage data of any size basically…I could go on forever around the other reasons also.

Hopefully that answers your questions

Thank you Sam, that exactly answers my question. I can now sleep soundly rather than with one eye open trying to figure out what am I not seeing about cutting, slicing and filtering the data on the 2 platforms.

Really appreciate the quick response!