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7 hours ago, Gemmill said:

Absolutely absurd that there hasn't been a HUGE response to my post above.  Basically if you're doing ANYTHING with data in a spreadsheet, using Power Query will probably earn you at least a day off a month. 

 

Ok I'll bite. How are you using it and what is it doing to help you. I use excel a lot but haven't tried this.

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6 minutes ago, Rayvin said:

 

Ok I'll bite. How are you using it and what is it doing to help you. I use excel a lot but haven't tried this.

 

Basically if you have any need to import, clean, combine data - or basically do ANYTHING with data, you should be doing it with Power Query.  It's only been around since 2016 - it's a free add-in, but it doesn't seem to be that well known. 

 

It has this user interface where you can connect to data files (in loads of formats) or just to the data in your current workbook, transform it, and then load it back into the workbook where you can either just do analysis on that data, or you can combine it with other data sources, and if needs be create an entire data model. But during the transform process you can unpivot the data and you can add new calculations in. 

 

So if you get some completely fucked up text file, you can tidy it all up, etc. But the kicker is that once you do the connect/transform/load process once, it remembers all the steps you took (like VBA but without the need to know/understand VBA) and will just repeat them on a revised version of the data in seconds. And if you've made a mistake, you just go back, delete the saved step and re-perform it the right way, and it remembers that.

 

There's loads more to it than the above, but that's a basic explanation.  The book that I'm learning it from tries to explain it with these graphs - they're saying you can learn a bit of SQL, a good chunk of VBA, and a shitload of formulas to become a super Excel guru.  With a really long learning curve on all of them.  Or you can learn Power Query in next to no time and get 80% of the impact of all of the above: 

 

image.png.971780b892531ae19dbb15ac47feb5da.png

 

image.png.cfbd165af6c6f6b972e0d248c72ab1dc.png

 

This should help explain it better than I could: 

 

 

 

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I should have mentioned as well, Power Query works in Power BI too.  So once you've learned it in Excel, you've learned it in Power BI as well.  Two tools for the price of one. 

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Ok yeah this does actually look helpful. I'm building a sheet at the moment that could benefit, I'll give it a shot and report back.

 

Thanks!

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1 minute ago, Rayvin said:

Ok yeah this does actually look helpful. I'm building a sheet at the moment that could benefit, I'll give it a shot and report back.

 

Thanks!

 

Nice one, this is a good, up-to-date book (published Nov 2021) if you wanted to learn more about it. 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Master-Your-Data-Excel-Power/dp/1615470581/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2HILCKW7M4Q0A&keywords=master+your+data&qid=1648996327&sprefix=master+your+data%2Caps%2C92&sr=8-1

 

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21 hours ago, Gemmill said:

 

Basically if you have any need to import, clean, combine data - or basically do ANYTHING with data, you should be doing it with Power Query.  It's only been around since 2016 - it's a free add-in, but it doesn't seem to be that well known. 

 

It has this user interface where you can connect to data files (in loads of formats) or just to the data in your current workbook, transform it, and then load it back into the workbook where you can either just do analysis on that data, or you can combine it with other data sources, and if needs be create an entire data model. But during the transform process you can unpivot the data and you can add new calculations in. 

 

So if you get some completely fucked up text file, you can tidy it all up, etc. But the kicker is that once you do the connect/transform/load process once, it remembers all the steps you took (like VBA but without the need to know/understand VBA) and will just repeat them on a revised version of the data in seconds. And if you've made a mistake, you just go back, delete the saved step and re-perform it the right way, and it remembers that.

 

There's loads more to it than the above, but that's a basic explanation.  The book that I'm learning it from tries to explain it with these graphs - they're saying you can learn a bit of SQL, a good chunk of VBA, and a shitload of formulas to become a super Excel guru.  With a really long learning curve on all of them.  Or you can learn Power Query in next to no time and get 80% of the impact of all of the above: 

 

image.png.971780b892531ae19dbb15ac47feb5da.png

 

image.png.cfbd165af6c6f6b972e0d248c72ab1dc.png

 

This should help explain it better than I could: 

 

 

 

 

Lucky for me I'm shit hot at VBA coding, SQL queries AND know a fuck ton of Excel formulas so, by that token, I must be a guru level Excel user. On top of that plethora of skills, I can update Excel spreadsheets using PowerShell so I don't think there's a single word that can define my skill level... although I'm sure by virtue of this post some of you tarts will think of one. :razz:

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Definitely going to give Power Query a go. Im

upping my excel skills at the moment and have been on it a few months but this it’s a lot better if there’s a tool to save me bothering :lol: 

 

I’ve got some nasty databases(one is over 2m lines)  at the moment so if there’s an easier way of doing it I’m all ears. 

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Was thinking of getting some excel/word training for the future when I'm kicked onto the dole next year but after reading this thread I'm starting to think it's a step too far. :lol:

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

Definitely going to give Power Query a go. Im

upping my excel skills at the moment and have been on it a few months but this it’s a lot better if there’s a tool to save me bothering :lol: 

 

I’ve got some nasty databases(one is over 2m lines)  at the moment so if there’s an easier way of doing it I’m all ears. 

 

Aye you could put this in Power Query, then just load it as a connection into a workbook (rather than as a table). If you load as a connection, the fact that the number of rows exceeds Excel's 1.2m max is irrelevant because you're not trying to display the whole database in a workbook.

 

Then you can just query and analyse the data however you like with Pivot tables or Power Pivot. 

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1 hour ago, Howmanheyman said:

Was thinking of getting some excel/word training for the future when I'm kicked onto the dole next year but after reading this thread I'm starting to think it's a step too far. :lol:

 

My lass is in the same boat. Fucking hates teaching but feels like 20 odd years in that profession has left her without the basic office skills she would need to get out. 

 

She's doing some courses on Skillshare atm, but honestly you could easily get canny good on all the Office apps by just finding some good YouTube channels and following their tutorials for nowt. 

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7 minutes ago, Gemmill said:

 

My lass is in the same boat. Fucking hates teaching but feels like 20 odd years in that profession has left her without the basic office skills she would need to get out. 

 

She's doing some courses on Skillshare atm, but honestly you could easily get canny good on all the Office apps by just finding some good YouTube channels and following their tutorials for nowt. 

When I saw I had a notification in the Excel thread I thought it would be CT telling me to take up taxi driving instead. :lol:

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38 minutes ago, Gemmill said:

 

Aye you could put this in Power Query, then just load it as a connection into a workbook (rather than as a table). If you load as a connection, the fact that the number of rows exceeds Excel's 1.2m max is irrelevant because you're not trying to display the whole database in a workbook.

 

Then you can just query and analyse the data however you like with Pivot tables or Power Pivot. 


Ill definitely give it a go. Is it something I’m gonna need IT to sign off or is it part of the excel program anyway?

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4 minutes ago, Tom said:


Ill definitely give it a go. Is it something I’m gonna need IT to sign off or is it part of the excel program anyway?

 

Just comes with Excel. If you go to the data tab, Power Query is all the Get Data from... stuff. I started learning it about a week ago and I've just laced something that took me an afternoon to fuck on with normally. It took a bit of setting up (I was writing Power Query formulas to do some of the stuff, which I somehow got right :lol:) but from now on I just hit the refresh button and it literally takes that long to make it work. An afternoon a month saved, during which time I'll be sitting watching the telly instead. 

 

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5 hours ago, MrBass said:

 

Lucky for me I'm shit hot at VBA coding, SQL queries AND know a fuck ton of Excel formulas so, by that token, I must be a guru level Excel user. On top of that plethora of skills, I can update Excel spreadsheets using PowerShell so I don't think there's a single word that can define my skill level... although I'm sure by virtue of this post some of you tarts will think of one. :razz:

 

I'm gonna go with "clever cunt", but see what others think and we'll set up a poll. ;)

 

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3 hours ago, Howmanheyman said:

When I saw I had a notification in the Excel thread I thought it would be CT telling me to take up taxi driving instead. :lol:


Funnily enough I did consider that earlier but didn’t have you down as a driver :lol: 

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15 hours ago, Gemmill said:

 

Just comes with Excel. If you go to the data tab, Power Query is all the Get Data from... stuff. I started learning it about a week ago and I've just laced something that took me an afternoon to fuck on with normally. It took a bit of setting up (I was writing Power Query formulas to do some of the stuff, which I somehow got right :lol:) but from now on I just hit the refresh button and it literally takes that long to make it work. An afternoon a month saved, during which time I'll be sitting watching the telly instead. 

 

We're switching from this to Google Data Studio at work. 

 

Also trying to learn enough SQL, that I can make a business case to send me off somewhere to sit exams in it. Which has fuck all to do with accreditation and everything to do with having a jolly on the work dime.

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