Using Power Pivot to Analyze Dynamics AX Data
 

Using Power Pivot to Analyze Dynamics AX Data

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Perhaps you have heard about the new tool in Excel 2010, PowerPivot, but wonder how it can enhance your use of Excel. In this walkthrough geared towards beginner PowerPivot users and those wanting to ...

Perhaps you have heard about the new tool in Excel 2010, PowerPivot, but wonder how it can enhance your use of Excel. In this walkthrough geared towards beginner PowerPivot users and those wanting to learn more about the features of PowerPivot, learn how PowerPivot can assist you with advanced data analysis and reporting, making those extracts from Dynamics AX to Excel even more valuable.

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Using Power Pivot to Analyze Dynamics AX Data Using Power Pivot to Analyze Dynamics AX Data Presentation Transcript

  • Murray Fife Microsoft MVP, Dynamics AX © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • PREFACE WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS BLUEPRINT All the examples shown in this blueprint were done with the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 virtual machine image that was downloaded from the Microsoft CustomerSource or PartnerSource site. If you don't have your own installation of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can also use the images found on the Microsoft Learning Download Center. The following list of software from the virtual image was leveraged within this blueprint: • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 (both R1 and R2) • Microsoft SharePoint • Microsoft Excel Even though all the preceding software was used during the development and testing of the recipes in this book, they may also work on earlier versions of the software with minor tweaks and adjustments, and should also work on later versions without any changes. ERRATA Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in the text or the code—we would be grateful if you would report this to us. By doing so, you can save other readers from frustration and help us improve subsequent versions of this book. If you find any errata, please report them by emailing murray@murrayfife.me. PIRACY Piracy of copyright material on the Internet is an ongoing problem across all media. If you come across any illegal copies of our works, in any form, on the Internet, please provide us with the location address or website name immediately so that we can pursue a remedy. Please contact us at murray@murrayfife.me with a link to the suspected pirated material. We appreciate your help in protecting our authors, and our ability to bring you valuable content. QUESTIONS You can contact us at murray@murrayfife.me if you are having a problem with any aspect of the book, and we will do our best to address it. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Introduction Perhaps you have heard about the new tool in Excel 2010, PowerPivot, but wonder how it can enhance your use of Excel. In this blueprint we will show how PowerPivot can assist you with advanced data analysis and reporting, making those extracts from Dynamics AX to Excel even more valuable. The following topics that are included in this blueprint: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Preface Table of Contents Introduction Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data Using PowerPivot to create Dashboards Adding Timeline Slicers to PowerPivot Dashboards Creating Additional Calculated Columns Applying Filters to your Data Model Creating Joins between Multiple Datasets Using Functions to create Calculated Columns Creating URL and Picture Columns Creating a PowerPivot Gallery within SharePoint† Saving PowerPivot Data Models to the PowerPivot Gallery† Creating PowerView Dashboards from the PowerPivot Gallery Data Sources† Changing the View Mode for the PowerPivot Gallery† Setting PowerPivot Data Model Refresh Rates† Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint †This content is available in the Kindle and Book version © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • USING PIVOT TABLES TO ANALYZE DYNAMICS AX DATA At one point or another, everyone has probably used Pivot tables within Excel to slice and dice information. PowerPivot is an extension of this functionality, so it makes sense to initially show how this works before showing all of the new features that are available within PowerPivot. In this example we will show how you can use PivotTables to analyze information from within Dynamics AX. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data For this example we will just start with a query within AX and export the data to Excel. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data Once we are in Excel, we can create a Pivot Table for analysis just by clicking on the Pivot Table button within the Tables group of the Insert ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data Excel will ask us where we should grab the data from and also where we want to put the Pivot Table results. Use the defaults, and just click on the OK button to continue. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data Excel will create a new worksheet for you and also show all of the columns from the source worksheet for reporting. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data All you have to do to create a report through the Pivot Table is drag and drop the fields into the designer panel. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data If you click on the Pivot Chart button within the Insert ribbon bar, you will be able to add a Pivot Chart that is based on the data that you have reported off. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data You can select the style of chart that you want to add to the worksheet from the Chart Gallery, and click the OK button to add it to the worksheet. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Pivot Tables to Analyze Dynamics AX Data Any changes that you make to the data will be reflected in both the Pivot Table and Chart. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • USING POWERPIVOT TO CREATE DASHBOARDS PowerPivot gives you all of the capabilities that the Pivot Tables have, plus more. With PowerPivot you can create pivot tables and charts, and also dashboards with multiple panels showing that use the same data source. In this example we will show how you can access the data tables through the PowerPivot Manager and also create more elaborate dashboards. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using PowerPivot To create Dashboards To use a data table within PowerPivot, all you need to do is add it to the PowerPivot data model by clicking on the Add to Data Model button within the Tables group of the PowerPivot ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using PowerPivot To Create Dashboards This will open up the PowerPivot Data Manager view with all of the table data being displayed. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using PowerPivot To Create Dashboards To create a dashboard from the data, click on the PivotTable button within the Linked Table ribbon bar. You will be able to choose from a number of different dashboard designs, for this example we will choose the Four Charts option. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using PowerPivot To Create Dashboards PowerPivot will return to the Excel worksheet and ask us where we want to put the dashboard. Select the New Worksheet option and click the OK button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using PowerPivot To Create Dashboards Rather than just seeing the one panel that was available with the Pivot Chart option, PowerPivot will add multiple reporting panels. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using PowerPivot To Create Dashboards You can then build the reports individually. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using PowerPivot To Create Dashboards Repeating the process for the other panels will give you a multipanel dashboard for reporting off your data. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • ADDING TIMELINE SLICERS TO POWERPIVOT DASHBOARDS PowerPivot has a couple of extra features that you can take advantage of while you are building your dashboards for slicing and filtering your data. One is called a Timeline Slicer. In this example we will show how you can add a Timeline Slicer to your PowerPivot Dashboard. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Adding Timeline Slicers to PowerPivot Dashboards From the Analyze ribbon bar within Excel, click on the Insert Timeline from within the Filter group. When the Insert Timeline dialog box is displayed, any field that is formatted as a date will be available to be added as a Timeline slicer. Select one and then click on the OK button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Adding Timeline Slicers to PowerPivot Dashboards Now you can filter the data that is displayed by date range with the slicer. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • CREATING ADDITIONAL CALCULATED COLUMNS Where PowerPivot starts to really outshine the simple Pivot Tables is in the feature that allows you to create new columns through the PowerPivot Manager. You can then filter, and report off the results as if it were a normal field in the system. In this example we will show you how you can quickly create calculated columns through PowerPivot. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Additional Calculated Columns Open up the PowerPivot Manager workspace by clicking on the Manage button within the Data Model group of the PowerPivot ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Additional Calculated Columns When the PowerPivot Manager window is displayed, scroll to the very right of the columns, and rename the column that is called Add Column. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Additional Calculated Columns This will add a new column to your table within the data model. You can create a formula for the field just by typing it in or pointing and clicking – just like a normal Excel function. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Additional Calculated Columns The difference is that you only need to do it once and then all of the records will be updated. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • APPLYING FILTERS TO YOUR DATA MODEL Within the PowerPivot Data Model editor, you can also filter the data that is returned to Excel through the filtering option. In this example we will show how you can add a filter to a table in your data model. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Applying Filters to your Data Model To apply a filter, just select the drop down from the heading of the field that you want to filter on and you can either manually select the field values to filter on, or you can click on the Filters options to create a rule. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Applying Filters to your Data Model If you create a filter rule then you will be able to update the filter conditions through the Custom Filter dialog box. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Applying Filters to your Data Model After applying the filter you will only see the data that matches. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • CREATING JOINS BETWEEN MULTIPLE DATASETS PowerPivot has another great feature that allows you to create relationships between tables so that you can report off both tables within the same query. In this example we will show how you can link multiple tables through the table designer tool. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets For this example we will add a new set of data to the Excel spreadsheet through the Dynamics AX Excel add-in. From the Dynamics AX ribbon bar, click on the Add Data menu button and select the Add Tables option. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets Select the table that you want to add to the data model and click the OK button. In this example we will add the EcoResProductTranslation table so that we can get a product description to go along with the part code. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets From the field chooser drag and drop the description fields over to the worksheet. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets Before retrieving the data, we will filter the results by clicking on the Filter button within the Data group of the Dynamics AX ribbon bar. This will allow us to add a filter on the Language to restrict it to en-us. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets Once we have finished adding the fields and filters for the query, click on the Fields button to return to query mode, and click the Refresh button in the Data group of the Dynamics AX ribbon bar to fetch all of the data. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets Now we can add the new table query to our PowerPivot data model by clicking on the Add to Data Model button within the Tables group of the PowerPivot ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets This will automatically open up the PowerPivot Manager window, and you should be able to see the query as a new data source in the model. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets From the Linked Table ribbon bar, click on the Diagram View button within the View group so that you can see the tables visually. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets Connect the two tables by just selecting one of the key fields and then dragging it over to the other field in the table. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets To create a report off this linked data, click on the PivotTable button and select the PivotTable option. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets This will return you to Excel, and you can specify where you want to show the Pivot Table – select the defaults to create a new worksheet and click the OK button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets Now you will see both tables within the field explorer on the right. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets You can select fields from either table. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating Joins Between Multiple Datasets The data will then be linked based on your relationship that you have defined within the table designer. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • USING FUNCTIONS TO CREATE CALCULATED COLUMNS Just as you can do within Excel, you can also use any of the built in functions within the Data Model designer. This allows you to perform string and date manipulation as you create new column definitions, giving you more reporting options than are available within the default tables. In this example we will show how to use functions within calculated columns. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns For this example we will use date manipulation to convert our Ship Date field into year and month values. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns Open up the PowerPivot Data Model Editor and click on the Insert Function button within the Calculations group of the Linked Tables ribbon bar. This will show you a list of all the valid functions. Find the YEAR function and then click the OK button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns This will take you to the first available new column and you just need to select the field that you want to convert to a year and then press enter. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns Now you will have a new column for the year. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns You can rename the column and then repeat the process for the Month as well. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns Rather than create a Pivot Table, this time we will return to Excel and create a PowerView dashboard by clicking on the PowerView button within the Reports group of the Insert ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns This will open up a PowerView canvas and you will see all of the tables and fields on the right. Notice though that some of them have database symbol in the bottom right hand corner – that indicates that they are housed in the PowerPivot Model rather than within Excel. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns Now all you need to do is drag and drop the fields into the query panels to create a new dashboard. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Using Functions to create calculated columns You can add as many different panels to the dashboard as you want. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • CREATING URL AND PICTURE COLUMNS There are a number of different types of columns types that you can define within the PowerPivot manager, which act differently based depending on where they are used. One example are the Image column types. If you have a column that links to an image file then you can use it within your dashboards to spice things up a little. In this example we will show how you can use PowerPivot to define image columns. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns For this example we will convert the year into the corresponding symbol from the Chinese Zodiac. To do this I added all of the images into a shared library within SharePoint for reference. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns You can now add a new column that calculates the sequence in the Zodiac that the year falls into. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns To reference the image, you can look at the properties of the image so that you can get the template for the URL. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns Now create a new column that creates a URL string that matches the links to the images in SharePoint. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns Then from within the Advanced ribbon bar, make sure that the Data Category is set to Image URL, otherwise the PowerView will not know to render the link as an image. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns If you don’t want to store the images on SharePoint then you can also create relative file paths that will work the same way. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Creating URL and Picture Columns Now when you use the Image URL fields, the images will be rendered rather than the URL itself. How cool is that. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • EXPORTING POWERVIEW DASHBOARDS TO POWERPOINT Once a PowerView Dashboard is hosted within the PowerPivot Gallery, there is one cool feature that you can take advantage of which allows you to export any of the dashboards to PowerPoint and then have a live and interactive version of the dashboard as a PowerPoint slide. In this example we will show how to export PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint Open up the PowerView dashboard that you created and published to the PowerPivot Gallery and then from the Files menu, select the Export to PowerPoint option. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint When it says that the export is complete, click the Save button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint Now, give your PowerPoint a name and click the Save button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint Now when you open up the PowerPoint, you will see a slide that has a copy of the report embedded in it. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint When you go into slideshow mode, you will notice a small Interact button in the bottom right of the form. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Exporting PowerView Dashboards to PowerPoint If you click on the button, the dashboard becomes interactive, receiving all of the data from the PowerPivot Data Source that you hosted on the PowerPivot Gallery. That is too cool. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • SUMMARY PowerPivot is a great tool that gives you a lot more capabilities that the normal Pivot function lacks, and in this worked example we have shown how it also extends out to SharePoint giving you a number of new publishing and visualization options. Once you have mastered all of the basics of PowerPivot, you may want to dive into some other features like: • The creation of more complex calculations using the DAX Queries • The creation of KPI’s based off the calculations • Reporting hierarchies Then you will want to start investigating the other tools that are included in the PowerBI suite (which PowerPivot is just one of). The other tools are: • Power Query • Power Map • Power View (which we only touched the surface on) With all these tools, you should be able to get any data you want out of the system. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Searching for more detail? THEN CHECK OUT THE KINDLE EDITION FOR EXTRA CONTENT I created the Kindle Edition of this blueprint to provide an easier way for you all to reference all of the examples that are here , and also to make the images easier to view. As a bonus. I have included some extra content in the Kindle edition that you cannot get through the blog post or the presentation. • • • • • Creating a PowerPivot Gallery within SharePoint Saving PowerPivot Data Models to the PowerPivot Gallery Creating PowerView Dashboards from the PowerPivot Gallery Data Sources Changing the View Mode for the PowerPivot Gallery Setting PowerPivot Data Model Refresh Rates AMAZON: BLOG: http://www.amazon.com/Dynamics-AX-2012-Blueprints-PowerPivotebook/dp/B00GCR6LJ4/ http://extendingdynamicsax.com/2013/10/31/using-powerpivot-to-analyzeyour-dynamics-ax-data/ © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Want to learn more? THEN PICK UP A COPY OF MY BOOK AND SUPPORT A STARVING AUTHOR Dynamics AX is built on a number of foundation products from Microsoft that are used to make it bigger, better, and stronger than the average business system. Taking advantage of these products will make your life easier. Use these tools to maximize the efficiency of your business management, taking advantage of a powerful and centralized tool set. "Extending Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Cookbook" will show you how to use tools that you already have to extend out Dynamics AX and discover potential new directions. You will be surprised at what you can do on a shoestring budget. The book will allow you to streamline your work processes, and use the system's powerful and centralized features to the advantage of your organization. This is a book for those of you that want to make the most out of Dynamics AX by using what you already have, and without breaking the bank. FACEBOOK: AMAZON: PACKT: http://www.facebook.com/extendingdynamicsax http://www.amazon.com/Extending-Microsoft-Dynamics-2012-Cookbookbook/dp/B00ESX15RW/ http://www.packtpub.com/extending-microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012cookbook/book © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Sometimes the image quality has not been the best because SlideShare compresses the images when they are uploaded, and also it moving from slide to slide can sometimes be a little slow, and with the larger slide decks this can be frustrating – especially if you are looking for some particular content. Here are some additional locations that you can find the blueprint contents: ON AMAZON We have created reference Blueprints that are available on Amazon that combine all of the information in the SlideShare post into an easy to reference and lightweight format. These should be better references when working through some of the more intricate or lengthy posts, and also should give you better access to the content and code snippets. These take a little bit of time to develop and publish, but I should be creating these as part of the documentation process, but they give me the ability to update them continually, and also add additional notes and sections that you will be able to access automatically through the Kindle publishing process, so not all of the blueprints are available in this format, but we’re working on it. View the Blueprint on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Murray-Fife/e/B00G9CNJPQ THROUGH BLOGS Also we have posted a most of the individual posts on the Extending Dynamics AX blog. If you are looking for a quick link to grab a code snippet from, or to reference a particular process, then you can find them here: http://www.extendingdynamicsax.com Also, there are a lot of smaller posts that we make showing tips that you might find useful. For those we have created another blog called Dynamics AX Tip Of The Day. As you may have probably guessed there should be a new post every work day. You can find this blog here: http://www.dynamicsaxtipoftheday.com ON FACEBOOK If you want an easy way to track the posts on all of the channels that I am using, then make sure you follow the Facebook page that we have created: http://www.facebook.com/extendingdynamicsax © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • Murray Fife Microsoft MVP, Dynamics AX Murray Fife is a aMicrosoft Dynamics AX MVP, a Presenter, an Author, and Solution Architect at I.B.I.S. Inc with over 18 years of experience in the software industry. Like most people he has paid my dues as a developer, as an implementation consultant, and a trainer. Ihehas a hard to find blend of technical and interpersonal skills and spend his days working with companies solving their problems with the Microsoft suite of products, specializing in the Dynamics® AX solutions. Unable to completely kick the habit of being a developer, countless prototypes have started their life on his desktop, only to be turned into standard products and offerings. The projects that are too visionary (a.k.a. too out there) usually live on through my personal blog sites waiting for others discover them. EMAIL: PHONE: murray@murrayfife.me +1 (770) 324-3862 TWITTER: @murrayfife LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/murrayfife BLOG: http://www.extendingdynamicsax.com http://www.dynamicsaxtipoftheday.com http://www.atinkerersnotebook.com SLIDESHARE: http://slideshare.net/murrayfife/presentations FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/extendingdynamicsax
  • © 2013 MURRAY FIFE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Murray Fife as of the date of this presentation. Because Murray Fife must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Murray Fife, and Murray Fife cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MURRAY FIFE MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION. © 2013. All rights reserved.