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Difference between Excel Pivot and PowerPivot

Difference between Excel Pivot and PowerPivot

pivot table row labels in separate columns 2Below is a listing of the difference between Excel Pivot and PowerPivot. First it is important to understand what PowerPivot is. If you haven’t heard of PowerPivot have a look at the ‘What is PowerPivot’ page. If you are not sure whether you have PowerPivot read how to check.

The difference between Excel Pivot and PowerPivot pivot tables can be summarised as follows:

Traditional Pivot Tables

  • Single data source typically in an Excel worksheet ideally a flat file with all the relationships built into the flat file.
  • As a result you need to do lots of work within the data source to join tables i.e. VLOOKUPS, SUMIFS etc.
  • More forgiving to errors
  • Dates are handled within the pivot table
  • Can use the functions available within Excel only

PowerPivot Pivot tables

  • Multiple sources of data (text, excel, database, DataStream) which can be refreshed directly
  • Relationships can be formed without VLOOKUP or making changes to the underlying data sources. You no longer need to create a massive flat file
  • Less forgiving. The process stops if it is not happy.
  • Special treatment of dates which allows vast improvements in the reports you can run.
  • Similar functions to Excel and the Excel syntax but lots of new functions especially with Time Intelligence.

Find out more about the PowerPivot course we offer


Difference between PowerPivot and Excel use