Introducing Microsoft “Data Explorer” Preview for Excel

Today, Microsoft launched their latest Excel add-in, Data Explorer. This tool provides an intuitive user interface and a seamless experience for data discovery, data transformation and enrichment. For those who find the name sounds familiar, it is probably because you used the tool when it was SQL Azure Lab project in 2011. This release however is a preview of a new set of features that are coming soon to Excel!

Microsoft “Data Explorer” Preview for Excel allows you to import data from a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional data sources such as  CSV, Windows Azure SQL Database, Oracle, MySQL, Sharepoint list, OData Feed, Facebook, etc. This imported data can then be merged and shaped to match your data analysis requirements or prepare it for further analysis and modeling by tools such as PowerPivot and PowerView.

Data Explorer - Other Sources options
Data Explorer introduces a query editor which provides users with a simple way to define and shape their data. The editor allows you to perform tasks like filter, hide columns, transform data, split a column of text, to name a few. There is also a Steps pane that allows you to add, edit, reorder or delete query steps to ensure your data is transformed in the way you need.

Data Explorer - Query Editor
Microsoft “Data Explorer” Preview for Excel is another step towards improving self-service Business Intelligence by giving business users more capabilities to import, explore and analyze data with familiar tools!

Check out the video to see what it can do and you can download and try the preview here.

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2013 = Changes

At the beginning of the year, I told some of my friends that I planned to make some changes this year. Much to my surprise, the first change for 2013 occurred a mere few weeks later - I changed my occupation.  This week I started my job as a full time lecturer at the School of Business and Computer Science, a tertiary level educational institute in Trinidad and Tobago.

After being in the IT corporate world for over a decade, it was a very difficult decision to leave and join the education system. Entering a new field is a challenge but I believe this step is necessary for some of my long term plans and goals. I also see this as a new opportunity to help grow the IT world in Trinidad and Tobago as well as the Caribbean.

I intended to write about this earlier but activities such as SQLSaturday #185, MVP Summit and also wrapping up previous work from Teleios kept me extremely busy. Hopefully I will have more time to blog in the future.

While I started this year with some plans in mind, the fact that I changed careers might mean change in plans as well. As Nido Qubein stated 'Change brings opportunity'!

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