November 11, 2012 1 Comment
Well just recently updated my Kindle orders & highlights data from Amazon (see my previous post here), and just remembered that would also make a very good case for some cool (and useful, imo) Excel 2013 PowerView dashboards. There’s an image available for each books, fits perfectly with PowerPivot and PowerView.
Valuable Data & Insights
Aside from the usual visual bells & whistles, being a kind of data “playground” and a very cool demo for friends, our team, partners & customers, there are actually some very real scenarios where this data and analysis are of great value to me:
- remember/recap my favorite books just by checking the number of highlights I’ve made (a very reasonable indicator for that)
- to check & control my book “budget” (unfortunately it is not, yet…, real time… )
- check savings from free kindle books promos, just for fun (& profit ) :)
- to choose a book to read next, very usual, based on books I haven’t read yet, ie with no highlights from me, that have good ratings (either avg stars or number of reviews, or my “calculated” overall score)
- much better browser (PowerView or PivotViewer) from my library that the Kindle or any Kindle iPad, the native apps clearly were not developed to make it easy to browse your own kindle library when you have a few hundred books…actually one of the reason I gave up on using my Kindle device, inability to slice & dice and help me choosing what to read next (honestly, it could be awesome to have this on kindle& kindle apps… don’t get it really how it’s still missing)
Brief Excel 2013 & PowerView Walkthrough
I won’t get into much detail how to get something like these going on Excel 2013 PowerViews, there are plenty of other good resources to learn the basics on PowerPivot and PowerView, but honestly for something like this it’s very intuitive indeed with the new Office & PowerView.
We’ll need a main table:
The usual “Date” utility table…
Check you have both tables on the PowerPivot data model:
Create the relationship between these two tables (by my order date in this case):
Fine tune the default behavior of the main table in order to get a better user experience, ex: title images:
Define a Default field set:
Save, back to Excel and Create a new PowerView Dashboard:
And be creative! :)
Now I have two very interesting browsers for my kindle books, both PowerView and PivotViewer , fun they’re both running SilverLight, who would figure that ?
Nevertheless, some things I am already missing in PowerView:
- exact copy/paste/duplicate PowerView sheets… as it insists on changing display positions
- automatic date handling, someone better to solve this soon, lets skip the needed date table shall we? I think that would allow much wider adoption of Excel analytics. Getting really tired of date/time tables, honestly… no wonder end users don’t get them easily… they are smart
- analyze in excel option, jumping to a native Excel Pivot Table maintaining the specific value/context- much like SmartPivot detailby feature or Office 2012 QuickExplore , that would be killer
btw-How can you build a very reasonable Kindle library like the above just with “minimal” budget? That, I will cover soon on my personal development blog :)
Anyway…$400 in books, I really hope my wife is not reading this. :)
- Choosing vs Searching, … can data visualization help with information overload?
- Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform
- How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )
- Exploring saved #Kindle Highlights with #SQL2012 Semantic Search