Gartner - What Are Customer Experiences With SQL Server PowerPivot
SQL Server PowerPivot is an Excel-based data discovery tool giving business users the ability to combine and analyze large amounts of diverse data. Initial user feedback is largely positive, although advanced Excel skills are required for workbook authoring and data modeling.
Microsoft has grown by bundling increasingly capable business intelligence (BI) functionality into SQL Server, SharePoint Server and Office, but has had comparatively weak ad hoc analysis capabilities relative to other leading vendors. On 12 May 2010, it took a significant step in addressing this limitation. The introduction of SQL Server PowerPivot, Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 extends the capabilities of Excel, giving business users the capabilities to create and analyze very large, diverse data sets.
The following questions and answers summarize feedback from three initial Microsoft-supplied SQL Server PowerPivot reference customers contacted by Gartner. All three customers participated in Microsoft's Community Technology Preview (beta) program for SQL Server PowerPivot and were asked the same questions.