Exercise: Create a tidy data model based on Make-a-Mammal data

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The answer to the exercise will be included and explained if you attend the course listed below!

Category ==> Power BI - Excel 2016  (23 exercises)
Topic ==> PowerPivot data models  (3 exercises)
Level ==> Relatively easy
Course ==> PowerPivot / Excel Power BI
Before you can do this exercise, you'll need to download and unzip this file (if you have any problems doing this, click here for help). Once you've done this:
  1. Go into SQL Server Management Studio;
  2. Open the SQL file you've just unzipped (you can press CTRL + O to do this); then
  3. Execute this script.

This will generate the database that you'll need to use in order to do this exercise (note that the database and script are only to be used for exercises published on this website, and may not be reused or distributed in any form without the prior written permission of Wise Owl).

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Create a new workbook, and go into PowerPivot.  Import the following tables from the Make-a-Mammal database:

Tables to import

Import these 4 tables, giving each a friendly name as shown (but also filtering the tables as explained overleaf).

The database is called Make-a-Mammal, and on Wise Owl machines can be found in the instance of SQL Server called ./sql2016.

You don't really case about animal names or purchase times, so you should apply filters so that you only import the following columns:

The final tables

The Environment and Habitat tables have all their fields, but the other two have had some removed.

Create a pivot table, hiding tables and columns such that this is all that you can see:

Pivot table field list

These should be the only fields visible in the pivot table field list.


Create a pivot table showing the average price by environment:

Average price

Make sure you format the average price!


What we now want to do is to display the centre type as column headings.  To achieve this, use your existing connection to add in two more tables:

Two more tables

The two additional tables you need to import.

Because you imported the tables in two passes, you'll now need to create a relationship between the Product and Centre tables:

Two tables to link

You need to join these two tables, but ...

However, we forgot to import the CentreId field for the Purchase table (soz).  Go back into the properties of this table and add this in first - then create the necessary relationship. 

Finally, hide tables and hide or rename columns to get the following pivot table field list:

Final field list

A couple of the fields have been renamed.


Use this to create your final pivot table:

The final pivot table

The average price is remarkably stable across environments and centre types.

Save this workbook as Suspiciously uniform, then close it down.  Have a look at the file size in Windows Explorer to prove to yourself that the workbook contains all of the imported data. 

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