The Limitations of Power Pivot-Driven Pivot Tables

By Michael Alexander

Pivot tables built on top of Power Pivot or the Internal Data Model come with limitations that could be showstoppers in terms of your reporting needs. Here’s a quick rundown of the limitations you should consider before deciding to base your pivot table reporting on Power Pivot or the Internal Data Model:

  • The Group feature is disabled for Power Pivot–driven pivot tables. You can’t roll dates into months, quarters, or years, for example.
  • In a standard pivot table, you can double-click a cell in the pivot to drill into to the rows that make up the figure in that cell. In Power Pivot–driven pivot tables, however, you see only the first 1,000 rows.
  • Power Pivot–driven pivot tables don’t allow you to create the traditional Calculated Fields and Calculated Items found in standard Excel pivot tables.
  • Workbooks that use the Power Pivot data model can’t be refreshed or configured if opened in a version of Excel earlier than Excel 2013.
  • You can’t use custom lists to automatically sort the data in your Power Pivot–driven pivot tables.
  • Neither the Product nor Count Numbers summary calculations are available in Power Pivot–driven pivot tables.