For most types of analysis, the base data is the same, probably coming from the same source. But the transformations will most likely be different, and the usage will be different too.
For example, Sales data from the past month could be used for many different analysis.
Some common types of analysis could be:
- to analyze the sales of the month and identify which products sold or did not sell well OR
- to forecast for future month based on past trends
- to understand inventory movement, analyze fast-moving and slow-moving goods by segmentation
- to recognize revenue
- to look at accounts receivable
- to analyze performance by salespersons, by geography, by division, by category, by department, and by customer segments
Now in both cases, the way we look at the data will be different, and the analysis will branch out differently too. And for each branch, we will have to load the same basic data, and do the same basic cleanup – remove duplicates, fill nulls, change data types, fix dates etc.
Rather than doing the same cleanup transformations again for each analysis, it is better to do the cleanup only once and save that query. Once the base query is ready, it can be used to extend for further transformation and analysis, depending on the need.
Power Query, which is available to you through Excel or Power BI can be used easily for this (Video Tutorial Below). The thing to look for is
How to Reference a Query and Create a New Query from it
Referencing a Query allows us to simply take the result of one query, and take it further in another query.
I created a detailed, step by step video for you to see how to reference a query in Power Query. You can use it in Excel or in PowerBI. It works exactly the same way in both of these softwares.
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