Why is the powerpivot excel spreadsheet so large?

Question: Why is the powerpivot excel spreadsheet so large?

Answer:

A compressed (vertipaq) form of the data is stored in the spreadsheet.
If you wish to lower the size of the spreadsheet reduce the number of columns which you import or the size of the datasets.
Interestingly you can change the file extension from .xlsx to .zip and naviagate in 7zip or equivalent. In xl\customdata you will find the vertipaq data in a file named item1.data.
You can view the files which make up this Vertipaq database by viewing C:\Users\YOUR USER NAME\AppData\Local\Temp and locating a folder called Vertipaq_xxxxxxxxx there might be more than one folder, the one you are interested in is the one with a time stamp which corresponds with your excel powerpivot being created. If you list all the files in this folder you will see the files which make up the database and you will notice that there is a file for each column in your original powerpivot table.

Useful reading

http://powerpivottwins.com/2009/11/07/understanding-why-an-excel-powerpivot-workbook-is-so-large/
http://powerpivottwins.com/2009/11/07/for-excel-powerpivot-the-database-is-in-the-workbook/

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