Heroes unite: How Excel and Power BI can defeat misinformation together

Ever pictured the most popular business reporting and analytics tools as superheroes, fighting to defend businesses against pesky misinformation? Well, our in-house business intelligence specialist, Nigel Naicker, has. Here’s his creative account of how two well-known heroes, Excel and Power BI, can unite and use their superpowers together to defeat misinformation for good!

The city of Troden is in disarray. The people cry out for a saviour day and night. Papers and undone admin fly through the streets. The evil Misinfo has sent the city into chaos.

Who will save them? Who can even try to? The almighty Excel tried—with powers unmatched and never surpassed until now. Excel used to surge ahead with the ability to write formulas to manipulate data and to gain insights into data, to create dashboards that would help the people. With timeline slicers, Pivot Tables, and the pure freedom to do almost anything imaginable to transform data into information. Excel came in trying its very best to do what it does—to empower the people. To empower them to find answers for themselves, to write their own formulas, create their own charts, and to dig through their own data to find the truth.

As it is only the truth that can bring an end to the tyrannical reign of Misinfo.

Excel was doing fine for a while. It pushed Misinfo and his minions of chaos back into their holes—but after years of hiding, the minions of Misinfo crept back into Troden. These minions now appeared as beautiful shining stars, deceiving people with their beauty. Slowly, the people of Troden looked upon Excel perplexed. Its data analysis capabilities seemed to matter less now than its visual appeal. Its spreadsheets and charts seemed unappealing and boring to the people of Troden. Misinfo rejoiced, for he had thought victory was inevitable.

That was the case at least, until Power BI showed up.

A beam of light shone down from the heavens as if a gate from the mighty city of Asgard had been opened. Power BI arrived in all its glory, with armour gleaming as if forged in Olympus. Power BI’s unmatched powers of breath-taking visualizations and deep-diving drill downs were like nothing ever seen before. So smooth, so beautiful, so simple. The incredible ability to write DAX formulas, and a custom visualization store filled with custom-built visualizations were all too much for Misinfo. Power BI showed no mercy to Misinfo, smashing his minions with his mighty drill-downs and gorgeous visualizations.

Maybe Misinfo won’t win after all.

Misinfo scurried away to his lair in the sewers, rallying his remaining minions. He tried to encourage his minions saying; Who does Power BI think he is? Does he think he can beat us? This is our town, our people to misinform. We have Excel on the back-foot, and together we can push Power BI down too.”

Power BI knew that although he is as powerful and glorious as they come, he would still need help to ultimately defeat Misinfo. And so he sought out the only ally he knew he could trust, the only ally that was powerful enough to tip the scales in their favour.

It was a rainy night splashed with flashes of lighting and with sounds of thunder that echoed through the city. Power BI tracked Excel down to the local tavern.

Data, neat,” gruffed Power BI to the barkeep as he sat on the stool beside Excel.

“No,” said Excel.

“No, what? I haven’t asked you anything yet!” exclaimed Power BI.

“I know why you are here Power BI, you are here to drag me into this war with Misinfo. I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done what I can, the people of this city still chose Misinfo’s fake, pretty minions over me,” said Excel.

“Yes, Misinfo got the better of you. But I’m here now and together we have a shot. My weakness is your strength, and your weakness is my strength,” stated Power BI.

“You have a weakness?” questioned Excel.

“Yes, Excel, your weakness is the attraction of visualizations and dashboarding, while mine is the ability to get my hands dirty and do deep-data analysis. I can’t do that as well as you!” replied Power BI.

“Say that last part again!” snapped Excel.

Power BI looking perplexed, replied, “Uhm, can’t do deep-data analy…”

“No, no, no. The last part. About you not being able to do something as well as I can,” interrupted Excel.

“Really now, Excel? You want me say that again? That is so egotistical!” scoffed Power BI.

“Well, if you really meant it, why can’t you just say it again?” fired back Excel.

“Fine, I can’t do deep, nitty-gritty data analysis as well as you can,” said Power BI.

“Okay, I’m in! Follow me,” said Excel, with a pleased look.

“Finally!” exclaimed Power BI, with relief in his voice.

Together, the two heroes charged at the minion-filled lair of Misinfo—bringing the fight to them! Excel shot bullets of detailed analysis, wiping out scores of minions. The admin-shed was relentless! Power BI waved its gorgeous bar chart through the air and slammed it through the deep layer of ill-informed decision-making possibilities of Misinfo—smashing it into a million pieces.

The people of Troden rejoiced, for their heroes had brought wholesome business intelligence to their city. Never again will they be alone and at the mercy of Misinfo. Excel and Power BI together will be the watchmen on Troden’s walls.