Excel – Hero or Villain

It is not surprising how pervasive Excel is in business today, despite many discussions about whether this is a good thing on not, in helping companies deliver on their BI initiatives.
No matter what efforts are made to implement solutions that ultimately deliver information in what I call proprietary formats, most users end up exporting their results into Excel, where the usual cutting, pasting and formatting beings.
Following on from this, I believe that the secret is to find a way for users to have the best of both worlds, and that is to tighten up the way data gets to spreadsheets, and eliminate the total number of workbooks used for a particular function. It is what I call putting a wrapper around “loose” spreadsheet use.

The good news for users too is that Microsoft continues to invest in Excel as a BI platform for information delivery, so better and more powerful tools automatically become available at the front end, in a familiar environment.

There is a lot of cool fancy stuff out there to wow customers, and which brings their data to life, but at the end of the day, what is practical for every-day users, always comes back to Excel.