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Excel Is Great for Business Intelligence!

Started by Shakib, September 28, 2018, 04:34:01 PM

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With the right access to data, Excel can become an outstanding Business Intelligence (BI) system.

Business Intelligence (BI) is the systematic use of information about your company and its business environment to analyze, report, predict, and manage business performance.

Some would say that this definition describes what Excel has always done for business. But Excel users know that's not true. Historically, Excel has had two significant limitations that have kept it from serving as a true BI tool.

First, Excel isn't known for its ability to generate easy-to-read reports and analyses. But as we show in our Excel Dashboards section, a little user training can eliminate this problem entirely.

Second, however, native Excel handles data poorly.

Virtually all standard "solutions" drop values into spreadsheet cells. This creates many problems: A number or label in a cell has no intelligence. We don't know where it came from. We can't tell if it's been changed manually. We often can't update it easily. We typically can't cause that number to be placed where it's actually needed in our report. And so on.

In short, the way that native Excel brings data into a spreadsheet is not only its greatest limitation as a BI tool, it's the most significant source of  Spreadsheet Hell.

BI systems for Excel not only correct these problems, they add important features. In fact, an Excel BI provides more power for general business management than any other BI system I know.

Let's take a closer look at the key characteristics of an Excel-based BI system.

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