It’s funny that Forrester’s Boris Evelson recently received a slew
of comments from data warehousing and business intelligence pros
wondering why they hadn’t included an evaluation of Excel as a business
intelligence tool. Boris goes on to explain why Excel doesn’t work as a standalone BI tool.
Here’s my take on the subject:
Like it or not, the most widely used BI tool today is the spreadsheet. If you are a BI or data warehousing
manager, you need harbor no illusions that you are gathering and
manually entering data into spreadsheet. Furthermore, you need to work
with the logic captured in Excel spreadsheets and enable this logic to
be used for analysis and decision support.
What’s the problem? Simple. The
proliferation of custom-built reports with unstructured data pulled
from who-knows-where using self-serving metrics brings into question
the value of the information available.