In a BI world where PowerBI, Tableau, Qlik and their equivalents grab the headlines, Excel remains far and away the world’s most popular analytics tool. Loved by business users, it has a latent knowledge base unrivalled by any other productivity software. On the flipside, IT generally see Excel as the problem that will not go away, no matter how shiny the latest corporate dashboard tool.

This session examines Excel from a user perspective – why is it so loved in the business, why is ‘save to Excel’ still so heavily used in bespoke BI tools, and also what are some common gripes? We also consider the IT viewpoint, and why Excel is often seen as a problem.

Unlike most BI tools XLCubed embraces Excel, rather than tries to replace it. It provides a data-connected Excel-centric model for Corporate BI, where business users can leverage existing skills, but work smarter, free of pivot table restrictions. Governed Web and mobile deployment takes seconds and retains corporate security.

With over a decade’s expertise on Analysis Services, Version 9 adds connectors for relational databases, big data sources, and of course Power BI. Report level data Mashups mean reports can pull data from different sources without the need for a full semantic layer or the complexity of ensuring another data model refreshes as required. It provides a wealth of additional capability including intuitive user calculations, advanced number decomposition, extended data visualisations, cell-level commentary, and version control. XLCubed provides an Excel-centric model that can work for both business users and IT - it’s Excel, Jim, but not as we know it…

Presented by Gary Crawford at SQLBits 2017