Create Dashboards never been so easy ... the new version of Excel 2010 (Beta) is really amazing. Exploration of a multidimensional cube has never been so intuitive and simple like it is now. The image below shows a simple dashboard that I made in this new version in 20 minutes for the Northwind database sample...
There still are some features to improve in this version, anyway, the new features promise to make the life of the decision maker easier... and now, I sincerely believe that the democratization of business intelligence is beginning, and finally Business Intelligence will soon be available to all employees of an organization. And all because Excel is the best known tool in the world, where almost users who use a computer, know what Excel is and what Excel do. Many BI Vendors know it, and began to build few years ago, add-ins for Excel in order to take advantage of some previous limitations of Excel. And a question arises ... will these small businesses survive the constant improvement of Excel? Only time will tell whether they will be able to adapt or not with new solutions... I really hope so, becausee this small companies do a big important job… and Microsoft knows that!
As the most interesting features from Excel 2010, I highlight the slicers, the “sparklines”, and the possibility of creating Named Sets through Excel. The Slicers lets you visually filter the data in a PivotTable and quickly extract exactly the data you're looking for. Slicers can be moved and resized like charts and graphs. And each slicer could be connected to several pivot tables… for me it’s really amazing this feature. The “sparklines” is a copy of some products made before by XLCubed (check the SQL Bits session where XLCubed presented “Microcharts”) and it’s in a very early stage. And the last feature that I highlight today, is the possibility to create named sets from Excel, grouping a set of items and several other features like customize MDX statements of a pivot table.
I hope this post was helpfull to you.