Saturday, December 19, 2009

BI Tools - First Look to Excel 2010

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...

Excel Dashboard
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!

Excel Slicer Excel Sparkline
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.
regards, Pedro

12 comments:

Amin said...

Hi Pedro,

It is a nice post, the snapshots are very amazing.

Cheers friend,
Amin

Pedro said...

Hi Amin!
And you can do a lot in this new excel version... really simple, intuitive and fast.
But for example the sparklines sould be more improved.
Thanks for your visit and comments!!

When you write a post about your degree in Sweden?

You can post here... in my BI Corner section! :-)

Cheers,
Pedro

Amin said...

Dear Pedro,

Indeed, I am going on vacation the day after tomorrow. I want to visit Germany for 3 days ;)

This quarter I have Data Warehouse, and I have read Kimball DW Toolkit book two times ;)

I have an exam on 14 Jan, and a presentation on 15. After that I will write a post about the Stockholm’s University master degree ;)

Indeed, I want to get some courses relating to Data Mining, which I believe is the most interesting part of BI

Best wishes,
Amin

Pedro said...

I'm ansious to see the description about your experience in master degree at Stockholm’s University.. pease... send me some resume to imagine what are you doing!

Data Mining is important in BI... it's really amazing... but more interesting the descriptive models than predictive models...because the future is never like the past... and the human being is not yet prepared for predict anormal events...

The most interesting think in BI is enable a company ou ourselves in a daily basis to make better decisions... grouping all the pieces in a BI framework is also fantastic...

Thanks my friend!
Pedro

Amyn said...

Nice post Pedro. Excel is definitely a great basic tool. We have built ODBO/MDX providers for SAP BW and Oracle OLAP Option so you can also use Excel Pivot Tables to connect to these data sources.

Pedro said...

Amyn you have a nickname similar to my friend Amin...:-)

I check your website and products and they seem me very interesting...

Could you send me an email or send me your email address? I want to ask you one thing!

Cheers!
Pedro

Arturas said...

Indeed, it's great to see excel adding more powerful and easy to use BI tools. Because BI will be more and more important, as the amounts of information that companies posses are becoming unimaginably huge and they need affective tools to make use of that information and with the new Excel it will more easy for end users to get a hold of what BI tools can offer.

Pedro said...

Arturas,
Welcome to the blog.
I check your website... why you dont send an article about your products to publish here? :-) The same question I do to Amyn...:-)
Regards guys!
Pedro

Gabor said...

Hi,
well, these snapshots are seem to be nice. However, the presentation is only at the very end of the information delivery process. Excel will never help you collect the data from various sources and store them in a structured way.
If you want to use the excel capabilities then you need to export the data into excel (or excel compatible) format, don't you.
And last but not least, as excel is pretty instabile and has annoying behavior (freezing, not responding, issues with saving data, unable to administer centrally etc.) I newer would use it as a BI tool...

cheers, Gábor

Pedro said...

Dear Gabor,
Let me know that in Excel I'm only adding some charts...I'm exploring information from an OLAPcube. All the data was previously integrated, cleanned and prepared to add to a data warehouse. The OLAP cube allows to have a multi perspective from the business with a fast and intuitive mattter.

I didnt created any KPI or other calculations from excel, in order to mantain a central repository of the information. The goal is not create islands of information with excel.

Welcome to the blog and thanks from the comment.

Regards,
Pedro, CBIP

Hennie said...

Great post! office 2010 will bring lots of new features. Looks good
Hennie

Pedro said...

Hi Hennie,
Thanks for your visit! You are always welcome here.

I also check that you are a CBIP professional... congratulations...
I hope to see you here more often!
regards,
Pedro

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