Posts Tagged ‘excel spreadsheets’

Riding flock on Excel BI use isn’t easy, though it’s necessary

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Business comprehension managers once talked longingly about weaning finish users off their Excel
addictions to assistance safeguard that BI information remained unchanging and secure. Yeah, right: In many cases,
efforts to exterminate Excel from BI processes went nowhere, forcing BI teams to change to a strategy
of easy rather than expelling it.

“We have fought a fight for 20 years and we have lost,” pronounced Boris Evelson, an researcher at
Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. What BI managers need to do now, he added, is work to
control and manage
Excel BI use
as best they can. For example, Evelson endorsed that Excel be integrated with
that can trade information to spreadsheets, enabling Excel to duty some-more as a user
interface and information display covering than as a information plan apparatus itself.

More on blending Excel and business intelligence

Find out because consultant Rick Sherman has called Excel “the aristocrat of

Get tips on how to deal
with information firmness issues
in Excel BI applications

Read about a tradesman that is changeable a stating from
Excel to a BI system

There’s no elementary recipe, though, for gripping business users from going in their possess directions
with Excel. “It’s arrange of like herding cats,” pronounced Rick Sherman, owner of consultancy Athena IT
Solutions in Stow, Mass. “You’re never going to entirely control Excel. Anyone who thinks they will is
fooling themselves.”

Sherman, who pronounced business users “will go kicking and screaming before they ever stop using
Excel,” suggested that a tip priority should be ensuring that everybody in a association is working
off of a same data, even if users are formatting it in opposite ways in Excel spreadsheets and
creating their possess charts and other graphics.

To grasp that goal, Sherman, Evelson and Bill Brydges, a handling executive during consulting
company MorganFranklin in McLean, Va., all cited a same keyword: governance.

Excel BI use OK here, not there
Evelson pronounced companies should exercise spreadsheet-usage governance policies that are flexible
but will be enforced. Under such policies, Excel use could be authorised for stating and analysis
within particular workgroups yet not for enterprisewide
BI functions
. Nor should it be authorised as partial of quite supportive processes, such as
regulatory reporting, he said.

Similarly, Sherman pronounced companies could extend existent data
governance programs
to embody Excel usage. He cautioned, though, that BI managers should tread
lightly and try to sell due governance policies on a basement of factors such as potential
productivity improvements they could lead to or a need to yield uniform BI information and commentary to
corporate executives. “If we try to be heavy-handed, that’s a losing battle,” he said.

Excel use for BI functions is “more of a sign than a problem in and of itself,” Brydges
said. “People spin to Excel when it is a usually apparatus they have to manipulate data.” To forestall its
use from apropos problematic, he advised, BI teams should incorporate Excel as a pivotal member of
fully integrated BI
so it isn’t treated as a standalone record or a overpass to BI

“Users will continue to rest on Excel and other collection to get elementary tasks done, and they
should,” Brydges said. “The indicate is to control a governance of when information from that form of
approach is integrated into craving business processes and reporting.”

Don’t only eyeball your Excel data
For example, he pronounced BI teams could build predefined thresholding and balancing calculations
into Excel to automate error-checking instead of relying on business users to eyeball rows and
columns of information to try to mark improper values or misapplied formulas. He combined that it competence also
be useful to control entrance to specific Excel spreadsheets by encryption and password
protection, if we can get capitulation for doing so. Microsoft’s SharePoint
and several third-party applications can assistance with such protections, Brydges said.

Sherman also cited SharePoint’s intensity to assistance Microsoft-oriented organizations keep a firmer
grip on Excel BI use. SharePoint enables companies to use Microsoft’s Excel Services program to
share and reuse Excel workbooks; they also can muster BI components such as a PowerPivot
add-in for Excel
during a server level, creation it easier to safeguard that information formation and
other information government tasks are finished outward of particular spreadsheets, Sherman said.

He added, though, that BI collection in ubiquitous support tighter formation with Excel than they did
in a days when spreadsheets were noticed as a rivalry of proper
business comprehension techniques
. For a many part, he said, BI vendors have now adopted a
coexistence plan when it comes to traffic with Excel.

Charles Linville, owner and boss of Ploughman Analytics Inc., a consulting and analytics
services association in Champaign, Ill., pronounced a ultimate carrot for gripping BI users from looking to
Excel in brute ways
is to make certain that their information needs are met in a timely fashion. Linville
added that if users need to get mixed levels of capitulation for information requests and afterwards wait for BI
or IT workers to do a compulsory growth or information plan work, branch to Excel is only
natural. “Where is a surprise,” he asked, “that they mostly confirm to see to their possess needs?”

Alan R. Earls is a Boston-area freelance author focused on business and technology. Craig
Stedman, executive editor of, also contributed to this story.

This was initial published in Jul 2012

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Technology and a Franchise

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

It’s tough to omit a fast gait of record expansion and change today. While your business might be regulating successfully on record platforms and systems that were put in place when we opened, it positively doesn’t harm to take a demeanour during what new technologies are accessible to you, generally if that record could assistance we run smarter or faster.

Of march there’s a whole new universe of amicable media – a record that could have a outrageous impact on your selling and visibility. But there is so many some-more to consider. Take for instance a expansion of iPads and other inscription devices. Franchises like Camille’s Sidewalk Café and Rex’s Chicken have both incited to iPads for grouping and kitchen tickets.

Mobile grouping and payments are starting to turn renouned during places like Starbucks and Subway where consumers will shortly be means to sequence their dishes from their phones and collect them adult during a nearest shop. In fact, PayPal has indeed likely that many payments will be done digitally by 2015 ensuing in a “death of a wallet.” While PayPal might be a small assertive in their prediction, a destiny positively binds outrageous expansion in mobile remuneration capabilities.

Actual in-house program has also done a large impact on franchises recently. Companies like MaidPro have incited to newly grown program applications to urge potency both financially and environmentally. One of a newly grown program programs accessible to franchises is Bizen, business comprehension program grown privately for franchises and grill owners. It allows businesses to some-more simply lane their numbers but carrying to run mixed reports or emanate their possess time-consuming Excel spreadsheets.

Programs like Yammer, Skype and cloud databases have done it so many easier for inner communication and sharing. This new record has done it probable for many some-more authorization owners to work remotely – a outrageous advantage to multi-unit owners and those who run a authorization as a second career.

Countless new programs, applications and systems are being grown each day. Many will disappear good before they’re even beheld while others will turn a “necessity”. (How did we ever tarry but being means to entrance email from your dungeon phone? Or before we even had a dungeon phone?)

Technology has done regulating a business that many easier. So if we haven’t taken a tough demeanour during a systems that you’ve been regulating and schooled what’s out there to assistance your business run improved afterwards now’s a time. Take advantage of all of a new developments. Many of them are giveaway and could assistance we run faster and smarter, so because hesitate?

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