Sayonara Spreadsheets: How BI can give you your life back.
It’s 10:30pm on a Friday night. The office is dark, most of the sales team are well into their sixth pints down at the pub, your wife just called for the fourth time asking when you are coming home, and there you are adding yet another tab to your 20mb XLS file, wondering if that last VLOOKUP you copied had the right range on it. Or did you mean to paste it to the PROJECTED instead of the ACTUAL tab ? Bugger.
Spreadsheets have always been your friend. It can sum, it can subtract, it can pivot, you can make pretty graphs with it. You’ve taught yourself to use it like a weapon, mastering the arcane arts of macros and complex formulas. But at moments like this, you cannot help but wonder, surely there is a better way ?
You’ve heard the hype about Business Intelligence, you’ve attended the buzzword-laden marketing event, you’ve eaten your share of the free lunch provided, but you still can’t help but think “These graphs and dashboards are nice, but my spreadsheets and I are doing fine. We can do the job”. And a lot of times, Business Intelligence vendors have not been very good in articulating how they can help you beyond a list of the latest features and functions which you cannot relate to. So let’s do a bit of exploration on how BI can help you improve your life. Or at least allow you go and have a few quiet ones in the pub a bit more often.
Simplify your Life : Freeing the data monster
Let’s think back how you, Mr Spreadsheet Wizard, ended up staying late that Friday night staring at your spreadsheet. How did it come to this ? Spreadsheets are supposed to be time-saving tools, aren’t they ? Absolutely. However, being the powerful tools that they are, it is now also very possible to create very complicated spreadsheet models that defy mere human comprehension.
You know how it goes. Let’s say you need to calculate how much to bill your customers based on the time your team spent on...