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Business Intelligence with Excel

Excel 2010 is one of the three or four most advanced Data Visualization tools that Practical Computer Applications (PCA) uses in it’s consulting practice for Business Intelligence (BI) applications. Microsoft extended Excel’s capabilities for handling very large data sets residing in SQL Server and in SSAS Cubes with Excel 2010 making it a powerful tool for BI applications for visualization, analysis and reporting.

Application of spreadsheets in the BI field began with the integration of OLAP (On-Line Analytical Processing) and Pivot tables or even before. In 1991, Lotus released Improve with Pivoting functionality, followed by Microsoft’s release (in Excel 5) of PivotTable in 1993 (trademarked by Microsoft). Currently one of the best OLAP and BI software is SSAS (Analysis Services from Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2) and Excel 2010 with PowerPivot, PivotTables and Pivot Charts is one of the most popular front-end for SSAS.

PCA’s Business Intelligence consultants use Excel for BI, prototyping, dashboarding and analytical tools, as a front-end for BI applications, for SQL Server Analysis Services and for PowerPivot-based in-memory columnar databases and multidimensional cubes. Our data visualization experts use Excel as a starting point for complex BI and analytical applications, migrating from Excel to Access, SQL Server, Smart Client and to the internet for Web-based BI Applications and even for embedding Excel-based applications into Smart Client and Web Applications! PCA’s programmers help both Mid-range and large enterprise businesses by building interfaces to allow business users to extract from their data warehouses or BI tools and import it bring into Excel to perform analysis and build their reports in Excel.

PCA will work with you to understand your data information needs and your current data structure. Based on our 20 years of experience in custom database development including Smart Clients, SQL, MS Access and Excel combined with today’s data visualization tools, we can design and implement a solution that will work to meet your information needs.

Example of Excel BI Application: Safety Incident Dashboard

The following is an example of a simple interactive web-embedded dashboard that PRACTICAL built. Use this demo to drill down to determine business information such as how many incidences occurred at each location that were “critical”, caused by “personnel” and resulted in a “spill”. This shows just a few of the many options for displaying information. PCA will work with you to determine the best visualization for your data and business issues. Click on this image to use the interactive demo.

Excel Web Application: Safety Incident Dashboard

To view this same data using a different data visualization tool see our demo using Tableau.

What type of data patterns is your company trying to visualize?

We provide more information on analyzing trends, outliers, clusters, and providing sparklines, business dashboards, data mining, data cube and data warehousing.

What is your company’s underlying database?

Read about our database consulting for Smart Clients, SQL Server, MS Access and Excel. Do you have lots data? We are experts in big data analytics (BDA).

Other data visualization tools

Read about how PCA uses data visualization software for client BI applications: Qlikview, Spotfire, Tableau 6.1, Compare data visualization tools.

If you are interested in professional presentation of your data and all the analysis capabilities of today’s data visualization and BI  tools contact us.