Excelling in intelligence.
It is one of the fundamentals of business management but one which many argue is often not up to the job. The Microsoft Excel (tool) Microsoft Excel - A spreadsheet program from Microsoft, part of their Microsoft Office suite of productivity tools for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh. Excel is probably the most widely used spreadsheet in the world.
Latest version: Excel 97, as of 1997-01-14. spreadsheet is the workhorse work·horse
1. Something, such as a machine, that performs dependably under heavy or prolonged use: "the 50-year-old DC-3 ... of corporate decision-making, but its ease of use and familiar interface means that users gravitate grav·i·tate
intr.v. grav·i·tat·ed, grav·i·tat·ing, grav·i·tates
1. To move in response to the force of gravity.
2. To move downward.
3. towards it even when the data analysis they want to undertake would be better executed using a business intelligence tool and data sources held centrally.
Every time employees use Excel to analyse corporate data, the resulting information is locked away on local hard drives, inaccessible inaccessible Surgery adjective Unreachable; referring to a lesion that unmanageable by standard surgical techniques–eg, lesions deep in the brain or adjacent to vital structures–ie, not accessible. See Accessible. to the business intelligence (BI) tools that companies have invested small fortunes in.
As one delegate at Information Age's June executive roundtable debate on BI explained: "Excel is the most widely used reporting tool in the business. It's important because it allows users to manipulate data in ways that are useful to them."
But these separate pockets of information make it difficult for organisations to arrive at any consistent set of conclusions. Moreover, the majority of BI data is also still held in different silos by different departments and groups. That has created a pressing need for rationalisation Noun 1. rationalisation - (psychiatry) a defense mechanism by which your true motivation is concealed by explaining your actions and feelings in a way that is not threatening
As the IT director of a financial services The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page. company explained at the debate: "Getting a single view of the data is a key priority; not only a business one but a regulatory one."
While IT organisations try to smooth out data inconsistency in·con·sis·ten·cy
n. pl. in·con·sis·ten·cies
1. The state or quality of being inconsistent.
2. Something inconsistent: many inconsistencies in your proposal. , many of the BI tools vendors have come to terms with the Excel factor by launching add-ons to their products.
For some IT managers any attempts to force users away from the spreadsheet interface is tackling the problem from the wrong end: "What IT needs to do is to get out of the way and give end users the tools they need to do their jobs," said the IT director of a large media company. That is the way to increase the wider acceptance of BI, he added.
As the boundaries between spreadsheets and BI tools dissolve, businesses will be able to make better use of operational data. "We capture a phenomenal amount of data, but the value of what we collect is questionable unless we can provide context," said the divisional head of a large telecoms provider.