Client Tools

Even more Excel BI stuff

After my last post earlier today, I came across a whole heap of new links I thought I should share. First of all, here’s the press release on new Office BI functionality, which includes a few screenshots:
Unfortunately I couldn’t get into the LiveMeeting recording that it links to. Here’s more reaction:
Most important of all, though, the video of the PDC presentation on Excel BI is now available to download at
Look for the following presentation:
OFF323: Building Business Intelligence Solutions Using “Excel 12” and SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services
I’ve just watched it and wow, it really looks like Excel 12 lives up to the hype. In fact there’s nothing that it’s doing that plenty of other tools haven’t done for ages, but this is EXCEL. And there are many pleasing touches such as the date filtering and all of the new formatting functionality that Excel 12 gives you. Now all Microsoft need to do is buy Tableau and incorporate their visualisation capabilities into Excel and you will have the killer BI app.
And continuing the train of thought about Excel Services (as I should be calling Excel server) and AS, it also struck me that there’s a certain overlap between it and Reporting Services too, at least as far as intranet reporting goes. Why go to the trouble of creating an RS report when you can simply push your spreadsheet up to Sharepoint and see it in the Excel Services thin client? Obviously you can’t do this for all the scenarios you need to use RS for, but hmm, I wonder if you can build a custom data extension so you can point RS at an instance of Excel Services and grab data from a spreadsheet for your RS reports…

5 thoughts on “Even more Excel BI stuff

  1. Great blog – great links.However – downloading the presentation from the link above is dreadfully slow – did you experience that as well. It has fetched about 6 mb and estimates about 9 hours for the rest (140 mb total).Think it isnt my connection – downloaded visual studio quite fast the other day.

  2. Michael,The download wasn\’t so slow on the day I posted the link – it took me an hour or so to get the presentation – but yesterday I tried to download another one and had the same problem as you. I guess the site is overloaded…Chris

  3. Hello Chris,
    I would like to see Microsoft buy Tableau too.
    I wonder if they are working on a homegrown Tableau instead.
    Do you have any info on a possible Tableau acquisition?
    Gary Russo

  4. Funny you should bring the subject up, the thought of whether Microsoft might want to buy Tableau has crossed my mind too. No real evidence for it, though, just that it\’s a good tool and I can see how it (or at least its visualisation technology) might fit into the Office suite. Interesting that Bill Baker has done a webcast with them too.
    Of course, Microsoft has done something similar in the past: does anyone remember Data Analyzer and what a damp squib that was?

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