Monday, September 10, 2012

Excel 2013 BI versus SSRS 2012

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1) Excel 2013 has PowerPivot 2012 integrated / inbuilt into it. This means access to vertipaq engine, data processing, and dashboard related benefits. Powerpivot 2012 is able to harness the power of Windows Azure Data Market too. More on the same can be read from here.

2) Excel 2013 had PowerView integrated / inbuilt into it. This means all the reporting related benefits, visualizations like charts - graphs - bing maps, KPIs and dashboarding and other dashboard related components like hierarchies etc. PowerView is designed to interpret DAX queries on BISM model, and integration with Excel means that now Excel is even more capable of reporting BISM data models than PowerView itself. More on the same can be read from here.

3) Excel 2013 can connect to Hadoop on Azure using Hive ODBC Driver. This means excel can exploit data from cloud from related data stored in Azure databases as well as big data stores like Hadoop. More on the same can be read from here.

4) Excel 2013 facilitates sourcing media and other rich content from the web using it's newly introduced Content app and Task pane app. This means very rich integration using a relatively least complex tool compared to other self service tools available in the industry. More on this can be read from here.

5) Excel 2013 ships with some great advancements in visualizations. Users are not expected to be very deeply insighted into reports development, and components that can even make suggestions on the kind of reports suited for the kind of data they are available. More on this can be read from here.

6) Most of the applications provide features to export data into excel, which means any kind of data can be easily imported into excel. Also most of the applications provide plug-in for Excel to provide deeper integration with excel to make the data exchange process easier.

7) Excel 2013 now supports decoupled PivotTable and PivotCharts, that means better representation of trend analysis. And even Excel Services supports this feature. More on this can be read from here.

This list is not an exhaustive list of features, and I am sure there are many more features worth listing. Above listed are just those that I could remember quickly. I am not saying SSRS is a weak tool by any means and on top of that its a server line of technology and integrated with SQL Server. It has great visualizations and available in the form of service which is suitable from a scalability and architecture standpoint.

But clients with
  • lots of data stored in variety of data stores
  • limited funds and even limited time and patience to wait for IT to facilitate their analytical needs
  • totally resistant to learn another tool claiming to be their analytics angel
  • and seeking to retain the power of determining the landscape of analytics in their own hands
would definitely find Excel 2013 as their BI magnet.

If you have more Excel 2013 BI features worth listing, feel free to comment the same on this post.

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