Business Intelligence: Too Important to Trust to Spreadsheets

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Published: 15 Jun 2018

Spreadsheets are ubiquitous and largely a default tool for data analysis; yet, they are also a trap and one which will increasingly limit the ability of companies to compete effectively. Yes, they provide a useful way to visualize data, but their limitations, especially in an age of big data, can seriously compromise a company’s ability to extract meaning from large, dynamic data sets. There is a solution to dueling spreadsheets, however. That is to evolve beyond spreadsheets to business intelligence (BI) applications. The stumbling blocks to BI adoption have been both structural and perceptual. BI is perceived to be complex to install and use, and it has also been perceived as very costly. In part, this is due to the need for clean data, which can be expensive to create; but it is also true that expensive organizational licensing can drive up both the implementation and carrying costs of BI applications. Now, though, BI vendors are addressing the fear of BI cost with new pricing schemes that enable even small organizations to consider deploying BI capabilities. This report examines the barriers to BI adoption, and features the efforts of Tableau, a market leading BI vendor, to address them. It will be of interest to organizations contemplating BI adoption.

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