You’ve heard us talk a lot about why spreadsheets aren’t suited to planning for large organizations. But Microsoft Excel is still the preferred tool for many business users — especially analysts. That’s why we created a no-cost add-on for IBM Planning Analytics that enables you to use your spreadsheets within our enterprise-level solution. I’d like to give you a quick look at just one of the ways that IBM Planning Analytics for Excel lets you embrace — not replace — your spreadsheets.
Take a snapshot for Excel
In the screenshot below, you can see an IBM Planning Analytics Workspace report with an Exploration (a data table) and charts. The Exploration shows sales volumes by channels and months for all of the products the company sells (the Product selector shows ‘Product Total’). By pressing the Export button you can export that data into an Excel workbook.
But that action does more than just export the specific data set. It can also ‘burst’ the data alongside the dimensions of the business model. The data will then be exported into a Microsoft Excel workbook with one tab for each product:
This is a simple, easy way to get a data set from the server into an Excel workbook, which you can then share with others. In this case, the data in the workbook is disconnected from the IBM Planning Analytics server, meaning that it won’t change when the data on the server changes. It’s a ‘snapshot’ of the data at a particular point in time.
But there is a way you can keep your Excel workbooks connected to the IBM Planning Analytics server so they’ll reflect changes in the underlying data when it refreshes. To learn how that’s done, and get more details on the above process as well as other options for using Microsoft Excel with IBM Planning Analytics, read my article on LinkedIn Pulse. Read it now.