Spreadsheets And BI

by Boris Evelson.

I predict that for the foreseeable future, spreadsheets will remain the most widely used enterprise application. The widespread adoption isn't hard to understand — spreadsheets are powerful and flexible, yet intuitive and easy to use and learn. Plus, ad hoc applications and spreadsheet models isolate users from constant reliance on IT and incur low costs. Since the early days of BI, spreadsheets have played a natural and major role in the BI process/architecture, including:

  • Data sources
  • Transformation mechanisms
  • Operational applications
  • Reporting and analysis mechanisms

I recently published a report on spreadsheets and BI, http://www.forrester.com/Research/Document/0,7211,41687,00.html, and would love to solicit everyone’s comments on the future of spreadsheets in BI.


re: Spreadsheets And BI

Thank you the clear-eyed realism of your post, which makes visible an essential reality of the information landscape, which is that people will do what they want with data and information.This means that instead of considering spreadsheets--or even less structured datasets--as "off limits," organizations need to adopt governance policies and data management processes which recognize the way data is created, used, and managed across organizations.On the specific subject of spreadsheets and BI, as you pointed out the role of spreadsheets in prototyping features and structures is widespread, and likely to persist for a long time.Again, thanks for a thoughtful post.