Modern BI Tools for Quick Corporate Adoption

This is a proposal for the use of modern and easy to use analytical tools in business environment.
The first tool considered is Microsoft’s PowerPivot, which is a free plugin for MS Excel 2010, and another one is Tableau Desktop ($1999 per Named User) from Tableau Software. In both cases eOrders test data source will be used as an example.

PowerPivot gives users the power to create compelling self-service BI solutions.
It is a user-friendly way to perform data analysis using familiar Excel features you already know, such as the Office Fluent user interface, PivotTable, PivotChart views, and slicers. It is a fast way to generate rich and interactive analysis tools, easily mistaken for IT solutions after weeks of effort. It is an efficient way to achieve deeper business insight and shorter decision cycles.

PowerPivot for Excel 2010 enables:

  • Excel-Based In-Memory Analysis. Overcomes existing limitations for massive data analysis on the desktop with efficient compression algorithms to load even the biggest data sets into memory.
  • Data Analysis Expressions (DAX). Puts powerful relational capabilities into the hands of power users who want to create advanced analytics applications.
  • Virtually Unlimited Support of Data Sources. Provides the foundation to load and combine source data from any location for massive data analysis on the desktop, including relational databases, multidimensional sources, cloud services, data feeds, Excel files, text files, and data from the Web.

Tableau Software is the global leader in rapid-fire business intelligence (BI) software. Tableau Desktop shifts BI into the do-it-now era by offering the most flexible solution in the market. It enables everyone—from enterprises to enterprising individuals—to rapidly access and analyze all their data for smarter and faster business decisions.

Tableau was the product of an internal R&D project at the Stanford University in 1997. In 2003, the company was launched with Tableau Desktop. Since 2003 the product has incurred 6 major versions including spawning its Server and Reader brethren. Tableau Software markets their suite of business intelligence applications as ‘rapid-fire solutions’ which covers enterprises Self-Service BI (SSBI) needs.

While projects to improve decision making, to identify operating efficiencies and risk, and to attract new customers more cost-effectively continue, the need to do more with less — more quickly — has increased companies’ interest in new business intelligence options which challenge the traditional choices. In fact, Tableau was identified as a “Challenger” in Gartner’s 2010 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence Platforms.

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