Chapter 3: Exploring Excel Services
In This Chapter
Looking into the Excel Services architecture
Sizing Excel Services to fit the scale of your business
Configuring Excel Services
Microsoft Excel is one of the most pervasive and powerful pieces of analytical software widely adopted by end users for business intelligence. Users from every walk of life — from high-powered business executives sharing financial data to the local soccer coach sharing league schedules and results — have been sharing all kinds of data using Excel for many years. Microsoft Excel is so intuitive and easy to use that end users can get hooked on its capabilities very quickly. And that can be a problem.
The upside of Excel’s popularity is that it encourages people to collaborate, share and capture their intellectual knowledge, and think in terms of spreadsheets. The downside is that managing and governing the proliferation of Excel workbooks can turn into a world-class headache. Those pesky workbooks crop up in mutant versions all over the organization — often containing sensitive business data. Ensuring that any shared data is accurate, appropriate for its user, and up to date is . . . challenging to say the least. Some organizations try to resolve this issue by forcing their users to “give up” their spreadsheets, requiring them to use a centralized Business Intelligence platform that has little or no integration with Excel. This attempt at corralling the use of Excel often results in unhappy users, which ...