Our “Dog-Eat-Dog” IT World Is A Very Real And Destructive Path With No Good End

dogeatdog

This was just posted on LinkedIn … I was struck by the sentiment of this guy and although I feel sorry for him it might make him feel better if you knows that he’s far from alone…

Not that there are a lot of true “Haters” out there who are basically just a-hole Trolls, but the “Oh … you’re the competition” thing is just rampant … oddly even from the biggest software vendors themselves.

Too True

This is a problem in the entire tech industry in my opinion – not just VR/AR.  I’m sure that  market is especially frantic right now as it is a classic case of “A Solution Looking For A Problem To Solve” – not being negative here just honest.  I’m in one of those markets myself right now too.

In my marketplace, (you know the one with the little 700 million user-base), I recently went to show my “stuff” to one “competitor” and his response was something like  “I’m not interested in anything that would make it harder for me to sell my complex solutions to clients?”  I know that he was MOSTLY kidding … but just MOSTLY 🙂 ..

There was a time when there was a “Birds-of-a-Feather” attitude and interaction of ideas was commonplace.  We worked together, made fast and long-term friends, “friendly” competitors in the industry and life-long friendships with many clients as well. But not anymore.

The fact is that the ultimate customer for tech solutions is being “treated like a mushroom”  (look it up 😉 ) by members of our industry only driven by the maintenance and support of their own legitimacy and the tech that THEY only know – apparently.

And businesses haven’t caught on to this because their managers are in the same boat.

I believe that this is because of the constant change in the industry. I’ve seen Integrators business just dry up as their customers are sucked up to the Cloud, I’ve seen promises of great wonderful visual solutions that do not discuss how hard it’s really going to get past that one pretty demo, I’ve seen so many friends over 50 just fall right out of the business because they just aren’t wanted anymore, despite their huge experience, their need for gainful employment  and their willingness to work hard and smart.

I believe that all this is simply because the core technologies have got cheaper and cheaper and cheaper (internet, communications generally, computers, software, etc.), while the human component is following the same path … but can only go so far down before disaster happens.

So everyone in IT is under threat of losing their livelihood at any time and this is leading to the natural cornered rat instinct in many people in the industry.  At the same time the economy really does suck (regardless of what they say) as companies are forced to try to save their lives by cost-cutting at all levels.  Yet at the same time these same companies are trying to become more and more dependent on IT and not people.

But the way things are going there just won’t be anyone left in IT to support them.  If business won’t pay or if their expectations are so affected by the BS they hear out there from these same frantically promoting IT vendors and consulting forms, then in the end the whole thing’s gonna come off the rails … and not just their IT departments.

Everyone both in and outside of businesses are hanging onto their jobs/reputations by their fingernails, and in an IT environment when in a second everything you believe could be completely made useless in a single day, people are pretty self-defensive.  As long as  getting another job/gig is impossible unless you are 30 years old and living over your parents’ garage, with 25 years of experience in technology that’s only been on the market for 1 year, people will get even meaner.

Not sure what will fix this.  Frankly I think this is an irreversible trend. It will just get worse and worse as less and less young people go into IT because there just aren’t enough opportunities there, pay is going down and because there is no security.  But it is important not to kid ourselves about this fact and find ways to protect ourselves and our businesses from the inevitable. “Be Prepared”

While we beat each other up like Alan Smithson points out, we ALL lose .. no one wins … not even our Customers.

And in the end the Customers themselves will stand there and say “Where’d everybody go ?” … and no one will answer at any price.

And they will be at fault to a large extent … but we will all be as well for letting all this negativity consume us.  The old saying “We have to hang together or we’ll all hang separately” might just apply here.

Have a nice day everyone 🙂

Dick

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‘Real-Enough-Time’ Data

I see and hear a whole lot of noise and effort around the acquisition of “Real-Time” data in their Power BI Reports and Dashboards. I argue here that most times this is simply not necessary nor preferred and that it is causing a fair amount of unnecessary disruption, stress and expense in BI projects everywhere.

Real-Time is another one of those “Cause Célèbre” topics that always crops up in Technology where the mantra becomes that “Unless you are doing the absolutely coolest, most difficult most advanced feature available in a particular tech then you’re just ‘not a real man (or woman) !!'”

That’s crap (IMHO).  I have always looked at any new tech and decided what most “Real People” would get the most value from the tech.  This has never worked to my advantage I’m afraid because the Illuminati of my technologies never seem to understand what I am saying is NOT meant to be a threat to them … despite the fact THAT IT ISN’T !!

I always try to make the tech useful for LOTS of people, not just as a way of generating consulting and/or training fees for myself.  Dumb eh?

Oh well… Let’s do it again…

In business I have found that the vast amount of data needed to track your business (above the level of maybe those who actually supervise or operate the Line or manage the bank balances and float) do not need nor should they look at should NOT be “Real-Time Data”.  The operative need I call “Real-Enough Time Data”:

  1. Production data needs to be collected at the end of a shift or day or week or month so you can compare against similar time-frames in previous periods
  2. Reordering (unless you are on a super-tight JIT scenario) can and should not be done real-time at any time.  Daily, weekly or monthly is much more “manageable” and efficient.
  3. Balance Sheet and Income Statement data should ONLY be looked at ONCE A MONTH IS CLOSED and all the accounts are reconciled, the accruals posted.
  4. Historical data is inert regardless and definitely does not need to be published over and over again.

Ironically I find that collecting this data in Excel allows me the control of timing that I really want … either through the spreadsheet itself or through timed Tasks in Windows or PowerShell. Very manageable yourself.

By using XLPublish‘s technology you can schedule or manually initiate and control your extracts easily, reliably and by yourself while taking advantage of all the “goodness” offered by Microsoft Excel. 

We capture the exact data and time of the last refresh of your data for you and you can show that on your Dashboard.  You can publish any Dataset you collect with XLP to as many App Workspaces you want to have synchronized data in.  And you can capture your data incrementally as easy as typing an ellipsis.

Hope this made ya think.

Dick

 

 

Posted in Excel, Office Automation, OLAP, Power BI, Power BI Desktop, Power Query, PowerPivot, Process Automation, Self-Service BI, Spreadsheets, the Cloud, Uncategorized, XLPublish, XLPublish.com | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Really Need/Want All That Detailed Data In Your Power BI or Tableau Or Other DataSets?

Huh ?

I remember some years ago standing next to an IT guy at the biggest Brewing company in Canada of the time.  He proudly showed me a new product he had created that allowed the President (down the hall) to see down to the level of how much Brand X was sold at that bar across the street last evening!! 

My reply was “Why?“. I don’t think he got it, but oh well.

Data at any level above lowest level Operations and Accounting is “Business Reporting” and that means aggregations. The President of a large Corporation does not need nor should be interested in that level of “Granularity”.  That is MY opinion after decades of building reports for businesses worldwide.

If I am a Manager I will say:

“Show me data of how did we do in Sales, Operations, HR or Finance for a period of time against what we said we’d do, and against how we did previously, in the same units of time and with the same or different business activities or business organization aggregated to a level that is not exposing data that might be a security breach of our staff or customers’ info.  Display that data only down to a level of granularity that helps me run the part of the business that I am responsible for.”

This is in fact a sub-set of the BI “story” and actually needs a different approach to data management than you would for that mythical analysis at all levels for all time.

Pre-Aggregation

Main point … Detail records are useless in business reporting and take up a lot of room and slow processes down and especially quickly become a security issue (if there is info in the details that expose data that is sensitive).

Detailed records are for querying individual invoices or shipments or variances in production on a specific date and time. They are the realm of the AR or AP clerk and the individual salesperson. A properly configured AR report is not just about one or two invoices, it is about trends in customer AR to see weak spots in your sales channel and to manage your financial risk.   If a line manager is looking at too detailed records then they are not able to see the “Big Picture”.  The need is to aggregate the information to the point where it tells you something about what’s happening or going to happen to your business.

You can of course use a A380 to fly 80 people a few hundred miles.  But there are many more Regional Jets and prop-jobs making short-haul flights than there are A380 flights … And it’s not only the size of the plane that makes the big plane a problem … it’ the overhead.  An A380 would just be over-kill at every level of the process.  Same with data frankly.

You might be surprised how a few repeatable, understandable techniques in Microsoft Excel can wrestle even large amounts of data better than most people realize. (I have posted about this before here and might revisit it soon).  Combined with all the capabilities originally built into Excel thanks to Power Pivot and Power Query combined with the advanced capabilities of Pivot Tables anyone can leverage their existing Excel models and skills to maximum advantage without having to retool to something like Power BI Desktop.  Other tools for Reporting (Tableau, Qlikview, iDashboard, Sisense, etc., etc.) have their own tech for this but fundamentally Excel can feed them all.  Or you can just use the summarized Excel results in Excel Dashboards or Reports themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a database guy, having been a senior contributor to the Microsoft Access community for decades and especially using SQL Server and SQL Azure Databases as the backend.  I would be totally happy to just do all my Microsoft Power BI or Tableau dashboards using just database server sources directly … But Excel has ALL the hooks to ALL the data servers and sources everywhere that I might need.

Furthermore (rightly or wrongly) Excel is undeniably the largest “store” of organizational data and results in the world and this is not going to change anytime soon – nor should it.  Excel is also a great platform for new purpose-built data aggregation going forward.

Conclusion

Using Excel to pre-aggregate your organization’s data, the way it is intended to be used, will get people up and running with their “modern”, sexy business reports and dashboards with a minimum of cost, time, general disruption or risk to the running of their businesses. 

This is the reason we built the XLpublish Add-In which we built to close the gap between you Excel models and the disciplined table structures needed to publish your Business Reports.  It is the next natural step for Excel users in our opinion.  Without XLPublish it will continue to be hard to properly integrate your Excel results with your other organizational data collection.

With this series of posts I hope to lead us BACK to Excel not away from it.  I believe that Excel can and should be the core of quality “Business Reporting” today and tomorrow.

I will be discussing how this can be achieved in a series of posts right here . To be continued….

Dick Moffat

dick@xlpublish.com

Posted in Business Intelligence, Excel, Office Automation, OLAP, Power BI, Power BI Desktop, Power Query, PowerPivot, Self-Service BI, Spreadsheets, Uncategorized, XLPublish, XLPublish.com | 1 Comment

Excel Client Is Not Going Away … Business Reporting Needs It.

Business Reporting For Today

I am always thinking a lot about the entire Business Reporting environment.  In fact I have done this constantly now for about 40 years, actually.  While I started as a “Real” person” in a “Real” industry doing a “Real” job (a commodity trader), I got seriously interested in databases and spreadsheets as soon as they became available on the PC waaaaaay back then – because they were so useful.  I got so good at it right away that this tech BECAME my business and still is.

While analyzing the marketplace I have always made a point of drawing my own conclusions about things … an attitude that has frankly caused me more pain that satisfaction.  At times I have been in sync with the prevailing winds of the biz, but in recent years more often I have taken my own tack. That’s what I’m doing again now I guess …

Here are a few initial thoughts:

Excel’s Platform

So at this point in time my first “contrary” view is this:

Today Excel’s Client version is perfectly positioned to play a BIG role in Business Reporting both now and probably forever and I also believe it is time for people and organizations to take Microsoft Excel Client running on Microsoft Windows seriously. (Notice that this is the opposite of a negative comment about Microsoft BTW (just sayin’)

There are also HUGE arguments for running Excel behind the firewall any time.

This not only makes the files themselves more secure but even more important is the fact that the user/dev would have direct connectivity to company data sources directly from internal sources.  The idea of a Data Gateway through the firewall to get back to company data sources just has never made it for me.  If I was IT, I wouldn’t like this and if I did I would want to control it tightly.

This way I can still connect to Cloud data sources as I would from anywhere but if I can connect my Excel models to internal company data quickly and easily and securely behind the firewall I’m far more likely to use the advanced features Excel Client provides and get better Reports and results.

I will be talking in a later post about how to use XLPublish Add-In to publish ONLY the data that you need and at the appropriate level of granularity that is acceptable to the Cloud – but that is another “Story”.

I do not believe that Excel Client will go away any time sooner or later simply because there is no way that a browser-based version can provide even a fraction of the reliability, performance, connectivity and features in the product right now when run in Windows – and it never will.

The evidence of this fact to me is the fact that Microsoft despite trying to migrate Excel for over a decade and through either mis-direction or simply through technical difficulties (or a bit of both) the current version of Excel On-Line (and in their cross-platform strategy) simply will never be able to reproduce anywhere near the capabilities currently they are using daily in Windows. So in what way is that progress?  Maybe it should be considered another product rather than a potential replacement eh?  Hmmmm?

I also believe that the online Excel will continue to be ignored and Microsoft will have to ship a Windows version of Excel forever whether they like it or not. It is time for Microsoft to actually LIKE that fact rather than fighting it.  To suggest that you should actually migrate to the on-line version that is so many times weaker than the client version is nothing but irresponsible.

So if I am right, I believe that it is time to get serious about the Excel Client. We all need to promote Best Practices that can be used by individuals and that will allow Organizations to get value from their models for years and years toward the future. We have to remember that business processes in mature businesses do NOT change all that often and probably shouldn’t if you have a good handle on your info (data) and good structured data sources and Excel models.

So with this series of posts I hope to lead us BACK to Excel not away from it.  I believe that Excel can and should be the core of quality “Business Reporting” today and tomorrow.

I will be discussing how this can be achieved in future posts right here . To be continued….

Dick

Posted in Business Intelligence, Cloud, Excel, Office Automation, OLAP, Power BI, Power BI Desktop, Power Query, Process Automation, Self-Service BI, Spreadsheets, Uncategorized, VBA, XLPublish, XLPublish.com | Leave a comment

Excel Pivot Tables or Power BI Matrix ? – Use Both With XLPublish

 

Let’s start by just looking at these two “Tables”:

Excel Pivot Table:

Power BI Matrix Visualization

 

The Same?

Look pretty much the same, eh? Well to the Viewer they are, but for the person distributing this report there is a huge difference in delivery, capability and maintenance between an Excel file with a Pivot Table and a Power BI Report with a Matrix Visualization.

How many managers have told me “I don’t like Pivot Tables!”, or have completely lost their way/minds in Pivot Tables that I have created only to get frustrated and abandon reports because of it ???  Lots sadly.

Also does it really make sense, (or is it actually a serious security problem … GDPR anyone?), for you to have to distribute an entire spreadsheet just so your bosses and those who are interested in your aggregated results can see their Pivot Table data (which as mentioned above they hate anyway) ?

This is a not only a frustration it is actually a serious blocker for moving forward with your models that are so important to your business and its managers and key to your businesses data management “story”.

But Pivot Tables Are Still The Key Tech

The fact is that I strongly believe that Pivot Tables (especially when sourced out of the Data Model using Power Pivot and/or Power Query) are undeniably the best part of Excel’s toolkit – Bar-None.  If you are a serious Excel developer you must be using Pivot Tables!   ( IMHO anyway … ).  I also believe that this will never change despite renewed efforts these days to “clip Excel’s wings”.

But I know that the problems listed above are real and not trivial.

So how can I “have my Pivot Tables and Distribute Them Successfully Too” ?

  1. The fact is that Power Pivot natively cannot consume Pivot Tables other than a simple Range of cells with info in them. They do end up in a Table but are crude and limited so that is not a great option to me.
  2. You can also not Export a Pivot Table from Excel either (except as a crudely refreshable image object).
  3. You can no doubt emulate a Pivot Table in Power BI using the Data Model within Power BI Desktop but that means learning the features of Power BI Desktop’s Data modelling  first … and it also means probably exporting all your detailed source data to the Cloud.
  4. Or you can get the XLPublish Add-In and simply “Tag” your existing Pivot Table(s) in your model with one click, Publish to Power BI in one-click, and then create your “Matrix” in your Power BI Report by simply dragging the data to your template in the correct order to recreate your Pivot Table of “results” exactly as it looks in your Pivot Table in Excel.  All of this without publishing any detail data to the Cloud … just the Aggregated data of the Pivot Table(s)
  5. Then you distribute this report(s) to your user(s) in Power BI using an App Workspace so they can see the exact results of your Pivot Table (either in a single matrix with hierarchies or as several individual Matrixes and/or Charts each at the level of granularity that your “Consumers” would feel comfortable with.
  6. Then when/if your source Pivot Table gets refreshed in your Excel file with new data, you simply refresh all the Power BI objects in Reports or Dashboards dependent on it with one “RePublish” click in Excel.
  7. And a couple of more things …with XLPublish you can capture all possible data combinations from your Pivot Table in our own “Cube” datasets and further you can flag XLPublish to capture any number of serial versions of the data that you publish from your Pivot Table.

So What Do You Get?

So look back at the images at the top … Same exact report … But with the data set in Power BI you can go on to reveal this same information in many other ways like for example these very simple visualizations:

Not Filtered:Filtered By Departments and Age Cohorts:

So in short, by using XLPublish and Power BI with your Excel Pivot Tables as a Source you get:

  1. No detail data published to the Cloud or to those who receive your Reports or Dashboards.  Privacy is ensured.
  2. A great distribution “story” … here’s the same Report shown working “Live” on my iPhone (for what that’s worth) along with the top of my moustache and the bottom of my nose doing my best Wilford Brimley imitation):
  3. Your source Excel file stays exactly where you had it in the first-place inside your Network or in a Cloud storage .. wherever you want.
  4. You can refresh these reports in real-time by Clicking one button in your Excel file.  Within seconds those with rights to your Report will see their changes wherever they are on whatever device they’re looking at.

So there ya go !!

I have shown you the “Distribution Story for An Excel Pivot Table” that the XLPublish Add-In provides.  This is just one of the many capability that frankly no one else offers at this time and at a price that is hard to beat.  I will show you the “External Data Story” in a future post about XLPublish Add-In

Enjoy !!

Dick

 

 

Posted in Analysis Services, Business Intelligence, Cloud, Excel, Hierarchies, Office Automation, OLAP, Power BI, Power BI Desktop, Power Query, PowerPivot, Process Automation, Self-Service BI, Spreadsheets, the Cloud, Uncategorized, VBA, XLPublish, XLPublish.com | Leave a comment

Self-Service BI Anyone? Your Excel Models with XLPublish and Power BI Offer You That Today !

XLP 01 Clean

Brutal Editorial Honesty:

This post is intended to convince you to try the XLPublish Add-In for Excel in your work and in your organization. Please read on …

Pre-Apology:

Here we go … a loong posting that is effectively a White Paper, I guess. Sorry 😦 the topic of this post is just too large for small bullet-point minimizations.  I believe that this trend for “keeping it simple”, while practical in everyday business, sometimes is just inadequate.  This is one of this topics and one of those times.

My BI “Cred” :

I am a  database developer of long standing (late 80’s)  as well as a spread-sheeter for a living since 1985.  Believe me, I personally understand how transactional date really must NOT/can NOT be kept in spreadsheets and have spent decades promoting this idea.

I did my first Excel/OLAP solution for Citibank in New York City in 1994-6. It was internally known as “Citilens” and it queried a Sybase OLAP Server from Excel using an OCX and returned Daaset data to Excel where I created a OPivot-Table like output using VHA macros. Then users could literally “drill-down” by clicking on a cell tuple and the VBA would run a drill-down to the Server and the returned data would then be added to a new Worksheets showing thte drilled data and so on and so on. I gotta admit it was really cool !! 🙂 .

It worked really great for a couple of years!  While it was a big success (until the group I worked for disappeared in a merger along with the solution 😦 ), I had already come to the conclusion that true BI (traditional Dr.Codd stuff) was just way too out there for any such thing beyond a centralized IT implementation even with an Excel front-end.

But let’s not forget that companies EVERYWHERE are collecting huge amounts of data into Servers just through the normal activities of running their businesses anyway – it’s available for free 🙂 – to Excel users like you!

Self-Service BI:

Move forward to the early ’10’s and the “party-line” definition of “Self-Service BI” has been “coined”.   All the talk about Self-Service BI for the last few years caught my eye with the release of Denali in 2011 and Power BI for Office 365 in 2013. (Note …While this post is about  Power BI I believe that it all probably applies to competitive products currently on the market).

I define “Self-Service BI”  as:

“Corporate Power Users and Analysts making “bespoke” Visualizations of Company Data  and Results in Power BI while sourcing  their data from Data Mart tables assembled and managed by IT (centrally) or from Internet sources. The User then Publishes the results in a “pretty” Browser interface on any device anywhere”.

But my biggest concerns were very simple… namely:

  1. If the vast majority of business knowledge and analysis is in Microsoft Excel files now what kind of disruption would a complete abandonment of spreadsheets to be replaced by Data Marts, Warehouses, Oceans, Pools (or whatever collective storage paradigm you want to use) mean for every company on the planet?
  2. Who would do the planning, the design and the work?
  3. What mechanisms would have to be put in place to support, maintain and evolve this centralized data store?
  4. What completely new skills will your users need to learn and how will you develop a pool of ongoing skills in your organization to sustain all this new tech, data and visuals.
  5.  and so on and so on and so on …

If all of this could be accomplished, it would be all well and good. BUT, as a noted contrarian, or someone who draws their own conclusions from the facts available (same thing today, apparently),  I concluded that the REAL definition of “Self_Service BI” is , should and always will run through Microsoft Excel. And there are literally many millions of perfectly responsible Corporate spreadsheets already in place as a starting point.

With the addition of the Data Model, Power Query and DAX measures and KPIs and all the many ways to connect to external corporate data sources, Excel is perfectly placed to become the go-to middleware between your data and your Reports in Power BI.  In addition there are millions and millions of people who already know how to use Excel, have faith in it and are looking for the next “story” in the distribution of their spreadsheet results.  Hello Power BI !!

Like it or not Excel is where today’s “BI” work is done and will be for a looong time (or maybe forever).  So why not make Excel data “work” with Power BI now ? !.

The Lay Of The Land:

I know that 10’s of millions of people in millions of companies Worldwide use Microsoft Excel to do their analysis of their businesses (not all financial as it also includes Operations, Warehousing, Production, HR, etc. etc.).

I also know that many of those spreadsheets are not the greatest designs in the World … have many serious issues some of which are actually risks to their own companies.  But believe me … building a data-warehouse based BI alternative is NEVER going to be the panacea it is sold as either.  In the end it will just be DATA .. then it has to all be AGGREGATED AND ANALYZED like in Excel (for example) … there are no simple answers to this issue.

First I refer to the disruption referred to earlier.  That disruption is because all anyone wants to talk about are BIG all-encompassing BI solutions.  Big commitments in time, money, human resources, business focus and general disruption … all for the HOPE of a successful result that preferably ends up better than all those spreadsheets they use now .. but with NO guarantee and a history of failures over many decades now.

BUT at the same time the existing models are built by people who work in their companies and understand not just the tech but also the business.  I cannot explain how important that is. Frankly, to convert EVERY company away from spreadsheets to data warehousing would require an army of capable database/BI/Analysts worldwide that just cannot be grown in any future I can envision.  Furthermore isn’t it ironic that despite all of this I know many, many so-called BI experts who are not exactly overwhelmed by REAL job offers at anything like an acceptable salary or rate.

I have spoken at Modeloff Global Training Camps in Toronto and New York (and hopefully in London this spring) where the attendees all fit this “spec” of serious, responsible spreadsheet “managers” (not just devs and users).  There are millions of people out there in my estimate who, at least in their own minds, think they are building responsible, reliable models for their bosses.  And good on them !

Excel’s Native Power BI Weaknesses:

I also know that Microsoft is out there promoting their “Native” Power BI capabilities.  This is good at one level as it is actually introducing many to Power BI for the first time

But sadly, after extensive research on the capabilities of Power BI to “Pull” Excel data and Excel’s capability to “Push” data to Power BI it is my conclusion that neither of these offerings was what I would call “Industrial Strength” and are in fact going to lead users into a wall of pain … What I see indicates that these features are just built to show “some” effort has been made but these capabilities are designed to actually discourage Excel as a source of any serious business intelligence in the medium to short-term. It needs to be better…

My Conclusion:

So in the end I believe everyone should accept that spreadsheet-based analytics and most prominently EXCEL MANAGEMENT REPORTING are simply not going away any time soon – if ever.  I know that this is anathema to sooooo many in the IT industry, and even, if I might be so  bold, in Microsoft itself (which has always been hard for me to accept).  Time for them to get over it.

But I personally see the potential of Microsoft’s Power BI (both in the tech as well as the cost and the sizeable potential market). I therefore decided that there had to be a way to help business users get value from Power BI using their existing Excel models as quickly as possible, with incremental progress rather than a “big-bang”, producing not just a short-term intermediate solution but truly reliable “Production” solutions for long-term use.

So  we built the XLPublish Add-In for YOU … With it you simply select the Table, Range, Chart or Pivot Table that you wish to Publish to Power BI as the source for a Visual there and “Publish” it ! You data will be instantly refreshed in your Power BI Dashboards.

Then after making data changes in your spreadsheet (daily, weekly, monthly or whenever) you simply “Re-Publish” in XLPublish and your Power BI Dashboards will immediately reflect that change.  No Data Gateways, No DBA’s, just YOUR data for YOUR Dashboard for YOUR Data Consumers !

I have  Partnered with David Hoppe in the Netherlands (the king of Excel Add-Ins in my estimation) to create this product … which is now fully available for download for 30 days of free testing, followed by 5 US$ per month thereafter for only those who DEVELOP SOLUTIONS using XLPublish.

You can download it RIGHT NOW from our Website XLPublish.com  where Registering in our secure licensing process will get you using XLPublish in a couple of minutes.

We have poured all of our years of experience as Excel and database developers into this product. We are certain that you’ll get value out of it IMMEDIATELY !     In fact we promise that…

While the saying is “Excel and Power BI “Better” Together” … We say “Excel and XLPublish and Power BI “Best” Together”  🙂

But the big story is “XLPublish Gives You True “Self-Service BI” Right Now !!

Please download and enjoy XLPublish.  Also PLEASE reach out to us any time with any questions.

Dick

dick@xlpublish.com

 

Posted in Analysis Services, Business Intelligence, Cloud, Excel, Office Automation, OLAP, Power BI, Power BI Desktop, Power Query, PowerPivot, Process Automation, Self-Service BI, Spreadsheets, the Cloud, XLPublish, XLPublish.com | Tagged | Leave a comment

New Feature In XLPublish – Multi Workspace Publish

While XLPublish is already a complete and mature piece of tech at this point, we have added one new feature that you might find useful,  Multi-Workspace Publishing

With the introduction of App Workspaces in Power BI (a great way to organize your various “audiences” for power BI Dashboards/Reports) we have decided to add the ability to Publish XLPublish Datasets to multiple Workspaces at once.

This means that every App Workspace that uses a particular Dataset published using  XLPublish will have its own synchronized version of the Single Latest Dataset published from that single Excel Source file.

All you need to do is string a list of your Workspace targets separated by commas in the Workspaces dialog :

 

Thanks to App Workspaces and XLPublish you can provide consistent, timely, reliable data to multiple audiences easily and reliably.

Bye for now …

Dick

 

Posted in Business Intelligence, Excel, Office Automation, Power BI, Power BI Desktop, Power Query, PowerPivot, Spreadsheets, XLPublish, XLPublish.com | Leave a comment