Will Gemini Break The Bottleneck?

For years I have been integrating Corporate data into my Excel and Access applications, proving the value of the technology over and over.  There have been huge gains in connectivity over the years and the capabilities of those two products to reach out to not only Access but also SQL Server, even Oracle and Excel data should be legendary.  There has always been “talk” about integration with Excel and the ability of Access to be the inerface between disparate data sources is quietly known everywhere (but usually considered a dirty little secret).

But lately I keep getting stopped out by the “gatekeepers” of corporate data and thanks to many of the things I have discussed here before, this trend is getting worse and worse and looks like it can only get worse still.  This is happening to  such a extent that committed projects have had to be cancelled (at my loss) and in other cases the manual, kludgy solutions I have been forced to accept have made processes that should be slick and easy look awkard and prone to error.  Despite some people getting this fact, nearly all the time it looks bad on me.  And it is getting so bad that there is a risk that everything I do will grind to a halt.

The days of applications that stand on their own with only data generated inside the apps themselves are gone.  Furthermore if there is not better cooperation from the “crypt keepers” of the Data Warehouses then all the progress made in Office connectivity over the last 20 years will be irrelevant.  Such a loss will be significant not only to us Devs but also to businesses everywhere who will end up either spending ten or a hundred times more or even simply doing without the value that can be squeezed out of all the data they collect using Excel and Access.

But now I see “Gemini” on the horizon – a BI tool that will supposedly operate inside Excel ( http://www.olapreport.com/Comment_Gemini.htm ).  I am very curious as to where Microsoft thinks they are going to get all that corporate data that they will need for Gemini  to succeed on corporate dektops (??).  I also wonder if perhaps Gemini actually works against Microsoft’s overall game-plan to become the darling of IT departments.  Offering an end-user BI tool that works in Excel looks to me to be about as exciting to IT as a ray of sunlight to a Vampire (nasty analogy I know –  but apt). 

I don’t see anything that would indicate that this product has a place in today’s Corporation, not because it wouldn’t be useful but because it will run itno the same exact bottleneck when its proponents try to get at the data they need to use it.  If it is sold as an End-User tool then it will be totally useless. This would be a real tragedy. 

While I see Gemini as possibly just the product we need to up the ante on our offering to existing and potential clients, without breaking this bottle-neck it will all be moot.  If Gemini CAN drive a wedge through this bottle-neck (on which I am not betting) then both Excel and Access will benefit.  If the data is made availble to Gemini then it will also be availble to Excel and Access.  But unless somebody does what it takes to break this logjam then Gemini’s screwed (and so are we).

Biggus

About Biggus Dickus

Dick is a consultant in London, ON Canada who specializes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Development.
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5 Responses to Will Gemini Break The Bottleneck?

  1. sam says:

    I have been playing around with Gemini for the last couple of weeks… and I am afraid I just dont get it…Whats different or better.

    a) It lets me connect to a Database – Well Excel can do that directly – Data-ImportExternal Data – New Database query

    b) Is the File with a “Gemini Pivot” smaller in size or is the speed faster…
    Well I actually saw the file size was slightly larger and did not notice much difference in speed…

    So may be I am missing something big !

  2. BIGGUS DICKUS says:

    Hey Sam ….. I can’t believe somewbody noticed this Post – not a gfood sign if you ask me🙂

    I am just downloading the Gemini add-in now so I’ll know more in a while. Gemini is a BI tool therefore it is intended to be used to add value to that data you are linking to by allowing you to create the equivalent of OLAP cube relationships within the data, by defining your own virtual Dimensions and Fact tables like one would in Analysis Services – but apparently in an interface that is more user-friendly (we’ll see about that I guess).

    I will let ya know once I gte into it. But I do believe that this “could” be a major development for those that believe in the value of Excel in organizations and ultimately the value of Users or (their proxies) as opposed to DBAs in Business Analysis or BI.

    Dick

  3. sam says:

    Dick..
    Play with the tool and if you find something that the tool can do that Excel already cant… the that would be interesting…I am still searching…

    • Dick Moffat says:

      Sam:

      I have to admit that I HAVE messed around with Gemini for the last week or so (not full time of course). I have spent a fair amount of time trying to get someone to explain to me what Gemini has to do with BI (unless of course you go out and buy SQL Server 2008 and implement a complex and demanding SSAS implementation – and link to THAT in Gemini) but to no avail.

      At this point I think if you’re going to promote Gemini as a BI tool that can do Cubes within Excel alone, then you might as well promote MS Query as a BI tool as well – and you’d better look up exactly what BI is – because at this point I don’t think Gemini is…

      Dick
      p.s. I WILL post on this when I get ALL the correct answers – not easy to come by I might add🙂

  4. Pingback: Maybe I Jumped The Gun On Gemini « Dick Moffat's Excel and Access Blog

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