Mid-Market organizations have been widely using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as a tool for Business Intelligence. A study conducted by “Curiosity Box” on small and mid-sized businesses has revealed that Excel is integral for financial managers and accountants’’ daily toolbox. The business managers and accountants of small and medium-sized organizations are reporting and running data analysis rather than tapping into financial data.

Microsoft Excel and its overlap with Business Intelligence have great advantages for mid-market business organizations. This article explains “How Mid-Market Businesses can use data to Excel” and leverage its direct application to Business Intelligence. In this article, readers will also learn about how Excel is shaping the BI initiatives for mid-marketing organizations.

Creating Detailed Reports on Business Status:

The business intelligence and high-end analytical solution sot wares and tools have very high associated and maintenance costs which are why many mid-market businesses lack the budget to invest both in this software and highly skilled professionals. But they can replace these expensive and highly skilled tools with Microsoft Excel. It is easy to access, reliable, makes accurate, timely and detailed reports. The mid-market organizations can use Excel to create daily reports on their current business status.

Bridging the Gap Between Excel and Accounting:

The mid-market organizations can leverage Excel to use and take “Financial Data” and then presenting this in a similar interface for data analysis. These companies can easily achieve these tasks with the help of a Business Intelligence (BI) tool, “Sage Intelligence”. This tool is designed for addressing the shortcomings and limitations of excel which a mid-marketing company may face. With the help of this tool, the companies can easily deal with data accuracy, multiple versions of reports on multiple desktops and manual capture and data manipulation.

With this tool, the businesses have the control, flexibility, and customizability with Report Designer module. With these modules, the companies can fast-track the financial reports building via an interface within Excel which is easy to use and drag and drop.

Using Excel as a Part of Mid-Market Overall B.I. Strategy:

Today, the mid-market businesses are using Excel to maximize the success rate of their Business Intelligence initiatives. But how are they increasing the success of BI initiatives with the help of Microsoft Excel? It varies from organization to organization as it is based on the current business infrastructure and the use of Business Intelligence in that organization. The benefits which the companies can get from Excel depend on whether the companies are leveraging Excel as a major part of B.I. framework. The medium-sized companies can reduce the overall “Total Cost of Ownership –TCO” by selecting a solution which enables the company to leverage their current set of skills in Excel.

Mid-marketing companies are doing this by taking a practical look at the available solutions and exploring the ways to incorporate and combine the current Excel skills & uses into Business Intelligence Framework.

Combining the Business Strategy and Excel:

The mid-market organizations can achieve greater business benefits if they use a combination of “Business Intelligence” strategy and “Excel”. Many medium-sized business organizations are using the B.I. and Excel combination to create a strong, cohesive “Analytical Environment”. This cohesive environment can be used to create accurate, reliable and detailed reports using the data analysis within Excel. In addition, the organizations can achieve additional greater benefits by combining these two tools and leveraging them together with the B.I. framework created due to the spread of Excel.

Overlooking Excel Spreadsheet Limitations by Applying B.I.:

Microsoft Excel spreadsheet has a number of functionalities and uses with a Business Intelligence framework which is undeniable. Excel provides an additional value and data visibility to decision makers and analysts. The organizations can easily look & analyze data, share insights & views and can plan for the future business events with greater ease. But all these benefits can be multiplied if the companies can use business intelligence as an “Enabler”.

The B.I. use as an enabler helps to cope with the limitations of Excel spreadsheet such as data accessibility and data volume. These limitations restrict the end users to look at and analyze a very limited and defined set of data. In addition, with these limitations, the end user may have to create their own information to run a transaction-based or/and performance-based analyses. But with the B.I. solutions, the companies can use Excel Spreadsheet as the Front-end and can enable a broader access to data.

An Overall Expansion of Access:

The mid-market organizations can also use data to excel to achieve an expanded access to Business Intelligence. As the business market continues to grow and mature with time, therefore, the medium organizations’ leverage Excel with the B.I. infrastructure. The expansion of B.I. access can be achieved by a continued expansion of Excel-related skills and functionality within the existing and new B.I. applications.

Excel an Entry Point for Mid-Marketing Organizations:

The uses and functionalities of Excel are not advanced enough to provide all the benefits and advantages of Business Intelligence alone. But it provides a point of maximized visibility of data and business strategies for the business. It is an entry point for the medium and small sized organizations into a broader business framework and visibility. By combining the Excel and Business Intelligence the organization can enable its decision makers and analysts to combine multiple higher volume data resources. The availability of robust algorithms, reporting, analysis, and dashboards has enabled the organization to achieve a next level flexibility and customizability. With the help of excel and appropriate mix of B.I. solutions the organization can make decisions with better strategies, increased level of analysis and sharing the future business insights on broader ranger across the organization.

The overall outcome of the use of Excel and mix of B.I. solutions is an increased business viability, expanded analysis, and expansion of data access which is helpful for a consistent and constant business maturity within the Business Intelligence Infrastructure. Excel Spreadsheets may not be as efficient as the other reporting and analytical software but it a better alternative for mid-market organizations.

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