If your company (like most companies) is still using Excel 2003 and you are implementing a data warehouse which contains SSAS cubes, you might be interested in the Microsoft Excel 2003 Add-in for SQL Server Analysis Services. I have not used this tool extensively, but it does bring Excel 2003 closer to Excel 2007 in terms of OLAP capabilities. Here is the blurb from the download page, I will post more as I spend time with the tool. This is not a new find, nor is it likely news to anybody, but worth noting so I am putting it here.
The Excel Add-in for Analysis Services enables users to access and analyze data from multiple Analysis Services Cubes, and to create rich, customized reports directly in Microsoft Office Excel 2003 or Microsoft Excel 2002. This download can improve data analysis, shorten reporting cycles, and enhance your company's ability to respond to customers.
This download not only reduces the time and resources required to train users, but it also eliminates the need for organization’s to support specialized reporting systems and tools. The key business benefits of Excel Add-in for Analysis Services include:
- Visibility in Excel into business trends
- Increased speed and quality of decision-making
- Streamlined data analysis that shortens reporting cycles and saves resources
- Increased reporting flexibility through rich, highly customized, and refreshable reports
- Access to relevant information from multiple data sources
About the Excel Add-in for Analysis Services
With the Excel Add-in for Analysis Services, individual users can manage the reporting cycle from beginning to end and eliminate the need to cut and paste data from multiple systems.
- Access: Easily create and maintain live data connections to multiple Analysis Services cubes, ensuring data consistency and integrity, and combine data from multiple sources into a single report.
- Analyze: Conduct detailed analysis using native Excel capabilities. Extend the richness of analysis through “what if” and drill through capabilities.
- Author: Easily personalize and refresh report layouts. Minimize end user training and reduce reliance on IT due to Excel’s popularity and ease of use.