Today I come not to praise Excel but to bury it. After reading Sean Jackson's excellent (and yes I am punning here) post: The Death of Excel I realized how important it is to terminate our dependence on Excel, to terminate with EXTREME prejudice. Here is Sean's take:
Today, Excel continues to reign over enterprise class business intelligence tools. According to Gartner, 70 to 80 percent of business intelligence projects fail2. Excel should have been superseded long ago, if one considers its pure features and functionality, especially if assessed in today’s data rich enterprise environment. We have all been there, in a fog of pivot tables, pie charts and the dreaded ‘hourglass of doom’ as formulas are calculated and data is churned. Why are we all so reliant on Excel as our everyday data repository, analysis tool and engine?"Fog" is the perfect word. We can't get where we are going, dynamic sites tied to cool marketing automation such as Marketo firing predictive analytics in near real time tightening sites around us like huggies, with Excel.
blogs.actian.com and Sean's Death of Excel post
Instead we need agnostic coupling tools such as Entrinsik's Informer tied to friendly "plug and play" Quant tools that haven't been developed yet though a couple of Durham startups, Argyle Social, Spring Metrics and the magical email marketing dinosaur Bronto, are giving it the old college try.
Once the fog is behind us we will wonder what were were thinking - all that typing, what ifing and pivot tabling, but, like any cult, it is impossible to know how hypnotized you are when it is happening. If you are a young company hoping to unseat Excel in some meaningful way let's talk. At the very least I will help beat your message across the plains with loud drums and smoke signals. At the most I will do some RNA recombination with the massively cool inside/out predictive modeling tool/site we are working on now.
Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Excel not to praise it, though praise is earned and deserved. We must wake up to our future and leave the comfort of warm fires (and spreadsheets) on cold nights. Leaving we see our friend Excel's service and genius. While appreciative bury it we must since we don't progress to a future of possibilities chained to the albatross of the past.