(Jedox topped 12 categories in this year’s BARC Planning Survey. Our new 12-part blog series tells you why “Business Benefits”, “Ease of Use” or “Implementation support” should be on your check list when choosing business software. Second category: Ease of Use.)

Spreadsheets – Pros/Cons

With apologies to the bard, the question for many companies is whether Excel is to be or not to be. The application has many advantages, but its limitations have lead to the term “Excel Hell.” Let’s consider both options.

To Excel Or Not To Excel, Is That the Question?

The widespread use of Excel is also an advantage; it’s almost a universal business language. The application is so ubiquitous it has become the de facto term for spreadsheet; yet the fact is the myopic perception of Excel as just a traditional spreadsheet has led to a less-than-robust use of its full functionality as a problem-solving tool.

Excel is here to stay

Indeed, Excel is here and will be with us for the foreseeable future. It can hold large amounts of data, and can perform some data analysis on the data within the application through formulas and macros. It’s easy and fast – for a single user.

The problem is that over time Excel becomes the basis of complex business processes with many stakeholders in an organization, but it doesn’t lend itself to collaboration. Excel sits outside IT-managed systems, but holds business-critical reporting, planning, and analysis. That gap marks the beginning of Excel Hell, where information becomes less of a tool and more of a problem in that it can’t be easily or accurately shared and BI processes that try to leverage it are unwieldy and complex.

Some would counsel it’s time to move on from Excel if more sophisticated planning is to be done. But what if there is a way to continue to embrace Excel – to leverage the Excel skillsets personnel are familiar and adept with – while realizing a higher level of data modeling and business planning?

Now there’s no need to wonder.

Jedox embraces and extends Excel

Jedox removes Excel’s drawbacks while retaining its advantages, transforming the world’s most used reporting and planning tool into the most useful tool. Jedox manages data and business rules as well as secures data, all while allowing users to use their Excel expertise. Business users find Jedox easy to work with because their familiarity with Excel provides an intuitive feel for how it works; they can take their Excel-based processes and quickly and easily become a Jedox BI expert, on the Web, smartphone, tablet, while working in a cloud environment.

What Users Are Saying about Ease of Use

For those involved in business software selection, among the most important resources are the independent assessments done by the Business Application Research Center (BARC). BARC just released its 2016 Planning Survey, the world’s largest survey of planning software users.

Among those using development-oriented planning solutions (i.e., solutions that allow customers to implement totally individual planning requirements), Jedox ranked number one in terms of ease of use, scoring higher than the peer group average (8.3 vs. 4.6) in that sector. Here is BARC’s viewpoint on Jedox’s top-ranking performance in this category:

Barc: ease of use

With its Excel add-in and browser-based spreadsheet interface – a type of Excel on the Web – Jedox offers great usability. The ease of use of the Excel add-in allows power users to do almost anything they need – including building and manipulating reports as well as planning forms and analyses – in the universally familiar Microsoft Office environment. The ease of use for planning activities in Excel is highly appreciated by Jedox customers and also a reason why companies choose Jedox.”
(Source: BARC THE Planning Survey 16)

No need to pose gloomy questions on the brink of Excel Hell

“Jedox’s Excel-like interface makes it easy to create reports with just a few clicks. You do not need to be an IT expert in order to work with Jedox, your Excel knowledge will get you on your own“ – Richard S., Head of Controlling, Fiat FCA Motor Village Germany

With Jedox’s leveraging of Excel for advanced planning and collaboration, there’s no longer a need to pose gloomy questions on the brink of Excel Hell. To see how Jedox empowers self-service, data-driven modeling, you can start your free Jedox trial. To download the complete summary of Jedox in the BARC study at no cost, go here.