Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Using Google Apps for Business Analytics - a major event or just a set of features?

While Gartner and other Business Inetlligence (Analytics and reporting) analysts and experts have recognized the magnitude and impact of Google and Panorama’s partnership on the BI world, some others are still a bit confused as to the meaning of this new development.
Let me try to explain why we have made such a significant bet on being the company that powers Google Apps and Google Docs with BI.

If you ask common business people if they perform BI (most will not even know what that means unless you ask about “analysis and reporting”), 90% will answer “sure I do, I use Excel”.
The sad reality (sad for us BI companies) is that we (BI companies) only deal with 10% of the population – the “Power users”, while 90% perform their reporting and analytics inside spreadsheet applications. It’s true, the numbers are changing and more people use BI tools but the ratio compared to spreadsheet is still very VERY low.

Microsoft has recognized the in 90% of the cases BI = spreadsheet-based analytics and therefore has invested in it and made it easier to connect from Excel directly into the line of business data (through SQL Analysis Services) to perform analytics by Information Workers.

Actually, one of the three main value pillars pushed by Microsoft for Office 2007 is “Business Intelligence”. This means that Microsoft is convincing their customers to use the latest version of Office by emphasizing the importance of BI in Excel.

Until now, Microsoft was on its own trying to upgrade to the latest version of Office as no other Spreadsheet application could provide that level of functionality: connect the productivity suite into the corporate data for personal analysis and reporting.

Well, now all that has changed. Google Docs / Apps provide a similar functionality powered by Panorama’s solution for Google Docs. Google Docs can now connect to the same data sources as Excel – SQL Analysis Services and be a true alternative to using Excel. Not only that, Google Docs has some clear advantages when it comes to collaboration, mobility, backup, updates and other great stuff.

In the near future, Google Spreadsheets, unlike other Spreadsheet products, will be able to connect to numerous data sources such as SAP BW,, Netsuite and others – something no other spreadsheet in the world can do.

Hope I got you excited :) would love to hear your feedback
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Friday, April 25, 2008

New to Google Pivot Tables?

If you need a step-by-step manual to walk you through setting up your pivot table in Google Spreadsheets, click the link below to download our Pivot Tables Manual.

We hope you find this useful!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Panorama Analytics gadget for Google Docs supports enterprise data sources

As promised, we released the first enterprise extension for Panorama Analytics for Google Docs in the form of SQL Server Analysis Services support. In the following days we are accepting new users by registration on our web site but in the next couple of weeks this will open up for the masses.

We’ve seen a very large amount of registrations since we announced on Thursday and expect to respond to all our users in the next couple of days. We thank everyone for their patience.
Many have emailed me asking about our plans for the product with Google. Well, we have a long list of systems and platforms we plan to support in the coming months with a goal of making the experience of using Google spreadsheets and other Google applications (such as iGoogle for dashboarding) a very powerful experience. I can’t disclose the exact plans yet but whether you use SAP or a SaaS based solution, you should expect to get some powerful functionality right from within Google Docs.

So why did we start with SQL Server Analysis Services? For two main reasons: (1) we got feedback from our existing customers who wanted to get a powerful extranet, collaborative solution for BI while using their existing BI data infrastructure and (2) it is the most popular data source (outside of spreadsheets themselves) for analysis using Pivot Table functionality.
How will it work? We have two supported scenarios for the SQL AS support.

The first one (which I find very cool) is the .cub file support. These .cub files ( are “offline cube” files that can be created from an existing Analysis Services cube. You can either use Excel to create those files or software that we will provide as a download in the next few days ( ).
These .cub files have always been a very powerful tool with one huge limitation – the file usually was too large to be emailed around with a spreadsheet making the solution of analyzing cubs a task that could only be performed locally without any collaborative capabilities. You basically couldn’t share the spreadsheet you’ve been using with anyone else due to the fact that the data was not inside the spreadsheet. Our new solution solves that problem. Once you upload a cub file and create a Google Spreadsheet pivot on it with our product you can share that view with any number of users who can still perform live analysis on the cub file data. The one limitation of cub files that we cannot fix is the fact that the data in a file is static and does not update from the source data. For that very reason we have scenario two which offers live connectivity to SQL Server Analysis Services cubes.

In this second scenario we will provide live connectivity to SQL Server Analysis Services cubes. Basically, any customer will have the ability to use our product from within Google docs to access a cube that was made accessible to the “cloud”.

Once you try out our product let us know what you think and thank for the tens of thousands of users that have shown so much interest in our new line of solutions with Google.

A New Solution - SQL Server Connectivity Using Google!

Panorama Introduces New Enterprise Business Intelligence Solution for Google Apps - Cloud Computing Analytics for Business Productivity

New Support for SQL ServerTM Analysis Services Allows Enterprise Customers to Use
Google Docs to Analyze, Report, Visualize Their Corporate Data

TORONTO, ON (DATE) – Fresh from announcing their addition of Business Intelligence (BI) to Google Docs, Panorama Software, a global leader in Proactive Business Intelligence, has revealed a new solution for the enterprise level market. The beta version of its newly developed functionality for Google Docs will allow the support of its first enterprise data source – Microsoft SQL ServerTM Analysis Services, the most pervasive OLAP solution in the industry. This is the first of what will be many enhancements and new functionalities that Panorama will roll out for Google Docs in the next few months.

Microsoft Excel has been known to be the only spreadsheet tool capable of providing BI capabilities in the form of analytics and reporting for enterprise level data. By adding support for SQL ServerTM Analysis Services, enterprise companies can now use Google Docs, the most powerful Software as a Service (SaaS) based spreadsheet in the world with its strong collaborative capabilities, to get more out of their enterprise data in new and flexible ways.

Companies have long wanted a fresh way to analyze corporate data using a spreadsheet application, while also enjoying advanced collaboration, mobility and access-from-anywhere functionalities. With the new support for SQL ServerTM Analysis Services by Google Docs with Panorama Analytics, enterprise customers have exactly what they have been asking for.

“Enterprise customers that are using BI systems are looking for new ways to collaborate, share information and insights, work from anywhere, and better liaise with customers and suppliers,” said Oudi Antebi, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for Panorama Software. “Leveraging the power of Google Docs in all those areas will add tremendous new value for them. We have received many calls from companies asking us to add native support to their enterprise systems from our newly announced solution for Google Docs, and now they have it.”

The new enhancement is being made available as a beta version and requires registration on Panorama’s website ( Two levels of integration will be offered; free and fee-based options. The solution will be free for customers that upload their data into Panorama’s PowerApps platform for Google Docs in the form of an offline cube file. Panorama will offer a unique application from SDG Computing as a download to help customers easily create and upload the offline cube files necessary for the free version.

“Enterprise customers increasingly want to use analytics in a variety of ways,” said Tim Peterson of SDG Computing. “Until today, the only spreadsheet option they had was Excel. Now, with Google Docs powered with Panorama’s unique capabilities, enterprise users have a new and highly powerful option for performing analytics and reporting.”

The solution will also be offered as a premium, fee-based service that will enable a live connection to SQL ServerTM Analysis Services. For the premium version, Panorama is partnering with Data Intelligence Ltd.

“As a leading provider of hosted solutions for SQL ServerTM Analysis Services, we are pleased to be partnering with Panorama on this solution,” said Mike Askew, Director of Data Intelligence Ltd. “This partnership will allow Panorama to offer its Google customers an end-to-end solution that provides both the creation, hosting and front-end capabilities of fully scalable Business Intelligence solutions.”

Panorama Analytics for Google Docs, launched on March 19th, represents an advanced analytics, reporting and data visualization solution for Google applications. Focused on pivot table and charting functionality, Panorama’s solution is a high-value capability that makes spreadsheets in Google Docs and dashboards in iGoogle even more useful. Users at both the enterprise and small-to-medium business levels will benefit from the enhanced ability to drill into data to gain valuable business insights quickly, resulting in better decision-making in the short term, and more effective strategic planning and performance in the long term.

Users of SQL ServerTM Analysis Services can register now for the beta version of Panorama Analytics by visiting For more information about Google Docs, please visit; to learn more about Panorama Software, go to