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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