What is an Excel Report?
Excel or MS Excel is Microsoft’s Spreadsheet software. Excel forms a part of the MS Office suite along with Word, PowerPoint, Access and Outlook. Excel sheets can perform simple arithmetic functions and store data in tables of preexisting rows and columns.
Excel sheets store data and hence, sometimes, perform the rough function of a database. Data can be stored in Excel sheets. The Excel sheets store data more in the format of individual, disjoint tables. Therefore, not all database functionalities can be performed by using Excel. Excel will not substitute a database, but can act as one.
Since Excel stores data, it becomes ordained to generate reports for those data stored in Excel. Thus arise the need for the Excel Reports. Excel Reports need to be generated in order to analyze the data that are stored in the Excel spreadsheets. Such reports can be generated by writing lines of codes specific to each Excel sheet or can be made available using the Excel Reports software that are available off the shelf in the market.
What makes Excel Reports preferable?
Excel offers a great amount of flexibility, it is easy to customize, format and present data in Excel form. This makes Excel Reports a perfect choice when it comes to the need of flexibility in acquiring, managing and delivering data for reporting.
Since Excel is one of the most user friendly spreadsheets, most of the financial data exists in Excel. Reports for these data are generated by gathering data from the Excel spreadsheets.
Excel is a GUI interphase software. Use of Excel to perform necessary functions therefore is not a Herculean task, neither is it time consuming. Generating Reports for excel data also must be easy and be achievable by anyone with basic knowledge and less time consuming.
Excel is pre-equipped with basic data manipulation and Analysis tools. With in-built features for functions like shipping, stocking, etc., Excel does half the work of the report generators, Excel presents an analyzed data to the Reporting Software. This makes integration and reporting not only easy and time efficient but the actual itself is more effective.
Who uses an Excel Report?
Any firm or organization that uses Excel for it’s spreadsheets and needs the data in the spreadsheets to be analyzed and interpreted can gain by using a Excel Reports. These reports helps to analyze data effectively and efficiently, within a short span of time, making decision making easier.
An Excel report generally is created, managed, and delivered by the programmer. The end user, either other departments like finance, management or an entirely different client may use the generated report. The required features of a Reporting Software though varies based on the needs of different people under different circumstances the essential features remain the same. They can be chosen according to the unique needs of each and every organization.
How Excel Reports aide the programmer?
- The User Inter-phase of Excel helps designing of reports easier.
- On Screen preview of Excel Reports help find and fix errors faster.
- Independent of the reporting software used, Excel Reports can be saved and then viewed and printed as pure Excel documents.
The reports are created and printed rapidly.
- Printing in various page sizes is easier with Excel.
- Different formats and styles can be incorporated into Excel Reports with ease.
End users and Excel reports: an overview
Any one ranging from the programmer himself to an outside client can be the end user. Whoever the end user may be, Excel Reports should be easy to use since the GUI inter-phasing. Prompt delivery of results based on varying need of the end user also needs to be made possible.
Factors effecting the choice of an Excel Reporting Program
The Reporting Software, like any other software must be easy to install and use. The inter-phase must be simple yet secure. Incorporating the software into an existing program must be easy.
The result of the analyzed data may need to be of various formats like PDF, DOC, HTML, etc. The Reporting software must be able to produce results according to the needs of each situation.
The results of the analysis may need to be delivered to various users and clients. Delivering through various methods like file sharing, mailing, posting on the web or short notifications is necessary under different situations. The software must live up to such necessities.
The Software, though off the shelf, must be flexible to customize some aspect of it to fit the needs of the individual organizations. Customizing should also be easy to do and revoke, in case something goes wrong.
The level of customer support the product offers post implementation plays a vital role. So does the cost. The Reporting Software must be reasonably priced and effectively supported.