Microsoft is the world’s largest software company. Founded in 1975 and based in Redmond, USA, it has become a household name, primarily due to its Windows operating system and Office suite. Aside from these products, Microsoft offers a vast range of software including its own database, browser, various servers and ERP solutions.
In recent years, Microsoft has also begun to manufacture hardware, including tablets and gaming consoles.
Compared to the huge business the company does in other areas, its BI revenues are relatively small. Nevertheless, Microsoft is a strong presence in the BI market. In the past few years the vendor has spread its BI capabilities across the Office, SharePoint and SQL Server product lines, providing tools for formatted reporting, ad hoc reporting, analysis and dashboards. In 2015 Microsoft released a dedicated BI and analytics product portfolio called Cortana Intelligence Suite. Power BI – a dashboarding and analysis solution – is one of the components of this suite.
Microsoft Excel is a widely used product for analyzing data from a variety of sources. It is a Windows client (or available as part of Office 365 as a Web client) offering business user oriented capabilities for data integration and modeling. The data models created with Excel can be published to SQL Server for reuse and governance purposes.
User & Use Cases
Excel is primarily employed as a tool for standard enterprise reporting, ad hoc query and data analysis. The high number of business users who say they model/enrich data shows that Excel is still widely used as a business user oriented self-service BI solution for creating custom data models and visualizing data.
The product is offered as part of the Office package, confirmed by the fact that 66 percent of users say they purchased it as part of a bundle.
Current vs. planned use
N = 200
5 products most often evaluated in competition with Microsoft Excel
N = 631
Percentage of employees using Microsoft Excel
N = 199
N = 161
Number of users using Microsoft Excel
N = 184
Tasks carried out with Microsoft Excel by business users
N = 178
Company size (number of employees)
N = 199