Excel is here to stay. IT professionals may hate the proliferation of Excel documents containing important information, floating around the corporate file servers. Users love them – the familiar interface and ease of doing simple calculations and filtering has made Excel tremendously popular with people who work with numbers.
With SharePoint 2013 and Office Web App, it is so easy to turn some of the powerful features of Excel to do simple “BI” – that is, Business Intelligence in lower case. We recently helped one of our clients to share some vital information to their partners via SharePoint based extranet. We used Excel 2013’s PowerView feature to create great looking visualizations with ability to filter and drill through the data. This Excel is uploaded periodically to the extranet document library. And with Office Web App, the extranet user is able to view and interact with these powerful charts right in their browser.
This was one of the biggest attractions of our client’s extranet. This and other improved implementation of the extranet tremendously increased their partner participation compared to their previous extranet implementation.
The cool thing about Office Web App is that to view the files, there is no need for any licenses – it is free.