A few people have wondered why the Excel team don’t hook up with Microsoft accounting and finance to get a sense of what people in the real world do with Excel.
I think that is a fair point and I do think Excel could be better for closer links with power users. I suggested they recruit a couple of industry gurus to help with this ages ago.
Equally though I always get the feeling that Office has too much influence on Excel. And even if they had some great ideas/feedback/feature requests these is a chance that Office strategy would over rule them. (Office strategy == dumb down, tart up ™)
Anyway thats not my point here.
I just wanted to suggest that maybe MS finance has such good reporting systems they do not have the tangled mess of linked spreadsheet hell many other places have.
What I have seen is those orgs with Essbase, or another OLAP style tool with competent users make much less mess than those that have not invested in User based reporting systems.
I assume MS finances have some great Analysis Services based cubes with which to do all their hard work. so their spreadsheet layer is likely to be thinner than those places that are trying to manipulate some crappy transactional system to give them meaningful information.
Even places that have proper (user) access to SQL Server have less mess than those traditional places where the data is behind an impenetrable barrier of Oracle DBAs. (With 5-10 day response time SLAs, and an impersonal issue ticketing system.)
In fact I would go so far as the say over zealous IT barrier building is the number one cause of spreadsheet hell. If not number one, then top 3. (the number one I reckon is time pressure.)
I always get the feeling that MS invests heavily in using their own tech, and in some ways that puts them out of touch with some of the more penny pinching orgs.
Anyone else seen the positive impacts of decent reporting systems on spreadsheet hell?