New horizons for desktop analytics
At the front of a crowded room, Carmen Taglienti stood over his laptop, hovered the cursor over the "Sort" button and clicked. Instantly, some 44 million records in his Excel app were sorted, newest to oldest, top to bottom. That's right: 44 million records. Welcome to the world of "self-service BI."
Taglienti, a Microsoft technology architect, was at the monthly meeting of the New England SQL Server User Group to show off the PowerPivot for Excel 2010 add-in (formerly code-named "Gemini"). He said Microsoft developed PowerPivot to rein in the growing enterprise problem of "spreadmarts," basically tech-savvy users developing their own sophisticated spreadsheets to cull business intelligence out of various data sets and shipping the resulting -- sometimes gigantic -- files all over the company via e-mail, with no organization, security or management.