Excel News from Charley Kyd

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jethro's picture

Introducing IncSight DB

Charley Kyd has extended his offerings for business excel users with a new product called IncSight DB.

Unlike his first plug-n-play dashboard product, this one links its reports to an Excel database. This design offers several great advantages:

  • It should take less than an hour to set up a report.
  • Reports can be updated in seconds each period.
  • The Excel database can contain formulas that return data from PivotTables, text files, OLAP databases, and other sources.

You can see a video of IncSight DB at his site, which shows how he sets up a new dashboard in about 20 minutes.

Charley is offering a $10 coupon for all orders of $50 or more. But the coupon will be good only for the rest of July. So if you're thinking about ordering, now's the time.

Coupon code: July 2009

When you order IncSight DB, enter this code in the payment form and choose Apply. After you do so, you'll see the discount amount subtracted from your order.

Charley also writes about Excel 2010

Microsoft released the Technical Preview of Office 2010 last week. Normally, the details about this product would be carefully protected at this point in the testing cycle. This time, however, Microsoft has told those of us who are using the product that it's okay to talk about it. So here goes...

Here are some key changes to Excel 2010:

  1. Sparklines. The current version of the product generates the three types of sparklines shown here.
  2. Slicer. We're told that this tool helps us to better visualize Pivot Table views and cube functions. When Gemini is available (see below), I'll be able to tell you more about Slicer.
  3. Excel Web App. There's a new Excel Web App, which we can't talk about yet. That's just as well, because I haven't had an opportunity to test it.
  4. Conditional Formatting gives us more control over formatting. For example, data bars now can display negative values.
  5. New Spreadsheet Functions. I counted 57 new spreadsheet functions in Excel 2010. Nearly all of these are improved versions of existing statistics functions. However, Excel 2010 does offer international versions of NETWORKDAYS and WORKDAY, which allow for custom weekend parameters.
  6. Project Gemini is a free add-in that brings many of the features of Analysis Services to the desktop, allowing Excel users to analyze millions of rows of data. It will work only with Excel 2010 and above. There's a lot of excitement about this tool, but it's not available for testing yet.
  7. A 64-Bit Version of Office 2010 will be available for the first time.
  8. Improved Macro Recorder. The macro recorder in Excel 2007 doesn't record macros that work with charts. That feature has now been restored.
  9. Ribbon Modifications. You'll easily be able add tabs and groups to the Ribbon, and add commands to the groups, much as you can add commands to the QAT in Excel 2007.
  10. Camera Tool Improvements. If you've read Dashboard Reporting With Excel, you know that Excel's Camera tool probably is Excel's most-useful hidden tool. Excel 2010 has added many features to it, improved performance, and fixed several ugly bugs. (See more about the new Camera tool below.)


Both Charley and I will write more about Excel 2010 in the months ahead. I also have been invited into the 2010 Technical Preview and have been enjoying reviewing it..