A recent post on Microsoft’s oil and gas blog suggests how new features in Excel can be leveraged to address the problems of proliferating spreadsheets and non-authoritative data—commonly referred to as ‘Excel hell.’ The spreadsheet’s ease of use makes it ‘a powerful tool for developing technical applications and for managing and analyzing huge data volumes.’ While users ‘love’ Excel, corporate management and auditors have had ‘a few issues with it,’ notably accountability and auditing. An individual’s Excel spreadsheet is not the appropriate place to keep reserve estimates or production profiles. Enter SharePoint Excel Services. These provide revision controls to manage spreadsheet changes ‘in a controlled, auditable manner.’ An ‘official’ version of the spreadsheet is hosted in SharePoint and can be used across the enterprise. Another addition to Microsoft’s engineering flagship is Excel 2010’s ‘PowerPivot’ that extends Excel’s computational power with new analytical capabilities and access to large data sets ‘from virtually any source.’ SharePoint 2010 offers a Web-based central administration interface that offers improved productivity and greater control with more flexible deployments. More from microsoft.com/oilandgas.
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