What is an Excel Report?

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Gary Crawford
COO, XLCubed
Fluence Technologies
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At this point, no one can deny Excel’s popularity. However, recently people have begun to push the envelope in terms of Excel’s capabilities. Although Excel was originally designed for simple data manipulation, Excel reporting capabilities have continued to evolve and enhance the platform’s functionality. Now, using an Excel report view allows you to enter, display, and analyze a wide range of data with greater visual appeal and increased user friendliness. 

However, because Excel was originally built as a simple data entry platform, some of your reporting calculations and data processes will quickly outgrow Excel’s capabilities. But that’s where add-ons and reporting tools like XLCubed come into play. From complex and highly-formatted reports to advanced data dashboards, XLCubed was tailor-made to work alongside Excel to scale your reporting capabilities successfully. 

But we’ll talk more about our own platform in more detail later. For now, let’s dive into the different types of Excel reports  and discuss how Excel reporting tools help make the Excel reporting process even more efficient.

Can You Generate Reports From Excel?

Since the Excel platform is so versatile, it can generate many different types of reports. Although this may look different depending on the specific use case, there are some common types of reports in Excel that are applicable to most industries. Here are a few examples:

Pivot Tables: Almost everyone who works with spreadsheets has needed to learn how to create a pivot table in Excel. That’s because pivot tables are so useful. Pivot tables take vast amounts of different datasets and organize them into separate categories or tables. Each individual table is interactive and allows the user to generate a summary of the individual tables or a combination of tables. 

Analyze Data Reports: The “Analyze Data” function in Excel reviews your datasets quickly to generate visuals in a task pane. This function can be used in conjunction with other analytics tools to help foster a more in-depth analysis.

Ad-Hoc Reports: Ad-hoc reports are analytic reports that are generated quickly and on an as-needed basis. These reports are created to address specific scenarios and answer one-time questions like how many cold-calls a salesperson made in a week. 

Operational Reports: Excel provides an operational dashboard to help analyze data, like monthly revenue, from an operational perspective. Oftentimes, this dashboard is used in financial or banking applications, but it can be adapted to create reports for any type of dataset or industry. 

Summary Reports: Learning how to create a summary report in Excel is usually one of people's first interactions with Excel. Summary reports are extremely versatile and are used to compile all of the values stored in multiple worksheets in a single Excel workbook.

Excel Reporting Tools

Now that we’ve covered the basics of Excel reporting, let’s discuss what happens when you require more advanced capabilities. As we mentioned earlier, sometimes your needs will exceed Excel’s capabilities. In these cases, you can use additional Excel reporting tools to help pick up the slack. These tools are advanced add-ons that enable you to easily create complex reports. Reporting tools often mimic the design of Excel itself, making it easy for teams to adopt and use right off the bat. 

Here’s how Excel reporting tools work: Many Excel reporting tools are designed to take huge amounts of data from Excel and move that data into dashboards. These dashboards allow the user to: 

  • Manage large amounts of data
  • Generate fully interactive reports
  • Create complex visual representations of data 
  • Reuse templates 

Unfortunately, there is a downside to using Excel reporting tools. Many of these programs require extensive coding, data modeling, and advanced mathematical knowledge. This often makes it difficult for businesses to fully integrate these programs into their workflow. But there’s no need to despair. There is a tool that can easily work for your team, and that is XLCubed. 

Our XLCubed platform is easy-to-use and set up, seamlessly connecting Excel to centralized data. There’s no need for complex coding or data modeling. XLCubed’s intuitive calculations, dynamic selections and deep Excel integration empowers users by offering flexibility and a moderate learning curve. 

If you’re ready to experience the benefits of complex Excel reporting without the frustration, XLCubed is your answer. Explore our website or connect with us to learn more.

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