Since Excel PivotTables can connect to Analysis Services ( SSAS ) cubes and Power BI datasets, and are essentially free to most companies, they are often the default client tool. Where the business need is fairly simple the core functionality may suffice, however even in the newer versions of Office the PivotTable lacks much of the sophistication and flexibility of a dedicated tool like FluenceXL.
Cube connected Pivot Tables have a number of restrictions and issues which FluenceXL addresses, and the business benefit is measured in terms of significant time saving, better insight through improved query and analytic capabilities, and enhanced data visualization and dashboard delivery. Some larger companies have written custom OLAP PivotTable extensions to address specific issues or functionality gaps in Pivot Tables, but this can lead to ongoing support headaches. FluenceXL addresses users Pivot Table frustrations at multiple levels, making it the best alternative within an Excel environment.
Some of the key reasons our customers use FluenceXL as an alternative to pivot tables include:
Pivot Tables have little awareness of the rest of Excel, or each other, making it difficult to build 'joined up' reports. FluenceXL has flexible selection dialogs, but can also reference the content of an Excel range. Users can type a filter into a cell and have the grid (pivot table enhancement) refresh when the driving cell changes. This approach works with one or many cells and allows users to quickly reference an existing list of items held in an Excel range rather than have to search for them individually.
Users are often frustrated by the limitations on adding calculations to olap or data connected pivot tables. When connected to external data, the pivot table calculated field button is greyed out. FluenceXL lets users add standard Excel formulae into cube connected grids (like a pivot table without the restrictions). Users can simply add a new column or row and type any Excel formula, including Vlookups. The formula is dynamic and will grow and shrink as needed with the data volumes.
Hierarchies are a key component of cubes and pivot tables limit their effective use in reporting.
No overlapping or ability to 'push' other pivot tables.
Pivot tables can generate inefficient mdx, leading to slow queries and frustrated users. In some cases using an FluenceXL Grid as a 'like for like' Pivot Table replacement gives significant performance gains.
Excel slicers have a number of limitations, particularly the restriction to buttons, and inability to display elements from more than one level.
Excel's CubeValue and CubeMember formulae are difficult for many users to pick up, and they have a very limited user interface.
FluenceXL adds Small Multiples, TreeMaps, Mapping and In-cell charts.
Replace inflexible and limited tables with the enhanced analytic capabilities of FluenceXL.