Could Business Computing Be Done by Users Without Technical Experience?

May 18, 2013
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BI toolsBusiness computing always occurs in enterprises, which plays an important role in enterprises operations, and is mainly handled by the business users. The key business computing is usually characterized with timeliness and weak predication. There is no ready answer in the ERP, CRM, and other business systems.

BI toolsBusiness computing always occurs in enterprises, which plays an important role in enterprises operations, and is mainly handled by the business users. The key business computing is usually characterized with timeliness and weak predication. There is no ready answer in the ERP, CRM, and other business systems.

For example, find out the materials whose inventory level is below the warning limit for 3 consecutive days in the recent 2 weeks. Among those materials, which are used to produce the top 5 Halloween best-sellers? In another example, find out the agents contributing to the 60% of the total sales. Assign those agents in proper order to the salespersons whose performances rank ahead of others in the year-end sales promotion.

Most business users have no IT experience. They can only rely on the business spreadsheet software to complete such computing. However, the traditional business spreadsheet software is weak in calculation, which will bring about errors in the calculation process.
 
Considering the above examples, you must filter or sort the summary values and detail values. But, the traditional business spreadsheet software is only fit for the 2D sheet computing, and lacks the further processing capability on the grouped data. The manual operations are usually required to implement computing with such spreadsheet and the process is error-prone.
 
In order to solve the above problems, the set operation capability to some degree is also required. But the business spreadsheet software has no concept of sets, and no business association between cells is available. The set operation can only be handled via the complicated search & find formula, which adds to the computing difficulty virtually, and thus a higher technical competence is required.
 
In this case, the sheets from multiple data sources need to be merged. But in the traditional business spreadsheet software, users can only copy the data, and is unable to merge the data at various levels or in the uncertain orders according to a certain relation. This is usually achieved through manual operation or complex formula.
 
esCalc, the desktop BI software, introduces the concept of “homocell”. It is the ideal spreadsheet to solve the above-mentioned problems. The core concept of esCalc is to treat the cells of various business statuses differently, and treat the cell of the same business status uniformly. In esCalc, filtering the summary value will not affect the detail data. The formula entered in the detail data section will be copied and pasted to other homocells automatically, while not the summary section. The homocell relationship between cells ensure both of them being in a same set, so users can seek the intersection set and union set conveniently; multiple sheets can be merged through the join or union operation according to the homocell relation, even for the data at various levels and in the uncertain orders.

(image: spreadsheet / shutterstock)