And BI is still coming for everything, except Excel.
“You can save it, and know, with total confidence, that when you open it tomorrow, next week, or next year, it’ll be the same as it was when you last left it.” This is 100% why excel exists and will continue to exist. And the people that most want this functionality are the company data historians or what most people call accountants. 😁.
Love the blog almost as much for the links and footnotes as the info in the blog itself
Excellent insight into Excel. I've long thought that it's brilliance is b/c it combined 3 critical functional areas:
A data layer - addressable data (cells, lookups, pivot tables for the more sophisticated), and schema-lite, ...
A compute layer - basic math operations, macros, full coding language support, ...
A presentation layer - cell formatting + all the charts
The pièce de résistance is that it is fully portable and basically works the same from machine to machine, version to version
I like this new format of covering multiple topics. Very Matt Levine-esque 😊 who is also my other favorite writer.
quarterly investor update will be
"we are not a bi tool"
I remain just so confused by the persistence of the “Excel can’t connect to live data” meme. And I’m not even saying that Excel’s power query live data connection implementation is good (or bad!). Just that it plainly exists and has existed for like a decade. It’s like everyone in modern data stack land is unaware that there have been updates since the physical CD version of Excel 2007.
Comment on the AI section. AI is chaotic right now. LLMs are this weird innovation that are by default maybe 80% useful for a million different things. And each startup is trying to find one thing and make LLMs as close to 100% just for their thing as possible. For example seek.ai is working on “generative AI DB queries”. Haven’t used it personally - but have heard it’s pretty cool. Little do they know they are building a BI tool. 😁. Anyways the scary part to me is most people are using OpenAI as their backend and as we saw this week OpenAI can wipe out your startup in a minute with a product change or update. Just wait for them to announce a slack integration...
You've written multiple times that data companies end up being dragged into the BI black hole. But why is that such a bad thing? If people ask for dashboards, we build them dashboards. Seems like the right thing to do. What am I missing here?
Excellent post! ✨
The Snowflake optimization person fundamentally misunderstands the nature of employment. If he truly wants to "privatize the gains", he needs the start his own business and reap the gains through equity ownership.