There has been a gap between Microsoft Excel and the top tier business intelligence (BI) platforms for many years. The Microsoft Excel 2010 Pivot Table enhancements along with a couple of other BI features have made it a real competitor for enterprise BI. Excel has traditionally been used for standalone analysis and the standard tool that everyone exports their final reports into. Professional business intelligence has traditionally been reserved for the likes of SAS, Business Objects and SAP.
Microsoft Excel 2010 (with the Excel 2010 Pivot Table) along with SQL Server 2008 R2, SharePoint 2010 and the free Microsoft Excel 2010 add-on "PowerPivot" has resulted in a high end business intelligence and reporting solution.
This tutorial covers a straight forward scenario with an Excel 2010 PivotTable connected to a SQL Server 2008 R2 database using a simple SQL query. I am also using Slicers for visual filtering which is new in Excel 2010. I will cover more complex BI techniques using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) in PowerPivot for Excel 2010 in the near future. This latest release of Microsoft Excel 2010 can provide a real value for your user community.