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Business intelligence software maker Cognos plans to introduce a Microsoft Excel add-in for its Enterprise Planning application so that users can integrate data from spreadsheets into the Web-based package, and carry out planning within an Excel-based environment.
The move continues a trend at Cognos and among other BI vendors that want to make their applications function well with Excel, which is favored by finance professionals for planning and budgeting.
Cognos hopes the Excel add-in will entice spreadsheet-oriented organizations that have been slow to adopt enterprise planning. Spreadsheets work better for individual, ad hoc computations than they do for large-scale planning and budgeting.
The new Excel interface will let spreadsheet users leverage Enterprise Planning functions such as workflow and modeling creation, collaboration and data management. It also will allow users to link their Excel-based personal models and supporting details directly into their enterprise plans.
Cognos has yet to set pricing for the Excel add-in, a company official said. The offering is scheduled to become publicly available on July 20.