Sorry MicroStrategy: Back to Excel

A few recent posts have documented my explorations with the new desktop software from MicroStrategy, clearly designed to compete with the likes of Tableau and Excel. One of the chief advantages of the MS offering is the free price point (as in $0), versus the much pricier Excel and especially, Tableau. As usual, I had to perform my due diligence, as is the case with every new tool I get my hands on.

The MS Analytics offering does have a lot to recommend it by, as I noted in my previous posts. However, after a few weeks of intensive exploration, I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t a good fit for what I’m currently attempting to do, which is to create graphics for a pair of upcoming books. While it is perhaps easier to manage the data compared to Excel, the structure is a bit too rigid, and the chart options are also too structured and limiting for my current needs. It’s still useful, but not so much in the current context.

Which brings me back to Excel. For all its faults, Excel is still very powerful, and most importantly for me, very flexible. I can hack my way into almost any sort of chart, aided by the likes of Jon Peltier, Chandoo, and Fabrice Rimlinger. So Excel it is, at least for this project.

Now that I know what I’m doing, it’s high time to get back to work and deliver these books! Look for the 1901-68 pennant races in December, and the 1969-2013 to follow in early 2014.

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Ken Cherven is the Founder and Curator of the website. He loves to merge baseball data with all sorts of visualization methods - charts, network graphs, maps, etc. to provide greater insight into underlying data patterns. Ken also authors books about baseball and visualization, and loves to listen to jazz while drinking some wine, craft beer, or bourbon.