Excel is great, but just imagine…

Just imagine for a second that, without much effort, you could gain an overview of how the buyers who tweet about your product are actually feeling. Or create an analysis of the orders that fall outside the usual patterns and could indicate shifts. Microsoft Power BI is not a figment of the imagination; it simply builds predictive models on the basis of available data. Imagine if you tried to do the same thing with Excel…

Excel is great, but just imagine…

But we won’t hear a bad word about Excel! However, the more robust Power BI has now been integrated into Fearless Leader, the specialised FMCG application from Avento. During our most recent Fearless Leader event, with many key people from the FMCG sector, we noticed that Excel has lost none of its previous popularity and has certainly proved its worth in day-to-day activities. Even in larger organisations, where the limitations of the program are simply accepted.


Large datasets contain hidden treasure

These treasure chests of useful information, i.e. buyer sentiments, deviant patterns and shifting data, can be obtained easily by Power BI but lie outside the reach of Excel. Power BI and, in turn, Fearless Leader enable you to screen enormous datasets (limited to 500 mb per file in Excel), conduct in-depth analyses and visualise the results via dashboards or in customised layouts (versus available templates in Excel). Power BI is clearly more powerful.

Combined with Fearless Leader, this means that you have insights into the basis of up-to-date market data, as soon as your field workers have entered it during their store checks.

A few examples:

  • Numeric Distribution of current period compared to same period last year
  • Detecting geographical blind spots regarding product presence
  • Advanced graphic presentation of the evolution of “In Store Time” (versus “Travel Time”)


Pros of Power BI / Limitations of Excel

On a practical level, there are also many advantages regarding the switch to Power BI. 

  • Power BI makes collaboration easier because you can efficiently share centralised reports and dashboards in the cloud. Collaborating with Excel data can be a bit of a rigmarole. If your Excel document is not stored in the cloud, you must mail or share the info via an internal network.


  • Power BI reports and dashboards offer a series of user-friendly functions that enable the user to carry out “deep dives” in just a few clicks.


  • In Power BI, you can easily consult multiple sources and combine these into one insight, e.g. combination of financial (ERP) data with operational (CRM) data.


  • With Power BI, you also have a whole series of options for optimising the performance of data updates and questionnaires on the basis of the quantity of data. In Excel, you soon run up against long refresh waiting times.


  • In Power BI, you have the option to set automatic alarms to provide warnings of decreasing or increasing figures.


“Huge gains in efficiency too: imagine how that could work”

“The nature of the feedback we heard during our Fearless Leader event on Excel clearly demonstrated the potential of Power BI,” according to product manager Steven De Backer from Fearless Leader.

“Power BI guarantees conformity between reports and offers certainty with regard to the security and authenticity of the data, as it cannot be manipulated or deleted. Power BI is also quicker than Excel. If you make the change to Power BI effectively, you will instantly resolve communication issues; various report types, different templates, etc. You will not only uncover benefits in terms of business insights, but also in terms of efficiency. Imagine what that could lead to.”