Report builders are tools that help simplify reporting workflows for all types of users (technical and non-technical). Some of the common types of reports people may need to access include marketing reports, PTO reports, compensation reports, and activity reports. Of course, these are just a few of the possibilities. Report builders can be used with various types of apps and software - Excel is a very popular option.
Report builders are flexible - they can connect to a data source to collect and export the outputs. When it comes to configuring report builders for Excel, you will find many different options. The nuance here is how the data goes from Excel to the report builder. Depending on the type of report builder you are using, there are various ways to set this up. Some offer more performance and others are faster.
How to Connect Excel to Report Builders
It is usually difficult to connect the report builder platform itself to Excel. This is because of how siloed Excel is and how difficult it can be to build with. Therefore, you will need to have an intermediate solution to provide some help.
Most report builder tools require data in some form of database that it can connect to. This will typically be a SQL database given the nature of the report builder. Let’s look at some examples.
Zapier will let you connect Microsoft Excel with thousands of the most popular apps. This allows users to automate their work to make it flow faster and easier. It doesn’t require any coding and is easy to use. Check out this MySQL example.
Another option is Airbyte. It will allow you to load Excel file data into any data warehouse or database in a matter of minutes. You can extract, transform, and load (ETL) from Excel to various storage providers to any of their destinations, PostgreSQL, Snowflake, etc.
Why Do You Need a Quality Tool Like Those Above?
You need to use a high-quality, reliable connector because you need to be certain when you make changes in the Excel sheet that those changes are reflected in the new database. Otherwise, you would be getting conflicting data.
You don’t want to have to run a sync any time changes are made. That is essentially just a manual upload and it will take up too much time. It’s also easy to forget and make mistakes. It’s far better to simply have a solution that will handle everything for you.
With the right tools, your Excel data is connected to a database that your report builder can connect to. Now, you can use the report builder to answer any data questions you want, and you can expose it to your users. You can also download the data as needed and per your preferences or requirements.
Without one of these tools in place, access to data will be limited and much of it will need to be done by hand. The goal of reports is to make things easier for all users. Get your system set up correctly and see what a difference it can make.
See How Explo Can Help
Consider learning more about Explo and how it can help with your report builder Excel use case. The tools from Explo are easy to understand and use, and they can provide you with the help you need to get more control over your data. Try Explo today to see whether it is a good fit for you.