BiX and PrecisionPoint

BIX Software and PrecisionPoint are pleased to announce the renewal of the partnership in January 2020.  BIX has provided our standard Excel based OLAP reporting for a number of year now and our customers enjoy the simplicity of use and the capability to produce sophisticated financial reports with ease.  PrecisionPoint’s CEO, Andrew Mennie  said  “We are particularly pleased to see the news about the recent acquisition of BIX by XLCubed and excited to hear about the forward plans. The product is used extensively across our global customer base and partner network and to hear the commitment to continued high quality support was important to us and we have already seen this in action.  Hearing about future roadmap integrating elements of XLCubed Technology including Microcharts is a really positive message.“

BIX Software and XLCubed  COO,  Gary Crawford said “I am happy to see the endorsement to our BIX Software strategy from PrecisionPoint who are an important customer and we look forward to working with them and their customers to deliver added value.  The synergies between the XLCubed and BIX products was one of the primary reasons for the acquisition alongside enabling a direct presence in the French market.”

 

About PrecisionPoint

PrecisionPoint Software is a global software company with offices in both the UK and US and a customer base spanning 20 different countries in 4 continents providing the powerful combination of PrecisionPoint and Microsoft Dynamics.  We give insight and ease of reporting to all your key company data in and around Microsoft Dynamics.  The PrecisionPoint data warehouse gives a unique visualization of all the transactional data (from sales, purchasing, inventory etc.) so that you can easily spot trends, opportunities and issues.  The  single data warehouse guarantees accuracy and financial integrity as well as speed of access as it is fully integrated into your Microsoft Dynamics transactional engine.

XLCubed acquires BIX Software

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With a New Year and new decade we axlcubedre pleased to announce a new start for BIX  Software.  In late December the purchase of BIX Software by the owners of XLCubed was completed.

XLCubed has been a leading Excel-centric BI vendor for many years and is based in the UK with a worldwide customer base, including some shared customers with BIX.  XLCubed has grown significantly in the last decade and has circa 1,000 customers across many industries and operates through an extensive partner network.  It has its history in providing solutions to some of the world’s biggest multi-national companies. BIX was XLCubed’s second M&A activity of 2019 and we expect further activity in this area in 2020.

The importance of BIX to its existing customers  is well understood and we assure you of our intention to continue to develop and support BIX going forward.  The support and development team at BIX remain in place at the same office and are very happy with the acquisition as it provides additional resource, investment and the opportunity to augment BIX software with XLCubed capabilities in a synergistic way.  This process has already started and we are excited about the opportunities.

Mark Scanlon CEO of XLCubed said,

“ I had been aware of BIX for a number of years and I am so pleased that the opportunity to combine the many decades of collective experience in Excel based BI tools arose.  During the diligence process we were impressed by the vision and quality of the product development team, who will now work closely with the XLCubed team.  Both XLCubed and BIX have significant experience in servicing enterprise customers across many industries particularly in the financial area, and our assertion is that we can take the best of both to continue to service and expand the growing set of customers”

 

BIXAnalytics, an alternative to Pivot Tables

Since Excel Pivot Tables can connect to Analysis Services cubes, and are essentially free to most companies, they are often the default client tool. The Pivot Table functionality may suffice for simple business needs, however even in the newer versions of Office the Pivot Table lacks much of the sophistication and flexibility of a dedicated tool like BIXAnalytics.

Cube connected Pivot Tables have a number of restrictions and issues which BIX addresses, this results in significant time saving, increased performance, and better insight through improved query and analysis capabilities.

Some larger companies have written custom OLAP Pivot Table extensions to address specific issues or functionality gaps, but this can lead to ongoing support issues. BIX addresses Pivot Table users’ frustrations at multiple levels and offers concrete solutions.

Our customers confirm this and have explained the main reasons they use BiX alongside or instead of Pivot Tables:

Flexible and secure use of Excel formulas  

Users are often frustrated by the limitations in terms of adding calculations to OLAP or data connected pivot tables. When connected to external data, the pivot table calculated field button is unavailable. BIX lets users add standard Excel formulas into cube connected grids (like a pivot table without the restrictions). Users can simply add a new column or row and type any Excel formula, including Vlookups. The formula is dynamic and will grow and shrink as needed with the data volume. As the formula is handled by BiX, it can’t be wrong or out of date.

Common business calculations  

Although Excel formulas offer a great deal of flexibility and power, they are limited to Excel cell ranges. BiX MDX based formulas, on the other hand, can leverage any set of a cube’s data without the need to first retrieve it in an Excel worksheet.
The BiX calculation wizard offer multiple ready to use templates in order to easily define standard business calculations such as Periods to date, Moving averages, % of growth from previous Period, Contribution, Ranking,… These types of calculations are just too complex to safely be dealt with in Excel formulas in a professional environment.
Unlike Excel formulas which must be recreated every time they are used. BiX calculations can be, once defined, saved and then reused in different workbooks. Users have their own calculations library and can choose to share part of it with others.

Performance problems 

Pivot Tables can generate inefficient MDX, leading to slow queries and frustrated users. In some cases, using a BIX “InfoSet” as a ‘like for like’ Pivot Table replacement results in significant performance gains. Whereas Pivot tables calculations are resolved in Excel, BiX calculations are resolved on the server, this means many significant PivotTable bottleneck issues simply don’t exist with BiX.

Reporting capabilities 

Maintenance free reports

Whereas Pivot Tables were designed to provide simple data browsing capabilities for different source types, BiX’s InfoSets were built to deal with sophisticated business reporting needs. When dealing with reporting, Pivot Tables users need to use a separate worksheet to handle calculations and formatting requirements. A great amount of repetitive work is then needed whenever a report needs to be refreshed or changed. This not only takes a lot of time but also often leads to reporting errors.

Strong and secure reporting features

BiX users can manage any complex reporting needs thanks to powerful built-in reporting tools and concepts. They don’t need to rely on fragile Excel formulas for handling common reporting needs such as complex calculations or non-symmetric queries. They can leverage all Excel formatting or labelling capacities easily and safely when dealing with dynamic queries.

Dynamic reports 

Reports designed by BiX users will automatically adapt to changes in dimensions, especially time periods, in only a few clicks. Such reports will automatically query the relevant time periods and update the number of columns or rows based on the changes in the underlying database structure.

Unlike Pivot Tables, BiX “InfoSets” do not overwrite excel cells but simply “push” whatever is located on the right or at the bottom as needed.

Limitations with Slicers 

Excel slicers have a number of limitations, particularly with regards to the restrictions of buttons, or the inability to display elements from more than one level.

BiX users can freely decide which slicer should be displayed or hidden and what its content and layout should be.

 

BiXSoftware releases BiXAnalytics 8

BiX Software is proud to unveil BiXAnalytics 8 for Microsoft Excel.

BiXAnalytics 8 enables a direct response, from Microsoft Excel, to all the restitution needs of a company using Microsoft BI tools (SQL Server), from operational reports to strategic dashboards, including analysis and data visualisation.
BiX Software propels Microsoft Excel to the rank of a true Business Intelligence solution, adding powerful and useful analysis and dashboard functionality.

Improving user productivity has been a key concern throughout this version’s development cycle. BiXAnalytics version 8 offers more autonomy to the user to build and automate analyses and dashboards with lots more value. It becomes easier to respond to constantly and rapidly evolving business needs.

The improvements made to the connection management and the query generator offer a very significant performance gain in many uses.
Support for querying relational data and flat files (.CSV, .TXT, XLS, XLSX files, etc.), as well as the ability to synchronise them with the data from the cubes offers completely new perspectives to users.

Among the other important developments, the brand new synchronisation management of “InfoSets” is noteworthy. It offers unprecedented capability regarding the consistency of data from multiple sources, the greater flexibility of arrangement of filters, support for different conditional formatting styles in Excel, and further development of the publishing wizard.

BiXAnalytics 8 is compatible with all versions of Microsoft Excel from 2007 onwards, with SQL Server from 2000 and with the main OLAP engines on the market (EssBase, Oracle Olap, TM1, SAS Olap Server, …).
Regarding relational sources, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle (from version 8) and MySQL are supported.