Microsoft Excel is the most widely utilized office software, with numerous companies relying on it for daily data management. Despite its popularity, individuals working extensively with reports understand the challenges of using Excel as a reporting tool. Fortunately, innovative alternatives like FineReport offer an Excel-like experience without the hassle of spending hours learning complex functionalities. Adopting such Excel report tools has significantly elevated my work efficiency, increasing it by at least 20 times compared to previous methods.

The best part? FineReport and similar Excel report tools require no VBA, Pivot Table, or programming language.

I’ll be sharing the details later in the post (keep reading!)

But first, let’s talk about what the Excel reporting tool is.

Excel Report Sample (by FineReport)

Note: The Excel report examples in this article are all built-in templates made by FineReport, the leading BI reporting tool in the Asian-Pacific region.

1. What is an Excel Reporting Tool?

Excel reporting tools are sophisticated spreadsheet programs, crafted for easy Excel report creation with an interface resembling Excel.

excel reporting tool interface
The Excel-like Interface of FineReport

Naming cells, setting cell attributes, and editing cells follow the same principles as Excel. The operations are also similar, allowing you to explore, display, sort, and share datasheets without the need for extensive user training. Writing and editing Excel reports become effortless with existing Excel knowledge. Additionally, Excel reporting tools typically support importing data from Excel or exporting it to Excel format.

2. How to Create an Excel Report From the Excel Reporting Tools?

In Excel, to become efficient at reporting, you have to break down the process into smaller manageable steps.

efficiently create reports from Excel

It would be best if you also practice it. The more you can eliminate the repetitive work, the more efficient you can get. But with the Excel reporting tool, to generate stunning Excel reports, you only need three steps: 

1. Connect to the database Excel report tools usually support mainstream databases. With a few clicks, the data can be imported. In the same way, you can also combine the data from multiple databases to make a comprehensive report in Excel reporting toolsIf you want to create the reports in Excel, you just need to import your data from Excel. 

FineReport supports all the mainstream databases

2. Design the reports The Excel reporting tools provide rich built-in templates. You only need to bind the data column to the cell. Or you can customize your Excel report by dragging the widgets. 

Drag and drop to create an Excel report (by FineReport)

3. Publish and share the Excel reports In this step, you can preview your Excel reports in the web browser. You can also export your Excel reports to Excel, PDF, or PNG to share. You can also automate reports in Excel.

Share the Excel report with others (by FineReport)
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3. 10 Reasons to Shift Excel Report from Excel to Excel Reporting Tools

Take FineReport as an example, which is my secret to creating stunning Excel reports in 5 minutes. Do you want to know how? Keep reading…..

3.1 Repeat Work VS Reuse Excel Report Template

The biggest problem with Excel for reporting is low efficiency. Many Excel report styles in the company are the same. However, there is still a lot of repetitive work since different departments have separate data with Excel to calculate. Luckily, with FineReport, you can reuse the same template. After completing a report template, other departments can reuse it. And it is very convenient to maintain. The efficiency has increased dramatically. 

3.2 Barely Handling Tens of Thousands of Data VS Processing Big Data in Seconds

In general, if your Excel report worksheet has more than 10,000 records in a month, its query and calculation speed will drop significantly. When encountering data with complex logic and various functions, Excel crashes directly. For example, in a small supermarket, 10 cashiers receive 200 people a day, 10 items per person. In such an application scenario, Excel immediately falls. While FineReport supports big data. It is no problem to take hundreds of thousands of data.

3.3 Data Loss vs Safe Storage

The Excel data is stored on the personal computer of each business department. Once an equipment failure or an accidental deletion occurs, we lose the data and it isn’t easy to find it back. With FineReport, the submitted data is directed to the database by the data entry function. This avoids data loss.

3.4 Fill in Repeatedly vs. Fill in Online

Do you have a similar experience? When using Excel for data aggregation, to collect the data, you need to send the Excel form to the people by email or other means. After that, you need to gather data from tons of forms one by one. The process is complicated and the workload is vast. With the data entry function of FineReport, you only need to send the URL of the web form. The data filled in the form would be directed to the databases.

excel data entry

Is it amazing? FineReport also supports offline data entry and multi-sheet data entry. You can import Excel data into the database via FineReport in batches.


3.5 Data Confusion vs. Data Unification

It is common to find the data is inconsistent in the cooperation work. When different people operate the same table, they change or misuse the data. It results in the final disagreement of everyone’s data. FineReport adopts the online deployment, and stores data in the database uniformly. So, each data modification is uniformly modified.

Easy Deployment and Integration
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3.6 Time Error vs. Timely Display

The data in Excel is stored on the personal computer of each business department. Whether we summarize the data of reporting in the current month or on the same day, there will be a certain time difference. But, FineReport can display real-time data. Because this Excel reporting tool directly connects with the database.

3.7 Low-Security vs. Authority Control

Excel provides limited security. Although Excel can restrict access and change permissions. It can not manage the role of the user, nor can it impose different levels of access restrictions on the data. FineReport provides rich authority authentications and refined authority control plans. It includes username and password authentication, role authorization and digital signature authentication. You can set access restrictions for different templates and different roles.

Permission Management

3.8 Complex Condition Filtering VS Flexible Parameter Filtering

We often need to do data filtering queries in business reports. If you use Excel, you need to write functions to achieve this. And a more complicated conditional filtering needs even programming.

FineReport provides a variety of parameter filtering controls. You only need to drag and drop the widgets to the interface. Then you can perform complex parameter filtering via this Excel reporting tool

flexible parameter filtering

3.9 Unsightly Reports vs. Stunning Data Visualizations

Your leader may have a headache when seeing the dense data sets. It is not impossible to achieve stunning data visualization with Excel, but the premise is that you are an Excel expert.  FineReport is a drag-and-drop mode for business people. Everyone can build an amazing visual report in 10 minutes with FineReport.

Interactive data visualization

3.10 Single Operation VS Multi-Person Simultaneous Operation

Excel is a standalone program, so an Excel report file cannot be managed by multiple users at the same time.  The database usually has a complete management console, which makes it easy for multiple users to operate the database simultaneously. We still use the small supermarket mentioned above as an example. If 10 people operate at the same time, Excel will be completely overwhelmed.

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4. A Summary of the Excel Reporting Tool

As a powerful Excel reporting tool, FineReport’s strengths are not limited to these. It also supports mobile devices and is flexible to be integrated into other systems such as OS, and ERP. FineReport has developed far beyond the reach of Excel in query and reporting. With its flexibility, simplicity, and high efficiency, FineReport is the best reporting tool.

If you are still suffering from Excel-made reports, you may wish to try this magical Excel reporting tool. FineReport provides a free personal version without any functional limitations.

Free Trial of FineReport

Also, welcome to make a free appointment for a live demo with our product experts. We will be more clear about your needs and see how FineReport can help you and your organization transform data into value.

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