Egeria is not a regular spreadsheet! Watching the tutorial videos first is strongly recommended!
What is Egeria Spreadsheets?
Egeria Spreadsheets is a collaborative multidimensional web-based spreadsheet service.
Something between a regular spreadsheet and a multidimensional database.
It can be used to create large worksheet models with complex calculations editable by hundreds of users simultaneously.
What are the use cases?
Egeria can be used to quickly implement a wide range of planning, budgeting or reporting solutions, create financial models and perform what-if simulations.
In general there are two main scenarios where it excels over the regular spreadsheets:
- Complex calculation models can be quickly implemented and are much easier to maintain using the multidimensional data model and the extended formula language
- Egeria can be used to gather data from large groups of users and store them in a structured way with an option to export it to a database or a dashboard application
Although Egeria contains some basic analytics functionality it is NOT primarely designed for analytics.
Other tools a better suited to analyze already existing data.
How do I use it?
Egeria looks quite similar to a regular spreadsheets for the end user (who fills the forms), but it takes some additional knowledge to design a model in Egeria.
A spreadsheet designer should be familiar with the following topics:
- Multidimensional data model: cells are organized by business entities (SKUs, departments, years, months, scenarios and so on), which is quite different to the way a regular spreadsheet is organized.
The most common beginner's mistake is trying to store the data in a relational way.
Entire books have been written on the subject of multidimensional data modeling, however, this short article is a good place to start.
- Formula language extension: Egeria formulas are very similar to the formulas from the common spreadsheet applications, but there are two major differences:
- The cell reference syntax has been extended to make references in a multidimensional space possible
- Copying formulas is impractical due to the size of a multidimensional worksheets. Instead one defines an 'area of effect' for each formula.
With a properly defined area of effect a formula will still function correctly when new dimension elements or new dimensions are added.
- Tutorial videos: Both of the above topics are introduced in the tutorial videos. Watching them is strongly recommended!