Whenever my boss can use a pivot table in Excel, he does a little happy dance. Well, sometimes its more like watching a horny chihuahua, but I won't go any further - you probably have an indelible picture in your mind already.
Recently, I've been putting together some OLAP cubes that extract data from Webtime and from Quickbooks. Neither has been terribly pleasant to grok their data.
WebTime, to its credit, offers a Visio diagram of their schema and a big data dictionary describing it, to all their paid customers. Plus, I sent them a query that I was working on, and in a couple days, one of their developers had responded with some help.
Quickbooks is just downright nasty. Unless I'm missing something here, they don't export very well, certainly not with any consistency, and not even in CSV files that can be easily processed. I had to write a translation app that read their supposedly CSV-formatted export file line by line and brought it into SQL for me. Hey, Intuit, ever heard of XML?
Anyway, now Joel can slice and dice his data in numerous ways, thanks to the wonder of OLAP cubes and Excel pivot tables.