Like a lot of organisations, we struggle with the fact that a lot of users manage important business data in excel spreadsheets. Wherever possible, I've been encouraging them to move primary data out of excel and into our corporate systems... leaving excel for just analysis. Once the data is being managed in a corporate system, I can then offer them automated reports... which generally makes everybody happy
However, there are plenty of examples that I come across where existing corporate systems simply don't have the capacity or capability of storing the data we've been capturing in excel. Nor is there any real cost-benefit in implementing a new system.
For example... we have a small team that handles customer complaints. They currently manage complaints data in an excel spreadsheet, and asked if my team could help automate their reporting. Most of our customer data is already stored in our ERP, but we don't have a CRM so there is nowhere to really store complaints information.
So what do we do?
* Continue to let them maintain their data in spreadsheets, but use SSIS to suck data into the warehouse on a regular basis
* Build some kind of simple bespoke application using Access (ugh) or web forms, with a SQL Server backend
* Use some kind of Sharepoint functionality (unfortunately, not currently implemented around here)