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Excel Add-In Software Reviews

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Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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  • #54013

    Bill Bentley
    Member

    I’m looking for a comparison of the various Excel add-in products for process improvement. A few that I’m familiar with are spcxl, spcforexcel, qimacros. There are others. I’d like a head to head comparison of them that is independent of the author’s own advertising. Does anyone know where I can find that? If it doesn’t exist I’d be willing to work with a group to help create it.

    Bill

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    #192914

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @Value-Train – Bill: I don’t know spcxl or spcforexcel, but did use qimacros in the past and found them to be very user friendly and served the purpose. I’ve also used SigmaXL in the past, and if you’re going to do some benchmarking then I would think that you would want to include them.

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    #192923

    Bill Bentley
    Member

    Thanks for the suggestion. I know about them, just forgot to list them. I’m new to this forum. I see we get assigned to levels, I guess based on how much we participate. I’m aluminum, which I assume is the bottom level for newcomers. Glad they didn’t start with mud or something worse!

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    #192926

    Steve Clapp
    Participant

    Hi Bill,

    We use SigmaXL at work (process excellence team within a financial services company). I’ve found it is fairly friendly to use and can do 99.9% of what we want. Even better in my book is the SigmaXL staff is knowledgable, responsive, and personable; if you’re stuck on the theory or the use of a tool, they are ready to help. I’ve met the company’s principals and can say they are devoted to the spirit of making analysis accessible to all. (Nope, I’m not a paid sponsor or a fanboy, just a satisfied customer.)

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    #192933

    Trish
    Guest

    I’m in banking and I also use SigmaXL and find it easy to use and contains most of anything I want to do as well, can’t beat the price.

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    #192934

    Bill Bentley
    Member

    Thanks everyone. I get two kinds of replies when I look for feedback on software like this. Mostly people tell me what they use that they like it. Occasionally someone will tell me they tried package A and didn’t like it but are now using package B and like that. What I’m looking for is a detailed analysis of the major ones, function by function, along with some quantitative and qualitative assessments of ease of use, price, support, etc. That’s what I can’t find. I have no doubt that some team in some company has done such an evaluation of a half dozen or so of these packages. I’m just looking for that! It may never have been published. If I don’t find it, I’ll form a team and do it ourselves and we will publish the results.

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    #192958

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @value-train – more power to you. What’s the end game here? Most folks use what they first get introduced to, unless it’s uber difficult. As you become familiar with any program, it becomes “normal” to you. Pick one that meets your needs, and if it’s too hard to use, then choose another. They’re all cheap enough that you won’t be out much if you need to switch.
    I worked for a company that had purchased an XL add-in to do the GB statistics and used Minitab for BB’s. When we looked at the cost, it didn’t cost us any more to extend Minitab to the GB’s and standardized our training. Now I know that all companies can’t justify that level of purchase, but I’d take that into account as well.
    Just my opinion (not humble this time, @mike-carnell!)

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    #192968

    Bill Bentley
    Member

    End game is just a paper that is a free service to my students and clients. To offer them a hopefully unbiased comparison of packages with their pros and cons so they can choose what appeals to them. I get asked for it all the time. We’ll make it available to everyone. Might put it in a wiki so it can become a living document. Haven’t decided that yet.

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    #192970

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @Value-Train – if you do, expect to get pestered for updates based on revisions that the vendors put out. I just don’t see that the potential loss is high enough to warrant the investment. Just my opinion. Might be better just to have folks list their likes/dislikes here.

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    #192987

    Bill Bentley
    Member

    Yes I know. Either they can expect to be ignored because this will be a one time activity which will be out of date at some point, or we’ll somehow make it live via a wiki or something. Haven’t decided yet. I have other motivations for doing it so don’t mind. Examining how different experts do the same thing is a good way to add a new dimension to your knowledge. I’ve already learned several useful things by switching from one package to another for my training classes and having to resolve why things are different between them.

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    #193006

    Bill – not to taint the discussion with a biased post, but is there a reason you are only interested in Excel add-ins? Knowing the root of what is motivating this may help others provide more relevant comparisons. As MBBinWI posted, Minitab (and I would assume some other non-Excel-based packages) can be as cheap as Excel add-ins so I’m curious what the motivation is.

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    #193025

    Bill Bentley
    Member

    Good question Joel. I do a lot of training for unemployed professionals and do it at low cost so we are always looking for low cost tools to use, not as ongoing workplace tools but ones which will be effective in a learning environment. A large company may be able to buy bulk licenses of Minitab at prices close to bulk prices of some of these add-ons but these are individuals, out of work, whose only options is to buy single licenses so for them the price difference is substantial. I was recently introduced to the open source stats package ‘R’ and found that it may have enough open source macros written for it to accomplish this task for free but it may be too difficult to use for anyone who isn’t a software techie. The trial versions are either time or capacity limited so except for people who genuinely only want to evaluate the software, those aren’t normally useful for a training program that goes over several months. This may not be a topic that has general interest outside of my narrow student base but I appreciate everyone’s comments!

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    #193032

    MBBinWI
    Participant

    @joelatminitab – “incremental cost” not absolute cost. For us, since we had a significant number of users, it was not a concern. For much smaller users, this can be an issue.

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    #193047

    Andy Levine
    Guest

    I’ve used spcforexcel Really like it, easy to use and reports are good. We compared it to results from Minitab, get the same numbers consistently. Staff was very helpful getting me going and addressing my Aero Space customer’s concerns.

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