I'm currently working in an environment where MI reporting has been done through Excel spreadsheets – DDE from SAS, and is being converted to Cognos because of the cube functionality. I’ve worked with EIS cubes back in 2001 and am sure that SAS has very good cube reporting features now.
The only comment that I have heard about why they didn’t follow the SAS route is the expense. I’m assuming here that Base and ODS cannot compete with the cube reporting – is that true? Also would it be expensive going the SAS route as they say it is, and that Cognos is cheaper?
From past experience there’s usually a lot of politics surrounding business decisions like this, so if it’s not actually the expense but some major Director’s express wish, then I won’t probe any further!