Ive been using Google Docs as well as Excel for a while now, and certainly Excel is more comfortable a user experience. However it’s clear that Google Docs offer a great opportunity to offer services and tools that are not practical to offer in a locked in Excel environment. The Microsoft equivalent of Google Docs at the moment seems like an ‘also ran’.
Scripting on Google Docs
Using Google Gadgets
The ease of using google gadgets in Google Docs, as well as using them in regular web sites with data sourced from Google Docs makes this combination pretty unbeatable. The issue here really is how to leverage existing Excel capabilities to make the transition either smooth or even unnecessary.
I am a great fan of these, and it is also rather straightforward to make your own visualizations, which of course can become Google Gadgets and therefore accessible within Google Docs, or on the web. Some of my work on integrating Google Motion Charts and other visualizations to Excel demonstrate how to easily create them on the fly from Excel data. Clearly, focusing on capabilities that can be built into visualizations gives a straight path that can merge Google Docs, Web presentation and original Excel data and capabilities.
I have an Architecture Model of a typical enterprise that takes a look at a stated IT strategy and compares it to program portfolio, roadmaps and application landscape to measure and recommend changes to priorities. Right now the majority of this tool is in Excel, and I have been considering redoing it to make it self tailorable for any enterprise. It seems to me this would be a good opportunity to redo the visualization and chart analysis piece of this so I could abstract it from the data, which could come from either Excel or GoogleDocs.