I was reading a blog post from Bill Baker from May last year entitled "I.T. Can Run But I.T.Can’t Hide (from Microsoft Excel)" which had some good points.  Bill talks about how "counter to the conventional wisdom, IT benefits from users serving their own needs with Excel or other tools. In a world of do-more-with less and hyper-competitiveness among companies, IT is pained by being the bottleneck that holds back the creativity and innovation of employees."  I think this is a very important point.  If IT can set users up with the ability to serve themselves using something as simple and pervasive as Excel, IT can become the heroes in the enterprise.  The MDX query language interface to an OLAP cube allows Excel to connect and gives "end-users access to quality data and a tool they enjoy using" for analytics.  At Simba, we have helped companies like Oracle, SAP, and Teradata build this capability into their products.  If you want more information about how to build Excel and MDX query language connectivity for your OLAP cubes, check out: http://www.simba.com/olap-sdk.htm or http://www.simba.com/MDX-Provider-for-Oracle-OLAP.htm.