As director of market intelligence for an association I've got to maintain a fair number of not-quite-standardized products.
Most of the underlying data resides in an SQL database, and I either write reports in Access or use pivot tables in Excel to create tables and graphs.
Where it gets interesting is when I need to make powerpoint presentations. I need graphs and tables, but I prefer to put them in as linked objects.
In theory this should work great. The reality is uglier. Links don't update, or people try to update them when they don't have access to the source files, or the applications crash.
Anyone have a better way?