The first of these points, easy to find, is fairly simple to address through judicious use of shortcuts, logical presentation and training.
The second, easy to generate relates to both the process of generation and the time taken to generate. If high to medium frequency MI is either complex to generate or taking significant time to prepare, this must be addressed. As long as the logic driving the MI can be explained and extrapolated from a businesses source system(s), then the process can be streamlined through the judicious use of data definition languages, programming and presentation frameworks.
As mentioned above, presentation frameworks (typically in the format of Reporting frameworks, such as Microsoft SSRS, Crystal Reports and other tools) are an ideal candidate for generating easy to interpret MI. Excel does indeed "excel" at this as well, through appropriate use of tools such as Pivot Tables, Slicers, Graphs and even PowerPivot (where a business has a compatible Sharepoint installation). Of course "easy to interpret" closely related to the target audience.
Technically all MI should be useful but what is meant here is that the MI produced is useful, for example - a Productivity or Aged Debtors report is by definition "useful" but if it's presented in a format that needs dual monitors or an A1 printer to fit it all in then it's not particularly easy to share. "Useful" in this sense means that the data provides a suitable summary level of detail for the intended purpose, with an option to drill down into further detail as necessary. This granular approach to data presentation means that an overall trend can be established and the cause of any anomalies can be zoomed in on for further consideration. Some reporting frameworks also allow for automated generation and delivery (subscriptions) - which actually covers points 1, 2, 4 and 5. All you then have to worry about is whether it's easy to interpret!
Information security is highly important in today's connected workplace - MI relating to staff pay levels and performance, for example, need to be restricted appropriately (although there are exceptions). Whilst you can password protect an Excel workbook, this is not always infallible. Better to control access using something a bit more robust like, for example, Windows logins or Groups or alternatively tapping into the same security framework that is already used in a core system.
At Donkeylogic we take all the above points into consideration when planning solutions for our clients and we quite honestly take great pride in building robust and scalable solutions. We are not only BI consultants, we are also system designers and graphic designers so we can build almost anything from the ground up and make it look appealing.
We are more than happy to engage in a no-obligation chat, so please Contact Us if you would like to find out how we can help.