Excel is a very popular tool since it's easy-to-use and comes with the Microsoft Office package installed, by default, on all Carleton computers. Excel 2007 can accept data mining add-ins that allow people without any advanced statistical or database training to look for patterns and relationships in data, such as what data influences what and to what extent.
Excel can also serve as a great way of exploring chunks of related data called cubes. A typical cube consists of a series of measurements (like SAT scores, grant amounts, or salaries), a time series (days-months-years or terms-academic years), and a set of categories. The cube lets you slice and dice the measurements over time by categories you select. E.g., you might want to know average SAT scores (measurement) over the last four years (time series) by income range (category). The cube holds this raw data in a form that Excel can easily access and manipulate, typically in the form of pivot tables and charts.
You can find a wide range of documentation for Excel online, including tutorials on the Microsoft web page. Below are a few documents, though, that will walk you through some of the key activities that you'll need to understand in order to use data warehouse data in Excel 2007.