Matter management systems have ample reporting capabilities, but inevitably various people in legal departments want reports that are not producible from the canned set. The report formats that come with the package need to be tweaked. Or a pre-defined report does not contain all of the information you need. Or a report could use some polishing and jazzing up. To make such changes, most law department analysts who work with a matter management system learn to export the data from that system into a spreadsheet.
With the data in a spreadsheet, analysts can sort by whatever data they want to, they can reformat the data, such as with highlighting, color, or bolding. They can do additional calculations, such as ratios. They can alter the report itself, such as with page breaks and borders and they can combine information from other sources.
All matter management systems can export data to .cvs files or Excel files; all law departments that have a system, I venture to say, supplement their reporting with spreadsheets (See my post of Aug. 10, 2007: barebones management system in Excel.).