I would like to know if there is any way to export raw data used in both tabular and graphical reports so that I can manipulate that information easily in Microsoft Excel (or another application)? I tried to export a report as an XLS file but I was not able to make much use of it.
The XLS and XLSX export formats will give you a file that tries to mimic the report information. Therefore, it does not allow easy tweaking.
The most interesting method to export data is to select CSV among the available export formats in the Output tab, and then to import the resulting Comma Separated Values (*.CSV) file into Microsoft Excel. You will then be able to manipulate and query your data in a pivot table, for instance.
You can also export your report as a database table, and query that table using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio or a third-party SQL query tool.