Microsoft Dynamics vendors provide comparisons and opinions to professionals in the ERP/Accounting software selection process


Sikich Boston

Choosing the Right Business Intelligence (BI) Tool For Your ERP System

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The key to unlocking the powerful business intelligence capabilities of any ERP/Accounting system is understanding which of the many reporting engines is the right tool for the job.  Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) is no exception.  In fact, Dynamics GP offers an exceptional number of analytical tools from which to choose.  But which ones are the right ones? 

 Let’s take a look at a couple, namely FRx and SmartLists.

 FRx is designed for General Ledger based reporting only.  It is an effective tool for building traditional financial statements, budget vs. actual analysis and other financial reports.  FRx cannot read from any modules other than the General Ledger.  As such, the reporting flexibility is directly linked to the design of your chart of accounts.  FRx was designed to be used by finance professionals and does not typically require the assistance of IT professionals or consultants to develop new reports.

As the name denotes, SmartLists is extremely effective in delivering filtered lists of information .  Examples include inventory items below re-order point, customers over their credit limit, past due sales orders and employees approaching their anniversary date.  SmartLists will not provide functions such as calculations and is limited to the predefined library of available fields.   SmartLists is designed for users of Microsoft Dynamics GP to build their own queries without an intimate knowledge of the underlying database.

These are two of the most popular reporting tools used by our clients for three reasons.  First, they are powerful.  Second, they are intuitive.  Third, they can be developed by the “average” end user without in-depth database skills or highly technical knowledge. 

Having access to real time analytics is a critical factor in the process of making business decisions that will have a positive impact on the health, growth and profitability of your company.    

Submitted by Altico Advisors, New Hampshire  Microsoft Dynamics Partner, serving manufacturers and distributors in New Hampshire (NH)

4 Responses to “Choosing the Right Business Intelligence (BI) Tool For Your ERP System”

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