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Saratoga Technologies

Data Analysis With Microsoft Dynamics GP


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Chances are that if you currently have advanced management licensing for Dynamics GP you may be unaware of the powerful analysis capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics GP. Along with it's hundreds of built in reports that come with the ERP package there is also a tool called the Dynamics GP Analysis Cubes, that can help you mine data in your Dynamics GP system.

To understand how to use this tool you need to first understand what a data cube is. In it's basic form a data cube contains all of your system data in an aggregated form. Because of this it seems to know the answers in advance. For example, if a user asks for total sales by year and city, those numbers are already available. If the user asks for total sales by quarter, category, zip code, and employee, those numbers and names are already available.

If it helps you to understand them, think of cubes as specialized small databases that know the answers before you even ask the questions. That is the big advantage of a cube. You can ask any pertinent question and get an answer, usually at warp speed. In addition, you can view cube data with any valid tool, including spreadsheets, Web pages, the Cube Browser in Analysis Services, or even in Microsoft Dynamics GP!

Analysis Cubes are also really easy to install for Microsoft Dynamics GP. If you happen to already have analysis services installed on your SQL server it is really painless. On your Dynamics GP installation screen you will see an option for analysis cubes that will allow you to install the Cubes to the SQL Server. This installation will also set up what are called DTS jobs to keep your cubes up to date with the latest information.

After you have installed the analysis cubes you can install the analysis cubes client as well so you can begin using them in Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Using the analysis cubes is easy. You simply launch the Create Pivot Table Reports screen in GP. This allows you to select one of six cubes from which to draw information, and then export it to Excel. Simple. From there you need to draw on your Excel Pivot Table skills to create the report you want or analyze the data you're after.

After a short amount of time you will be able to perform advanced data analysis quickly with the Analysis Cubes for Dynamics GP.

by Saratoga Technilogies, A Tennessee Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner

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