Business Intelligence is an essential part of business management. Companies are always looking for ways to analyze and generate meaningful simple reports that have the ability to show more detail when needed. Business analysts often need to get an overview of the business to see broader trends based on aggregated data, and to see these trends broken down by any number of variables.
When you break Business Intelligence into categories: monitor, analyze, and plan, you can see how Microsoft Dynamics GP gives you powerful applications that can assist companies in making decisions to grow their businesses.
To keep the business on track it is important for organizations to accurately monitor the current activity and combine that with the ability to compare it to historical activity and plans. Monitoring is essential for all companies to be able to watch trends and then take action on those trends.
Having the ability to look deeply into the data gathered during the monitoring phase allows organizations to understand why data results are what they are. This can give companies the ability to have the insight needed to change the direction of a negative trend, or take advantage of a positive trend.
To remain competitive, companies need the ability to compare plans and actuals, to analyze that information, then make necessary adjustment. Budgeting, forecasting, and planning are the key to making this happen.
To accomplish these tasks in each category, Microsoft Dynamics GP has several applications to give companies a simple report, with the ability to gather additional details when needed. It is important that a company not only get the information, but be able to modify reports when needed, and gather complex information in a simple way. Below are the different categories with the modules that you can use to accomplish specific tasks.
1. Home Page Metrics
- A home page provides easy access to information that you need for your job. From your homepage, you can see a summary of your appointments, a list of your tasks and reminders, and the number of unread e-mail messages that you have, as well as other information specific to your job. From your home screen you have the ability to display graphical representations of Microsoft Dynamics GP data. Create quick links to reports you use often, as well as graphical to do list with job specific tasks and lists.
2. GP Reports (Report Writer) and Inquiries
- Microsoft Dynamics GP includes hundreds of reports that you can print from within windows as you enter and post transactions, create inquiries, and enter or access information. For example, you can easily print reports that contain vendor, customer, employee, and item records.
3. Microsoft Office Word Reports
- Word templates for documents such as sales quotes and purchase orders are provided, as is the ability to convert many other report writer reports into Word documents. This gives you the power to create template specific documents for as general as ALL customers and vendors, and as specific as each customer or vendor.
4. Business Alerts
- Business Alerts takes advantage of the query features of Microsoft SQL Server to monitor your data for specific conditions. For example, you can choose to be notified when a customer’s credit limit has been exceeded. You can also create a list of people to notify by email when that specific condition is met. You can create an unlimited number of business alerts, combining information from any of the tables in company or system databases.
5. Management Reporter
- You can use Management Reporter to create customized financial statements from your general ledger. It is tailored for financial and business professional users to create, maintain, deploy, and view boardroom-quality financial statements. It moves past traditional reporting constraints, enhancing your creativity and helping you design a variety of reports efficiently. These reports can also pull data from Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
6. Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
- SQL Server Reporting Services is a server-based reporting platform that you can use to create and manage tabular, matrix, graphical, and freeform reports that contain data from relational and multidimensional data sources. The reports that you create can be viewed and managed over a World Wide Web-Based connection or a SharePoint site. Microsoft Dynamics GP contains a number of predefined SQL Server reporting Services Reports for you to use.
1. Smart List/Smart List Builder
- You can use Smart List to create customized inquiries to provide easier, faster access to information stored in the Microsoft Dynamics GP system, including information about accounts, customers, employees, vendors, transactions, and items. You can print or export these search results, or display them on the screen.
2. Microsoft Excel-based Reports
- Microsoft Dynamics GP comes with many predefined Excel Reports. Excel Reports use Office Data Connection technology to maintain a direct link to the underlying company database, so that users with appropriate security access can view real-time data in an Excel worksheet, without needing to start Microsoft Dynamics GP.
3. Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services
- Not only can you create the reports as stated above in the Monitor phase, you can use this to compare reports and dive into the detail of the data.
4. Analysis Cubes and Pivot Tables
- With Analysis Cubes you can analyze and report financial data and share information across your organization. One advantage of the Analysis Cubes is that you can customize report packages that include only the information that is relevant for each recipient.
For the Planning phase, you combine the reports from the Monitor phase and Analyze phase to create budgeting, as well as making sure you follow the plan to create reports needed to benefit your specific company needs.
Here are basic steps to follow in planning a report:
- Create a report checklist
- Determine report needs
- Plan the report layout
You can modify existing reports, or create your own reports with the tools and applications mentioned above in the Monitoring and Analyzing phases. Microsoft Dynamics GP comes with many out of the box reports that provide a basis for any type of report you need, which then allow you the flexibility to modify and create your own reports to better meet your unique company reporting needs.
Business Intelligence can be described as any technology that enables a company to gain the insight needed to run a business. Microsoft Dynamics GP has a vision that Business Intelligence is to help drive businesses to better performance by empowering all employees throughout the organization to make better decisions on the strategic, tactical, and operational level. This vision can be achieved by combining the three phases mentioned above into a powerful integration that can deliver Business Intelligence capabilities within Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Dynamics GP.
Article by: Dave Bollard - Head of Marketing | 801-436-6636
JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more.