Gartner’s 2013 Financial Executive International CFO Technology Study discovered that CFOs’ primary business intelligence (BI) tool of choice is Performance Measurement, Scorecards, and Dashboards, which is not surprising. In the fast lane of business today, corporate performance management is more accessible when employing graphical scorecards or dashboards to evaluate company successes and failures. Dashboards are a BI tool used to examine company performance data in a visual analysis. They are scorecards, charts, and graphs that utilize key performance indicators (KPIs) to present the developments and trends of the entire organization, a project, or a particular department.
Dashboard is more commonly associated with vehicular interfaces – and they are conceptually very similar, visually narrating a company’s progress. To differentiate, business dashboards are built for interactive and adaptive management, equipped with drill-down and drill-to functions to consider company data, input to make informed choices to build the business in the future. When considering dashboards software, there are a several features and technological capabilities to discover and recognize before deciding which enhancement will aid Dynamics GP to meet company needs.
First thing to note: dashboards can pull data from a variety of places. Some dashboards are live on Dynamics GP, getting real-time data through live integrations. This empowers operators to see how the organization is progressing to the minute that they run the report. The ability to integrate live from GP is most beneficial when real-time data analysis is key to managers – or for smaller organizations that only require simple ERP dashboards, without the time and/or skilled personnel needed to manage a BI database, such as an OLAP cube or a data warehouse. However, bigger corporations might need something a faster and more stable than a live integration to and from GP.
An OLAP cube or a data warehouse integration allows bigger groups of individuals to build dashboards without the lethargy that results from more than one, sometimes simultaneous retrieval of real-time information live from GP. The option of an OLAP cube or more specifically, a data warehouse is great for high performance, although it does require replication of data from GP to the chosen data storage unit. Since the dashboard then grabs from a data storage platform, it does not slow down Dynamics GP. In addition to these two options, the third option entails the ability to do both.
Few solutions on the market have the ability to create dashboards via live integrations – and other dashboards by pulling from an OLAP cube or data warehouse. Real-time data analyses are commonly needed for vital operational data evaluation, such as inventory or sales where managers may want up-to-the-minute data. Based on periodical financial data and/or budgets, some dashboards maybe only require monthly refreshes, so integrating with an OLAP cube or Data Warehouse works just fine. Software that allows for both types of integrations are going to logically be more wide-reaching, but not necessarily more costly. Regardless, there is more to consider when it comes to responding to company needs with the right solution.
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by Solver, Inc.