Maximizing Dynamics SL with Business Intelligence

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With a slow but steady 8% growth, the Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics solutions market continued to develop in 2013, according to Gartner.  Some might say that this is a stalling growth, but the progress is stable – and it could be the calm before the storm.  Nowadays, BI tools and processes are educating company leaders on how to best proceed with fiscal year, quarterly, monthly, real-time, project-specific, and beyond the General Ledger (GL) insights.   The business world is moving away from IT-managed technical solutions like reporting, budgeting, and data storage to powerful, but easy to use BI software that takes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like Microsoft Dynamics SL, to enhanced analysis and planning performance.


By now an established accounting software, Microsoft Dynamics SL has been around for a couple of decades after Microsoft acquired it in the early 2000’s.  With approximately 12,000 customers, it is to be expected that this customer base will continue to steadily grow under the Microsoft umbrella.  Even amidst its popularity, Dynamics SL users cannot ignore the BI offerings all around them.  The developing BI solutions market offers a plethora of solutions to maximize Dynamics SL by planning for the future and data analysis.  Moreover, BI offers data storage options, reporting, budgeting, and dashboards.  This article will discuss the features and functionalities of BI solutions for the benefit of Dynamics SL users.


BI for SL
Image taken from Shutterstock.


Data integration methodology is arguably the best place to begin when considering BI solution options that will accelerate Dynamics SL.  There are a few routes that the data in SL integrates to and from the BI tool.  Some products will produce real-time analysis by integrating live to Dynamics.  When it comes to the immediacy of analytics, this is the preferred method if the finance team has to generate some up-to-date reporting or dashboards.  Depending on the number of Dynamics SL users and the query size, live reporting can make the ERP server sluggish.


If the information needed doesn’t require a quick turnaround or the reports are a monthly routine, the user could select a solution that integrates from an OLAP cube or a data warehouse.  This method is more established and speedier in nature, but does require replication of data to the storage source before current reporting can happen.  Fortunately, there are also products that offer both integration methods.


Some of the more refined BI tools empower users to real-time reporting on Dynamics SL by integrating live and to a data storage option, like a Data Warehouse or an OLAP cube, often for budgeting, dashboards, and consolidations.  More than one data integration methodology might be invaluable for some organizations and excessive for others.  Thus, it will be essential to consider the number of users who could be working in Dynamics SL when a big query could hold up the server, how necessary it is to have real-time evaluation, and how valuable the high performance and stability of a data storage integration would be to the organization.  The BI industry is constantly dealing with data – and consequently, solutions for data storage should also be a consideration for the customer.

To continue learning more about what to consider when picking the best BI tools for Dynamics SL, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver, Inc.



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