This is probably not news to you at this point: dashboards are the most sought after Business Intelligence (BI) solution on the market today. Gartner’s Financial Executive International CFO Technology study in 2013 pointed out that dashboards, scorecards, and performance management solutions are the most important BI investment for CFOs. The business world of today is undeniably more fast-paced than ever, and corporate decision-making has to be business user friendly and mobile for the on-the-go realities of the global marketplace. Dashboards, charts, and graphical scorecards expedite decision-making by visualizing data trends and trajectories. As professionals at all levels of the corporate hierarchy need quick access to company data, and dashboards employ key performance indicators (KPIs) to illustrate your company’s strengths and weaknesses – whether comprehensively as an organization, specifically as a department or division, or focused on a project or ad hoc analysis.
BI dashboards derive their nomenclature from the dashboard you are looking at in a vehicle, which allows for the operator make educated, real-time decisions about how you are driving. BI dashboards similarly empower corporate decision-makers to understand the overall health of the company with a glance at a data visualization. Moreover, dashboards in the BI world are crafted for interaction, adjustment, and interpretation, inviting drill-to and drill-down capabilities that you don’t really have in a car so you can adequately understand the data from Dynamics NAV to make the best decisions about the future of your company. All that said about the demand in the marketplace for dashboards, this article will explore the various BI software options to weigh and compare before deciding to invest to enhance your Microsoft Dynamics NAV experience.
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Perhaps the first thing you need to consider involves the disparate sources that you pull your data from for analysis. There are dashboard solutions that allow you to generate data visualizations live from Dynamics NAV, making for a real-time data analysis. This route invites users to take the temperature of the company with up-to-the-minute data. This capability is ideal for when CFOs, supervisors, or accounting professionals need real-time reporting. This is also optimal for smaller companies who only need simple accounting system dashboards, without the resources to manage a BI database, such as a data warehouse or an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube. However, larger organizations might need a more stable, faster option when it comes to evaluating company information.
An OLAP cube or data warehouse integration empowers larger numbers of users to create dashboards with the slowness of running data queries on the NAV server for real-time reporting. Integrating from a data storage source enables high performance BI analysis. With data source integrations, you must first replicate company data from NAV to the data warehouse or OLAP cube. Grabbing data from a storage unit ensures the NAV server is not slowing down for everyone because of large and/or simultaneous data queries. There are also hybrid options that provide the flexibility of live and data source integrations.
To continue learning more about dashboards for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, read the rest of this article here.
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