Business Intelligence Comes Standard in Dynamics NAV

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Do you have key data when you need it?

You can’t afford to be flying blind when it comes to making key decisions. Many organizations are putting their business on the line because they don’t have timely reports on everything from fleet utilization, profitability, customer trends, and finances. Accurate reporting, or Business Intelligence as it is commonly known, allows for key operational changes to be made while there is “still time” instead of reacting to data after the fact.

I remember sitting in an early Monday morning managers meeting one September and getting hammered by our CEO as to “what happened in July?” It was difficult for me to remember the details of each contract and it was too late for me to make adjustments because I didn’t have the right information when it mattered most.

Can you relate?

When I speak to organizations about their level of current insight into their operations and what Business Intelligence (BI) solutions they need the most common response is “we want to get there eventually”.

There are a lot of steps necessary to achieving intelligent reporting in your organization, but the two key questions to consider are:

  • Is the ability to obtain Business Intelligence inherent in your system or application?
  • How easy will it be to deploy?

There are many legacy applications with outdated database structures buried behind simple interfaces designed to look cutting edge. Some of these applications still operate on the same data structure and operating systems that bore them 30 years ago. It doesn’t take much to go under the hood to determine what you are really dealing with.

Data has to be exported into separate tables in these systems and then data cubes created to allow the access to and sorting of data based upon predetermined metrics. This is time consuming and cumbersome to say the least.

We understand that BI must be both Tactical and Strategic in its deployment. Each department has different reporting needs and the term “one size fits all” just doesn’t work with reporting across an organization. Your solution must be deployable and usable by many different staff or roles.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV for comprehensive Business Intelligence across your organization

I was first introduced to Dynamics NAV back in 2003 and was impressed at the stability and longevity of the product. My customers realized NAV was a combination of off-the-shelf business functionality and an elegant development environment that allowed them to economically customize the solution while not limiting their ability to upgrade in the future.

Dynamics NAV comes with a plethora of reporting and BI options that are suitable for all industries. Some of which are:

  • NAV Role Center with Webparts – Keep important role-specific information at the fingertips of each individual in the organization. Each assigned role has a number of predefined reports, charts, or graphs and has the ability for you to build your own and install as a webpart.
  • Built-in NAV Report Designer/ RDLC – Used for many years as the foundation reporting engine, you now have the ability to create report layouts through Visual Studio Report Designer.
  • NAV Analysis Views – Generate quick views of G/L entries for immediate analysis.
  • Jet Reports – Design powerful and insightful reports in an Excel based environment. This tool is available in three different levels and was really designed for the end user rather than IT, which makes Jet the most popular NAV reporting tool.
  • Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services – SQLSRS gathers operational data from different sources for management reporting with this ready to use reporting tool that operates from the SQL database.
  • SharePoint – Create a dashboard or portal with key reporting data in SharePoint, which was once called Microsoft’s best kept secret.

You have many other reporting options with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and also through many other third-party products that are not mentioned here. The key is selecting the best tool for the particular business role or application.

Powerful real-time reporting and system flexibility is just one of the many reasons why NAV has become so popular. Dynamics NAV is the most installed mid-market ERP system in the world with over 130,000 customers. Read more about why Dynamics NAV is a great fit for your organization.

By Larry Miller of Open Door Technology, a leading provider of Microsoft Dynamics NAV in Canada

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