Monday, December 2, 2013

Dynamics GP Reporting Options & Alternatives

One of the previous tag-lines for Microsoft Dynamics was 'it works the way you do' and when it comes to reporting, that pretty well sums up the Microsoft Dynamics GP offering in a nutshell.

There are a lot of options for reporting! 

Sometimes the options themselves can be confusing; however, remember that each reporting tool has its pros/cons and 'sweet spots' as my recent client exercise below shows:


 

In some cases, third-party reporting and/or planning tools such as those identified and circled make sense and drive the most value for an organization's needs.

If you 100% of your planning and reporting needs for Microsoft Dynamics ERP are not being met, tell me about it below and lets see how I can help.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dilbert on Preparing the Annual Budget

I love Dilbert and I especially love Dilbert on anything related to budgeting, reporting, analytics or business intelligence.


Source: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-10-21/


In many organizations, a certain aura of 'mystery' surrounds how the annual budget is prepared in Excel. In some cases, those preparing it cannot even articulate it very well.  This 'mystery' is another risk for those organizations that do not invest in a CPM platform and 'de-mystefying' the planning process.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Budgeting in Excel

Let's face it - most companies use Microsoft Excel to either fully prepare their budgets and forecasts, or at least to aid in some portion of this process.

There are numerous reasons for this, including the following:
  • Excel is already installed
  • Business users already know how to use Excel
  • Business users like (or should I say love) Excel
  • The organizations' ERP system allows one to import a budget from Excel
But when an organization's level of sophistication grows, using Excel can become an inefficient and complex tool to prepare budgets and forecasts for business users.  But, how can organizations identify this tipping point?  The following questions may assist you:
  • Business users are reluctant to re-forecast due to complexity and amount of effort required
  • Business users are expected to learn and leverage Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Excel to keep up with organizational complexity or business users begin to lose control of their financial and operational models as internal IT or external consultants develop and maintain complex VBA code
  • Business users like (or should I say love) for Excel begins to diminish as they spend more and more time populating data and fixing errors in the spreadsheets
  • Other planning and performance management areas, including financial and operational reporting systems bundled with the organization's ERP system no longer meet the growing complexity of organizational requirements
What are your thoughts on this topic?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Microsoft Forecaster 7 SP5 Early Warning Notice

Good news for Forecaster 7 users who have been patiently waiting for the re-release of Forecaster 7 SP4 to rectify a number of nasty issues - Service Pack 5 is on its way!

At present, I do not have the expected release date, but it is good news nonetheless!

For those who don't want to wait, you can always look at alternate budgeting & reporting solutions, such as, Prophix CPM which allows you to link operational and financial budgets to drive real value from the planning and performance management process.

For those who are not in a rush, why not wait until budgeting can be performed in Management Reporter?

Count Down to Jet Express for Microsoft Dynamics GP!

Jet Express is the latest in the full selection of friendly, easy to use reporting and analytics tools available from Jet Reports. It is a free Excel based reporting tool that will be made available for Dynamics GP at Convergence 2013 in mid-March 2013.


Let the count-down begin!



Friday, December 7, 2012

BI Snowflakes & Stars - All Are Unique

I couldn't resist another winter themed post on Business Intelligence. 

While those of us who are less technically inclined may enjoy the picture below, those who design and develop data marts and data warehouses are very familiar with both the snowflake and star schema.



One popular truth regarding snowflakes is that no two snowflakes are identical.  When it comes to Business Intelligence, no two organization's needs are identical either. 

Enjoy the winter beauty of stars and snowflakes this season - and let us take care of data structure underpinning your Business Intelligence solution.  You'll be happy you did!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What are you getting for Christmas?

If you have kids, you'll agree that one of the top things on their minds this season is what they want for Christmas.

But what about the retailers and organizations who are hoping to make the best of this Christmas season?  How can they best predict what products to stock up on? 

I know from first-hand experience, that my favourite winter tire brand seems to always be 'sold-out' by mid-December - what if they could better predict demand and optimize their production and supply chain to fulfill more requests?

From a BI perspective, the answer lies in the predictive power of data mining.  One real world predictive analytics and data mining solution called Sentinel Mining is based on the Ph. D. thesis by TARGIT CTO Dr. Morten Middelfart. Check it out!