Hanna Kim
Excel- and Web-based Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics GP

This article will discuss your financial reporting options for your Dynamics GP.

reportingdynamicsgpYour organization needs a powerful and dynamic financial reporting tool to help you stay competitive in your industry by managing and analyzing your data without any disruptions. Navigating through Business Intelligence (BI) is much like maneuvering through the streets of a foreign country without a map or any directions. In this article, I will explore Excel-based and web-based financial reporting options, so you are able to select the best reporting tool to navigate your organization in managing and analyzing your data using Microsoft Dynamics GP. Continue reading

Hanna Kim
Excel- and Web-based Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics GP

This article will focus on platform options when investing in a new budgeting tool.

budgetingfordynamicsgp

Look, it seems like I’ve talked about anything and everything about budgeting so I went directly to the source – a team of consultants. I asked them what the common problem they face with their clients when it comes to budgeting, and surprisingly, they all had the same answer. The majority of their clientele has never had a professional budgeting system, nor did they have a satisfactory budget model that reflected how their business operates. As mentioned in the budget tools for Microsoft GP users replacing Forecaster article, there are around 48,000 GP customers out of 200,000 Dynamics ERP users, and if your company is either one of the 2,000 companies using Forecaster as a budgeting tool or one of the 90% or more organizations who create their budget in homegrown Excel models, this article is for you. In this article, I will discuss Excel- and Web-based Budgeting for Dynamics GP. Continue reading

Hanna Kim
How to Reduce the Number of Report Writers in Your Organization

This article will discuss the benefits of consolidating your many reporting tools.

reporting

How many of us use five or more report writers across our business systems? I know it sounds absurd, but most organizations do use that many reporting tools across their ERP system and other databases. When looking to invest in a reporting tool, how you integrate and present your data is very important. It is the backbone when it comes to making wise business decisions. In this article, I will focus on various options for consolidating multiple reporting tools to navigate your organization-specific issues in managing and analyzing your data.

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Hanna Kim
Why Simple Dashboard Layouts Are Usually the Best Dashboard Layouts

This article will focus on dashboard tips and tricks that enable organizations to understand their company data better for stronger decision-making.

shutterstock_dashboards

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

All companies, no matter the size, benefit from Business Intelligence (BI). Of all BI tools, dashboards are often seen as a top priority especially to Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and other executives. According to Software Advice, a comparison site for Business Intelligence tools, dashboards, scorecards, and performance management software are priority number one for today’s financial executives. Dashboards provide quickly accessible, easily digestible analytics. It is an overview of your key information at a glance. Data Visualizations are graphs, charts, and scorecards that showcase data trends, opportunities, and challenges with key performance indicators (KPIs) for departments, projects, and/or the entire corporation. Making wise decisions is crucial for every organization because it heavily weighs on the company’s performance and condition, but just because an organization uses a dashboard, doesn’t mean it will be successful. In this article, we will focus on why a simple dashboard layout is typically the best kind of dashboard layout.

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Nils Rasmussen
Top Reasons Why Most Companies Are Far From Business Intelligence Nirvana


What happened to the vision of the easy, self-service, one-stop shop business intelligence (BI) capabilities that countless companies across the world have been seeking? After years of investing in new ERP systems, including cloud-based solutions, home-grown data warehouses and even sexy, new dashboard tools, the vast majority of companies are far from BI Nirvana.

The sad truth is that most organizations I talk to have 5 to 7 different reporting tools between their ERP solution, CRM, Payroll, Web site data and other systems. It does not make it better that more than 90% of them do all- or a majority of their budgeting and forecasting processes in manual Excel sheets. Oh, and then the sales team or certain other departments have sometimes implemented an analytics tool to provide them with dashboards and easy ad-hoc analysis. This will often fix short term pain, but it will not take you to BI Nirvana. In some organizations, the IT department has spent a year or more to build a so-called “enterprise data warehouse”, often with only some of their data sources included, such as General Ledger data and Sales data, and most of the time with IT-dependent report writers, OLAP cubes or pivot tables as the only means of reporting on the data.

companiesfarfrombinirvanaSo, what is the status of companies’ BI capabilities as of today? The bad news is that it is far from the BI Nirvana that managers have been dreaming about for years now after watching slick demos from one BI software vendor after another. But, the good news is that things are getting better. You only need to step back and compare your BI capabilities today with what they may have been in 2005, 1995 or, if you were even around in….1985. Chances are that your information workers now have more and better reporting tools available to them. Of course, today you have more data sources than ever, and market dynamics change faster than at any time in history. So, somewhere along the way, business users took matters into their own hands and the result was that…..Excel became the world’s most popular report writer and budgeting solution. But, although Excel is quite user friendly, extremely flexible and familiar to almost every business user on the planet, it was never meant to be an enterprise-wide BI tool. So, how do one get to this utopian place called BI Nirvana? You might need “a little help from my friends” as Joe Cocker sang in his popular rendition of the original Beatles song. In other words, do your homework, talk to your friends both inside and outside your company and educate yourself. Although every organization should stake out their own BI journey based on their needs, available data sources, internal talent, platform strategies (i.e. database type, cloud versus on premise, etc.) and more, a few things seem to fall into a common formula for BI success:

1) Strive for a single BI solution that covers all or most of these: Reporting (financial and operational), budgeting and forecasting, dashboards/analysis and data warehousing. If some key functionality is not covered by the BI suite you select, then make sure it integrates directly with a powerful 3rd party add-on for whatever functionality is missing in the suite. The last thing you need are more reporting tools in your company….so make sure the BI suite eliminates or reduces the need for your other tools.

2) Don’t ignore the power, flexibility and familiarity of Excel. But it should not be a manual Excel model, it should be an Excel add-in that allows you to build reports and input forms that dynamically retrieves and even saves data to a database. Oh, and it should be web-enabled or be able to convert the Excel templates to dynamic, browser-based templates for easy end-user access.

3) Repeat after me: “I promise not to implement more proprietary BI tools with unfamiliar user interfaces and that also may require all my end users to install client software or use Terminal Server or Citrix to access a remote desktop”. Using cloud, hosted or on premise architecture is not the most critical question. What you need to empower your growing number of end users that are seeking BI Nirvana is a single, self-service, web-based BI portal where each user can run reports and drill down to answer their questions without bothering IT or the accounting department, they can enter their budgets and they can discover trends and answer Who? Where? What? questions in interactive dashboards.

4) Finally, and this is a no-brainer….your BI capabilities are only as good as the data available in your BI suite. So, if you don’t have a well-functioning data warehouse yet to give you that sought-after, single version of the truth, start planning for one. You are going to need it if you want to get to BI Nirvana. It is an exciting road ahead for organizations seeking a competitive edge through BI excellence, even if you meet a few bumps along the way. Vendors like Solver with its BI360 solution as well as several other software providers with modern BI suites are continuously investing to help companies’ BI visions come true. Good luck on your journey!

Hanna Kim
How to Fix a Bad Budget Software Implementation

This article focuses on finding an improved solution for a bad software implementation.

Photo taken from Pixabay.

Photo taken from Pixabay.

We all wish for a successful software implementation, but information system projects frequently fall short or even fail. Many software implementations can be challenging, and only a few companies today achieve highly successful software implementations on their first try. Usually, the reason for failure or a bad budget implementation has little to do with the actual software itself. In this article, we will explore the seventh installment of our budget series: how to fix a bad budget software implementation.

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Hanna Kim
12 Best Practices for Budgeting Better

This article focuses on best practices to improve your budget process.

budget better

Think about all of the time and energy your company allocates to budgeting. Managers often scramble to collect financial data from multiple sources in consistent formats. Rather than aiding the process as they should, differing technology tools only add to the manual process. I feel incredibly overwhelmed just thinking about it, but these 12 best practices have helped immensely. This article will explore 12 best practices anyone can implement to improve the quality of his/her budget to stay on track now and into the future.

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Hanna Kim
BI360 Focus 16 Conference Recap

solver_awards_2016-045Solver Global came together at one location last week to host its annual Focus customer and partner conference at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines hotel in sunny San Diego, California. Solver kicked off the conference with two-day intensive training classes designed for beginning and advanced users. There were valuable information-sharing sessions that attendees came to expect with additional learning and networking opportunities, including a dynamic keynote speaker.   Continue reading

Hanna Kim
Reporting for Manufacturing Companies with Sage 100

This article will explore financial reporting features and functionalities in today’s solutions for manufacturing organizations looking to expand their Sage 100 experience.

manufacturingforsage100reporting

In today’s business world, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics are becoming the modern way of turning valuable company data into rich decision-making for a company’s future. Navigating through BI is much like maneuvering through the wilderness without a map or a compass. It can get overwhelming, but I’m here to help. This article will focus on what users should know about in modern reporting solutions to improve your Sage 100 experience, specifically zooming in on manufacturing data management and analysis.

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Hanna Kim
How to Prepare for Your First Budget Software Implementation (Budgeting Series)

This article will focus on the process of preparing for a successful software implementation.

Congratulations! You’ve finally made the first step in investing in a budgeting software. This is huge. Budgeting solutions will make a world of difference in streamlining painful, manual processes and will also often improve decision-making capabilities. Whether you are about to buy a tool or you just purchased one, you are on the verge of a software implementation. Many software implementations can be challenging, and only a few companies today achieve successful software implementations on the first try. In this article, we will explore the sixth installment of our budgeting series: how to prepare for your first budget software implementation.

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