This article will discuss top features and functionalities you should be seeking in today’s business user friendly dashboard solutions for professional sports teams using Microsoft Dynamics GP.

You’ve probably noticed or heard that dashboard software is really popular in the Business Intelligence (BI) arena these days.  Additionally, Gartner’s recent study on CFO technology priorities concluded that dashboards, scorecards, and performance management tools are number one for financial executives today.  Professional sports teams are typically relying on dashboards in terms of athlete performance anyway, so BI dashboard analytics are a logical extension of easy-to-digest, quickly accessible analyses.  Dashboards or charts, graphs, and scorecards that showcase data trajectories, successes, and challenges with key performance indicators (KPIs), whether you are looking at off-season plans, investments, payroll, or the overall financial picture of your professional sports team.
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In this article, I’ll explore what-if analytics and modeling functionality built into some of today’s budgeting software for planning that accounts for variables with Microsoft Dynamics.

Budgeting is a task that requires actual data, research, goal setting, and teamwork, and depending on your planning process, a lot can happen to change the course of your budget.  Thus, I would argue that besides historical actuals, there are enough variables in the context of financial planning for your company that makes budgeting a challenging task at times.

If you like to see some options and dynamically approach planning by being adaptable and exploratory with different outcomes, what-if analyses and modeling will allow you to do just that.  In this article, we’ll explore what-if planning and modeling functionality that comes with some modern budgeting tools for Microsoft Dynamics customers.

What is What-If Analysis? 

Basically, a what-if analysis boils down to the business end user altering the values in the cells of your budget spreadsheet to illustrate how certain changes can impact the results of your formulas.  Because a lot of companies are using Excel for budgeting, including Excel add-in planning software, we’ll talk in Excel terminology.  

For example, one term we will use is “scenario,” which is a set of values for your multiple what if analysis in excel. Users can design and save multiple sets of values on a worksheet and then substitute these scenarios into the financial plan to see the difference in outcomes. 

Another example would be if you would like to budget for your most ambitious goal setting, something in the middle, and the worst case scenario.  You can put together these three scenarios on the same spreadsheet and then, easily switch between them to see what thresholds you would need to cross to reach the results you established in your scenarios.

As we all know, budgeting is rarely a one-person responsibility, so people across the organization have to bring together actual figures and projections for the next period to set a financial plan.  If you have multiple people offering particular data in disparate spreadsheets that you’d like to utilize for scenarios, you can gather these workbooks and integrate their scenarios.  Some of the more modern solutions allow you to distribute password protected access rights, so that can smooth out collaboration and privacy concerns.  

Once you have configured and assembled all of the scenarios that you want, you can produce a summary statement that includes data from these scenarios.  This report showcases all of the scenario data in one table on a new spreadsheet.

Another Excel term that has to do with what-if analysis dashboards is a data table.  Data tables only work with one or two variables, but can include many different values for these variables. 

If you are employing a formula that has one or two variables – or even several formulas that all utilize the same variable, you can employ a data table to view all of the results in one space. 

In terms of business user friendliness, data tables are easy to understand and share because you are zooming in on only one or two variables.  While data tables are limited to just two variables, a data table can use as many different variable values as you need whereas scenarios cap out at 32 different values.  Additionally, if automated recalculation is set up for the workbook, the information in your data table recalculates automatically for fresh, real-time data.

How to Prepare for the Worst Case Scenario with What-If Analyses

What-if scenarios do have their potential drawbacks.  Because their purpose is to determine the risk and probability associated with the marketplace, evaluating past performance and projections for the future, there is a chance that the worst case scenario can happen because of the way the variables roll out in the business world.  

The worst case scenario can more or less occur even though a what-if analysis establishes that outcome as an outlier – and can you tolerate that result?  One way to be more prepared and aware of the variety of results is to do a random factor analysis, running thousands of independent trials with your software to randomly assign values to your factors. You may be wondering how to do a factor analysis in excel? The most prevalent kind of random factor analysis is called a Monte Carlo analysis, which randomly assigns factor values from a data set configured for the variable’s specific probability distribution.

Historical actuals help decision-makers understand past performance with straightforward simplicity, but revenue and expenses from last year have no influence on future performance, risk or return.  Therefore, what-if analyses can model multiple ways that your future can play out, so you can prepare to meet your own informed goals, objectives, and plans for the year.  Luckily, Microsoft Dynamics customers have a lot of options in terms of planning software.

What-if analyses and modeling are just pieces of the pie in regard to budgeting – and now couldn’t be a better time to start considering a modern, powerful budgeting tool.  While most companies are relying on homegrown processes in Excel or Microsoft’s mature budgeting offering, Forecaster, independent software vendor (ISV) products are becoming more prevalent in finance departments around the world.  Simply, this is due to the consumer-driven features and functionalities in third party offerings that provide an easy-to-use, secure, and collaborative planning for business end users.   You should consider several things, so you can pick the right solution for your planning needs.

When looking at third party software for what-if analysis dashboards, you’ll want to choose the best platform for your team. To make the best decision first evaluate the following: 

  • How secure the program is for powerful collaboration
  • Ability to fully integrate the software 
  • Comprehensive suite of BI tools
  • User friendliness of the product for your colleagues to utilize

You will also want to make sure that the tool comes with important functionality, like what-if analytics, modeling, multiple year budgets and rolling forecasts, etc.  You have a lot to consider, but budgeting as a corporate task is worth your time, money, and energy to find the premier software that can take your planning processes to the next level.  

Contact Solver for What-If Analysis Resources 

Solver offers an Excel- and Web-based budgeting module stand-alone and as part of the comprehensive suite of BI modules and would be happy to answer questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use Planning solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities, like what-if analyses and modeling, with Microsoft Dynamics.

In this article, Microsoft Dynamics NAV customers can learn about top features and functionalities of third party planning software options to expand budgeting and forecasting processes.

My theory for why budgeting is such a dreaded responsibility has to do with how tedious manual Excel budgeting processes can be for budget managers.  Excel might be globally entrenched in the finance culture, but the spreadsheet application performs below par for any healthy organization.  More and more Microsoft Dynamics NAV users are turning to independent software vendor (ISV) budgeting tools to expand and modernize their planning tasks.  Some of the modern ISV tools streamline and expedite budgeting and forecasting by focusing on secure collaboration.  Budgeting and forecasting are regular processes elevated by teamwork because of the necessity to live within the financial means of an organization based on actuals and research from all areas of the company.
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In this article, modern financial consolidation solutions will take center stage, particularly for multi-location Non-profit organizations using Intacct to manage parent company finances.

There is a population of non-profit Intacct customers who are overseeing the financials of their organization with multiple locations or entities.  Consolidating organizational information from more than one location, sometimes with diverse currencies, can be tedious without a premier financial consolidation solution.  Data continues to grow in size and significance in terms of decision-making.  More executives than ever are shopping for the right tool to allow their business end users to aggregate data into a set of financial statements or for summarized operational reports.  This article will zoom in on features and functionalities for the non-profit Intacct user who performs consolidations for monthly financials or annual budgets for the parent organization.
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Los Angeles, CA, September 15, 2015 – Solver, Inc., the global leader in Business Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics, Acumatica, Intacct, Sage, SAP Business One and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, today announced top customer awards for 2015. Awards were announced at BI360 Focus 2015, Solver’s annual user conference for partners and customers who leverage Solver’s BI360 to drive performance and results.

Awards were presented to the following Solver BI360 customers:

  • Casey Family Programs, Top U.S. Customer
  • San Diego Padres, Best New U.S. Customer
  • Brookfield Residential, Best Canadian Customer
  • Preem, Top EMEA Customer
  • Agrace HospiceCare, Inc., Top Not-for-Profit Customer
  • Logix Federal Credit Union, Top Data Warehouse Customer
  • Elmer Candy Corporation, Top Customer on Sage X3
  • Adams Land and Cattle, Top Customer on Sage X3
  • Progressive Components, Top Customer on GP
  • Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, BI360 Trailblazer
  • Wirtz Beverage Group, Top Customer on AX
  • University of California, Irvine Extension, Customer Evangelist
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Best Budget Model
  • Hollywood Wax Museum, Most Creative Use of Reporting
  • Center for American Progress, Top Customer on SL
  • Mobilex USA, Top Customer on Sage 500

“Solver and our partner channel are very committed to our customers and our customer relationships. It’s a thrill and an honor to be able to recognize their achievements in business intelligence, as well as their creativity and innovation surrounding our BI360 solution,” said Nils Rasmussen, Solver CEO. “We look forward to continuing to innovate with them and to provide them with cutting-edge, industry leading business intelligence software solutions.”

BI360 Focus 2015 was Solver’s third annual user conference and was a huge success, delivering record attendance numbers, including more sessions dedicated to BI360 Partner interests as well as several tracks of presentations, demos, and hands-on labs for customers. The conference provided partners and customers opportunities to maximize their BI360 implementation through best practices to tackle particular organization challenges and goals, with BI360 experts on hand to share their knowledge.  Marina del Rey, CA was a beautiful setting for the networking that occurred throughout the conference.

About Solver

Solver provides BI360, the leading Business Intelligence suite for Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, SL, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, Intacct, Acumatica and other ERP systems. Solver is a Microsoft Gold ISV Partner and the winner of the Microsoft BI Partner of Year Award and has a presence on the Gartner Group CPM Magic Quadrant. BI360 is sold through a world-wide network of resellers and is ideal for companies looking to find a user friendly, yet highly functional Reporting, Budgeting, Dashboard, and Data Warehouse solution to give them deep insight and actionable information across all facets of their organization.

For any questions, visit Solver’s website or contact Solver at info@solverusa.com

Los Angeles, CA, September 15, 2015 – Solver, Inc., the global leader in Business Intelligence for Microsoft Dynamics, Acumatica, Intacct, Sage, SAP Business One and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, today announced Top Performing Partner Awards for their demonstrated excellence in customer impact by delivering the BI360 Suite to assist customers in optimizing their corporate performance management processes.  Solver honored 10 organizations for their accomplishments in 2015, across various partner categories, both globally and regionally. Awards were announced at BI360 Focus 2015, Solver’s annual user conference for partners and customers who leverage Solver’s BI360 suite to drive performance and results.

“We are especially excited to announce and recognize our top-achieving partners both in the U.S. and abroad, as last year was deemed our Year of the Partner, and we are now starting to see the emergence of a number of very strong partners,” said Nils Rasmussen, Solver CEO. “Our focus on the partner channel is the main reason we are expanding faster than ever.  BI360’s success has everything to do with the partner relationships we have built along with committed, hard-working product experts.  On behalf of Solver’s global family, I would like to congratulate and thank our award winners for their achievements in the past 12 months and for their continued dedication and support of Solver and the BI360 product suite.”

200 partners around the world were in the running, and the partners qualified for the award by reaching the top sales volume of BI360 during the past year. The 2015 BI360 Partner of the Year award recipients are as follows (by category):

Awards were presented to the following Solver BI360 Partners:

  • Tribridge, Global Partner of the Year
  • SBS Group, U.S. Partner of the Year
  • Crestwood, U.S. New Partner of the Year
  • Codestone, EMEA Partner of the Year
  • ISB Global, EMEA New Partner of the Year
  • Ciall, EMEA Trailblazer of the Year
  • Olympic Software, APAC Partner of the Year
  • Dynamic Edge, APAC New Partner of the Year
  • Callow & Associates Management Consultants, Inc., Canada Partner of the Year
  • Njevity, Inc., Cloud Partner of the Year

“Solver and our partner channel are very committed to our customers and our customer relationships. It’s a thrill and an honor to be able to recognize their achievements in business intelligence, as well as their creativity and innovation surrounding our BI360 solution,” said Nils Rasmussen, Solver CEO. “We look forward to continuing to innovate with them, and to provide them with cutting-edge, industry leading business intelligence software solutions.”

BI360 Focus 2015 was Solver’s third annual user conference and was a huge success, delivering record attendance numbers, including more sessions dedicated to BI360 Partner interests as well as several tracks of presentations, demos, and hands-on labs for customers. The conference provided partners and customers opportunities to maximize their BI360 implementation through best practices to tackle particular organization challenges and goals, with BI360 experts on hand to share their knowledge.  Marina del Rey, CA was a beautiful setting for the networking that occurred throughout the conference.

About Solver

Solver provides BI360, the leading Business Intelligence suite for Microsoft Dynamics AX, GP, NAV, SL, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, Intacct, Acumatica and other ERP systems. Solver is a Microsoft Gold ISV Partner and the winner of the Microsoft BI Partner of Year Award and has a presence on the Gartner Group CPM Magic Quadrant. BI360 is sold through a world-wide network of resellers and is ideal for companies looking to find a user friendly, yet highly functional Reporting, Budgeting, Dashboard, and Data Warehouse solution to give them deep insight and actionable information across all facets of their organization.

For any questions, visit Solver’s website or contact Solver at info@solverusa.com.

This article will explore financial report writing options for Professional Services organizations using Acumatica, so you can invest more wisely in expanding your analytics.

In the modern business culture, perhaps especially for Professional Services organizations, a modern, robust financial report writer is essential to staying competitive in your sector, navigating the economy, all while developing your brand and your business.  In this article, I’ll focus on today’s premier financial reporting tools, zooming in on the top feature and functionality offerings, so you can select the best reporting solution for your Professional Services team to enhance your Acumatica experience.
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This article is going to explore your budgeting and forecasting solution options that can expand your Manufacturing and Distribution planning processes with Sage X3.

Regardless of whether it is a budget, a forecast, or a what-if scenario you are putting together for your company, you will need actual historical numbers and projections, so you can plan effectively for managing your manufacturing or distribution company, meeting challenges and seizing opportunities in the coming period.  There are several software choices that can aid manufacturing and distribution companies using the Sage X3 ERP system in taking their budgeting to the next level, whether you choose to design your own process, rely on native Sage X3 functionality or select an independent software vendor (ISV) tool.  This article will discuss some of the premier options for today’s budgeting, forecasting, and modeling specifically to meet your manufacturing or distribution planning needs with Sage X3.
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This article covers data warehouse solutions, both in general and in specific for retail companies who are seeking to expand their Microsoft Dynamics AX analytics.

In today’s fast-paced business world, perhaps especially for retail corporations, data is essential.  Because data is driving decision-making, retail companies are strategizing to stay on budget and on track with their stores, customers, vendors, managers, and so on – and a data warehouse can be really impactful in supporting Business Intelligence (BI) analyses.  As with most technology, if you aren’t already using a modern offering, you probably have questions.  This article will go about answering the most common questions you might have about data warehousing with Microsoft Dynamics AX for your retail company.
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Solver and its global family of international companies came together last week to host their annual partner and user conference, BI360 Focus 2015, in beautiful Marina del Rey, California.  As expected, it built on last year’s momentum delivering higher attendance, more learning sessions and educational tracks available for participants – and even a Ted Talk speaker presenting the second keynote address of the event.
This was my second time participating in Solver’s big user conference, BI360 Focus, hosted in sunny southern California, and it simply got better.  Networking happened organically through thoughtful discussions, panel presentations, Q&A sessions, a welcome reception, a game of volleyball, or Amazing Race teamwork, amongst other opportunities.  Customers and partners alike registered in record numbers, selling out the conference.  And while Partner Day was added last year, the Solver team expanded the day to include a track of consulting/technical implementation and independent software vendor (ISV) sponsor sessions, detailing integrations and best-of-breed solutions with BI360.   The Welcome Reception, held in the courtyard of the Marriott, offered a tasting event of California trends in food and beverages that brought customers and partners together before the customer conference even began.
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