Web-based Reporting and Dashboards for SAP Business One

This article will discuss the brand new product category of web-based financial reporting portals for SAP Business One customers as a solution to multiple business problems.

A major evolution in the Business Intelligence (BI) marketplace, particularly for financial reporting, is starting to make ripples, and you should be in the know.  Broadly speaking, this evolution is a response to multiple organizational workflow problems, with a focus on business user friendliness, flexible access, and collaboration.  More specifically, SAP Business One (SAP B1) users should pay attention to web-based report libraries as they will create a new normal of streamlined, modern, and easy-to-use platform for next level financial reporting.  As all kinds of software continue to migrate to web interfaces, so has the BI realm.  In this article, I will explore the new product category emerging for SAP B1 customers – and the modern business problems solved by a web-based reporting and dashboards with collaborative features for discussion and analysis.

Diving right in, anytime, anywhere accessibility.  With a web interface for your organization’s BI consumers, whether you are getting a reporting and dashboard portal from independent software vendors or an SAP partner like Microsoft with their SharePoint offering, a web-based BI platform allows you to access your operational and financial information anywhere and anytime you need, offering one-click access to statements.  With reporting libraries on the internet, you can configure alerts as your KPIs break thresholds or problems arise, so you that can be aware in real-time.  Notifications do not stop there – you can set up alerts to e-mail you when newer versions of reports are ready.  Frontloaded configuration of automation engages personnel with significant organizational information right from their inbox.  And the easy-to-use vibe is all over this new product category.

Ease of use, as a major element to the architecture, invites non-IT personnel to maintain and evaluate their own data, cutting out the need for a middle man.  You don’t have to struggle to find a specific report because the filter function is crafted with more dynamic intuition and power.  You are able to search by report name or other criteria, however you recall to simply find a particular report.  Furthermore, web-based report libraries work kind of like your Netflix or Hulu accounts – or even a Facebook profile, because you can “favorite” reports you prefer or use a lot, making it quicker to get to your analytics.  Social networking has flavored some of the dynamic, user friendly functionality.

A good web-based report and dashboard portal will serve as a multiple user network, as well as a multi-dimensional interface for BI processes.  Solver’s own BI360 Web Portal has a homepage that is a dashboard, packed with all the data relevant to a particular user, so that you can rapidly get to subscribed reports, commentary, discussions, polls, and groups.  The business user friendly platform looks and feels current with maneuverable, image-focused choices for report templates, tasks, and other activities associated with your role.  With teamwork being so important in the business world, a web-based BI portal should focus on collaboration – or maybe social in a professional context, continuing the comparison of the software to social networks, whether this means discussions about budget variances, strategies or reporting and planning processes.

Collaboration is essential when pulling in data-specific diverse roles needed for analytics that drive decision-making across the entire company.  Today, it is not an option for successful software vendors to leave out this vital element.  Like social networking, discussions are an option when you publish results, with comment sections.  Visual flags will show up, as well as e-mail notifications, in real-time as the discussion unfolds.  Discussions can now occur across time zones and at all times of the day or night, as user run analyses.  It also occurs within a singular platform, which stores the interaction for future review of the decision-making process, which is especially helpful when new staff members join a team.   You can also reduce the amount of lengthy e-mail threads, and relatedly, you won’t have to sort through archives of e-mails to figure out what decision was made – depending on how you configure your notifications.  All of this synergy and streamlining paves the way for quicker analysis and informed action.

Web-based BI portals are the most intuitively collaborative technology ever created.  You can personalize a newsfeed that will pull and combine commentary and discussion based on particular tags, like “travel expenses” or “budget feedback,” as examples.  You can promptly pull reports with no time needed for execution or make comments, as well as sharing links to specific reports with your coworkers.  These collaboration functionalities are not only very natural in the context of user-friendly Cloud technology, but they are also fresh and modern with social networking features and functionalities.  That said, they are much more advanced and specific to business workflow than something like Twitter or Facebook.

It is important to note that this new product category packs in loads of power by combining all of the financial report writing and collaboration functionalities with the aesthetical dynamic that invites business end users into the synergistic, productive space.  You can look at consolidated and full-detail versions of reports through sophisticated navigation that is tree-based.  You can also group together statements, either in a formal report book – or as a reading recommendation.  Even if statements come from different report writers, you can view and also link reports from the top report designers within the same platform.  You can look at two reports, side by side, with SAP B1 information using a drag-and-drop split screen function.  And there’s more to report, when it comes to functionality.

Web-based report libraries combine power with nearly necessary flexibility for a truly modern technology.  Your accounting team is able to integrate a live report with the published version for comprehensive, real-time access to your data.  You can also edit data as you go to produce a what-if analysis, complete with associated calculations and charts, updated as you click.  Arguably the most important, high level flexibility has to do with exporting to Microsoft Office programs.  Excel spreadsheets keep their initial formatting and charting for future analytics.  Finally, related to all of this flexible access, the solution also has impressive security built right in that invites you to control who accesses either complete reports or even specific pieces for each of your users.  There’s so much consumer driven functionality that this product category offers modern business end users.

I know you have a full-time job, so looking out for new software – and in this case, a completely new product category – is not at the top of your to-do list as a SAP Business One customer, but that’s why this blog is here.  As solutions roll out in the web-based report library sector, you can arm yourself with the head start that you’re going to need to make a sound investment.  Solver would be happy to answer questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use, powerful web-based reporting library solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities with SAP B1.

 

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