Dashboards for Professional Sports Teams with Dynamics GP

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.

Just like the dashboard in any vehicle, organization decision-makers can analyze transactional and operational data trends through illustrations of that information.  The main difference between a vehicular dashboard and the kind you can design for your professional sports team is that BI dashboards are made for interaction, so you can adjust and interpret more specifically for your needs.  Drill-to and drill-down functionality will help inform more precise decisions that will lead to a future of financial success for the franchise.  But enough about the prevalence and importance of BI dashboards.  Let’s zoom in on how to utilize the functionality for a professional sports team, specifically to expand your team’s analytics to include data from Microsoft Dynamics GP, your ticketing system and other data sources.

First, you can pull financials and statistics from multiple sources with today’s data visualizations.  You can achieve real-time dashboards with a direct integration from Microsoft Dynamics GP and other data sources, which translates to up-to-date analyses, which are essential for those who rely on refreshed information, as well as smaller organizations that really only require basic accounting system dashboards, without resources to maintain a BI database, like an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a data warehouse.  However, most professional sports teams need a higher performance and the stability that a BI data store can provide your dashboards.

Integrating from an OLAP cube or data warehouse allows mid-sized organizations, like a lot of professional sports teams, to craft data visualizations without slowing down accounting or other data source system servers because of significant and/or simultaneous data pulls.  However, avoiding this system slowdown first requires that you invest in a data store and then, routinely replicate your information to the cube or warehouse.  There are some dashboard tools that offer you the choice of a live ERP integration for more urgent analyses and BI data store integrations for more regular dashboards.  This kind of hybrid offering can be affordable as well.  There’s plenty of additional aspects to weigh when seeking the best tool for your team’s analytical needs.

Another fundamental element to consider: the type of platform.  While most finance teams have depended on Excel for the past couple of decades, the Web is a relatively new and competitive platform now – and definitely growing in popularity in the future.  There are also independent software vendors (ISVs) that offer their own proprietary interfaces that are non-Excel.  You can also go with the native data visualization functionality within accounting systems like Dynamics GP, which are typically underwhelming in terms of their abilities because dashboards aren’t their primary purpose or output.  The most promising dashboard software for most professional sports teams will be Web-based, so management as well as owners can access and view data visualizations from anywhere you have an internet connection.

Browser-based tools are more popular today because of the flexibility of access and collaboration that the Web can provide for businesses, whether professional sports teams or other vertical industries.  Your professional sports team likely has many moving parts, whether that be sales professionals, the talent, the executive team, and/or owners, all of which could find a web platform attractive.  And now, several third party software vendors are producing web-based dashboards, hosted on-premises or in the Cloud, that provide the same drill-down functionality, KPIs, and layout choices.  Similarly, mobile dashboards are showing up in the marketplace, meaning you can access your data from anywhere you can connect to the internet, as well as anywhere you carry your mobile device.  Currently, most mobile dashboards can only showcase one KPI at a time because of screen size.  The excellent news is that there are solutions that combine Excel, Web, and mobile dashboards for ultimate flexibility through hybridity.

There are some solutions that offer multiple ways to access your data and analyses.  Some dashboard software is also positioned within a comprehensive suite of BI tools, fully integrated with financial reporting, planning, and data storage, sometimes at a discount when bundled, which means that you only have to work with one team of consulting, reseller, and support professionals.  Dashboards can be pretty impactful in making decisions about the future of your professional sports team, grounding choices in historical actuals and business trends.

Dashboards for professional sports teams are typical executive dashboards, with a spotlight on the big picture and more summarized, consolidated data including General Ledger (GL) information and sometimes, with other kinds of data, like ticket sales, inventory, and more specific team-related operations, such as games, venues, managers, players, scouts, and various minor league clubs, or even expense reimbursements by player.  Operational dashboards refreshed more regularly, most times relying on an OLAP cube or a data warehouse, but they can also be live integrations as well.  These data visualizations usually focus on sales by professional, allowing you to drill-down to see the transactions for goal setting and tracking.  Dashboard actuals are typically tied directly to revenue forecasting, which lends itself nicely in support to investing in a BI suite, especially if you can purchase incrementally.

If you work for a professional sport team that is financially healthy, dashboards are a solution for the kind of analyses your executive team is seeking because staff at all levels of your organization can quickly access, read, and understand company data.  Goal setting and understanding how data is trending to make adjustments and stay on track is pretty important in this economy and business world, so choose a smart dashboards solution to help you do just that.  You should only consider business user friendly dashboard software with pre-built GP integrations, so you can manage the product with minimal IT involvement.  Solver offers an Excel and web-based dashboards 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 data visualization solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities for professional sports teams using Microsoft Dynamics GP. cheap car rent

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