This article will explore mobile options to access, manage, and analyze company data for Microsoft Dynamics NAV users.

I recently spoke to a COO, who lives and works in Kansas City, MO about the obstacles and restrictions she has been facing as her job has taken her to different client sites to oversee projects, while also contributing to the executive team’s responsibility to chart the path to the future for the company.  Over the past couple of years, as the company has taken on more clients, some international, she has been traveling a lot more.  Her team relies on Microsoft Dynamics NAV and a combination of Excel and the built-in financial reporting tool, but she is ready to seek a true upgrade to report writing and dashboards that is flexible in how and where you can access your data.  Are you in a similar boat?

Whether or not your company is in a parallel place, with similar specs and growth, flexibility is universally relevant, especially in today’s business world.  As Business Intelligence (BI) software evolves to more efficiently craft financial statements, budgets, and dashboards, I am confident that this COO is not alone.  Consumers are looking to third party manufacturers to focus on collaboration, acceleration, and streamlining of BI processes.  Truthfully, some independent software vendor (ISV) tools combine all of that into one product – and they have an advantage in the marketplace.  For this COO and plenty of Dynamics NAV customers, financial reporting and dashboards need to be accessible on the go.  This article will discuss flexible, modern, and powerful mobile reporting and dashboards for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.
For this COO using Dynamics NAV and the NAV-native Report Designer with Excel, she and her team would like to streamline their processes in the familiar Excel, but need more power and smart functionality to expedite their reporting and dashboards.  However, she is also interested in moving toward web-based options, mainly for the ability to access, manage, and analyze company data from anywhere with an internet connection.  Alternatively, she is wanting to avoid the frustration of learning another proprietary or non-Excel platform, partially because she knows that pain and sees it as a step back in terms of her team’s progress in financial reporting efficiency.  She willingly admitted that their current tools were falling short when it comes to meeting their goals, and she is ready to truly upgrade.  As we discussed her needs in a product, it seemed to break down into three primary elements: flexibility, collaboration, and accessibility.
Flexibility, in this context, means that you and your team will be able to craft reports and dashboards in diverse ways, but just as efficiently.  A modern workplace has changed so drastically in size, shape, and geography, with people working from cubicles, home offices, on airplanes – with or without access to Excel or company data, for that matter.  Excel is nearly ubiquitous around the world, familiar to and utilized by most finance teams, and my COO friend expressed her concern about giving up the features and formatting for a proprietary interface of web-based report designers, but they’re not mutually exclusive.  Some ISV tools build their web platforms with report design in Excel formatting, with the flexibility to move seamlessly between Excel and the web portal and mobile apps.  Sometimes, it is just about knowing how to shop for the BI tool you want.  However, secure collaboration becomes the next big question mark with some teams spread out geographically.
Accounting teams might have different responsibilities per role, but collaboration is a big part of the business world today.  You should shop around for a tool that has built-in collaboration features for secure contribution across multiple modalities.  Some features and functionalities of today’s best solutions involve automated, customizable Excel spreadsheet distribution, a web portal with a report library, and/or password protection access for specified users.  Whether you are working on a PC or laptop, a tablet or a mobile phone somewhere other than the office, your staff should be able to securely contribute to financial reporting or dashboards.  There are software options that will enable you to access and engage from wherever you are, at whatever time of day.
Accessibility is the result of synergy for all three of these aspects regarding financial reporting and dashboards for Dynamics NAV users.  Almost all professionals and especially executive officers are carrying smartphones these days.  Some third party vendors have rolled out mobile applications for financial reporting, and you should check them out, as a financial reporting accessory and as part of a replacement for subpar tools.  Regardless of where you are on the globe or what time zone you find yourself, your responsibilities aren’t waiting for you to come back to the office.  BI mobile apps empower you to make educated decisions from wherever you have your smartphone that will affect the current and future health of your organization.
Mobile financial reporting and dashboards are somewhat restricted to those who are currently producing such tools, but it would be a safe bet to assume that ISVs are going to swiftly roll out their version of reporting and dashboards mobile applications.  The current mobile applications usually are dashboard-focused, with the ability to measure one key performance indicator (KPI) for now, due to the screen size of smartphones.  On the other hand, when it comes to timely decision-making, this could meet your needs, whether is data visualizations in the form of charts or graphical scorecards or a summary of figures in a table – particularly when you don’t have another way to access organizational information.  Some of the new mobile BI apps also provides live NAV reports.  It is really cool to see technology evolve to meet modern business demands – to make life easier for accounting professionals.
You will likely have plenty of questions regarding how to find the best solution for you and your team that best combines flexibility, collaboration, and accessibility for mobile reporting dashboards to truly upgrade your Microsoft Dynamics NAV experience.  Solver would be happy to answer questions and generally review BI360’s easy-to-use Excel, web and mobile reporting and dashboard application, positioned within a full suite of BI tools for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities with Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

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