Matthew Felzke
Top BI and Corporate Performance Management Trends for 2016

This article will discuss the year ahead of us, specifically in terms of what 2016 holds for Business Intelligence and Corporate Performance Management for modern businesses.

Another year has come and gone, seemingly faster than ever – and we’re already into the second month of 2016.  At the end of 2015 or in early January, some people were writing about Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) trends they predicted we would see manifest this year.  However, much like my current approach to New Year’s resolutions, I felt it was important to let the dust settle, work through the workload hangover of the holidays, and have the New Year function as a soft opening.  This way, we can approach 2016 with a rolling start that doesn’t set us up for failure.  This article will discuss some key trends and trajectories that data management and analytics will take in 2016.

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Matthew Felzke
Business Intelligence Trends for the Second Half of 2015 and Beyond

This article will discuss what is trending in terms of Business Intelligence, specifically what you should know about for the rest of 2015 and beyond, so you can continue to make strong, data-driven decisions.

July 1 has come and gone, and we’re flying at full speed in the second half of 2015.  Conferences, summits, business deals, partnerships, and other organizational happenings fill up our days, months, and years, but we have to stay focused on so many things directly related to the success of our company.  One of those things has to be how we access, manage, and analyze our data for stronger, more informed decision-making.  In this article, I’ll discuss what you need to focus on in terms of Business Intelligence (BI) trends for software solutions and how we conduct our analytical processes.

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Matthew Felzke
Data Warehouse and OLAP Cube-based Reporting for Microsoft Dynamics

How you access your data can determine the speed and efficacy you can achieve in your financial reporting processes.  This article will discuss data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.

Data is driving decision-making at all levels because data continues to grow in size and significance.  Logging, storing, and evaluating data has become a big part of the business culture today.  In order to produce rich, helpful financial reports for an analysis of a company’s opportunities and challenges, you will have to routinely store, access, and manage your data.  Because of this reality, you might feel overwhelmed your technology options for storing your data.  You have a few options, but they vary in functionality, and one might be better for your company than another, depending on what analysis goals you are trying to achieve.  This article will explore data warehouse and OLAP cube based reporting.

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Matthew Felzke
Top BI and Performance Management Trends for 2015

This article will discuss what to expect, what is up and coming, and what will rule in the business world, with a specific focus on the Business Intelligence processes our finance and executive teams will continue to be charged with improving in 2015.

I don’t know if you feel like this, but the new year came and went so quickly, and here we are in the second half of January.  We’re not only back in the swing of things, but business is racing as usual.  Sometimes, it seems as if we can get lost in the hustle of catching up from the holidays, preparing for the next big event, and/or traveling to visit a customer or partner.  But improving processes and staying competitive and connected to the industry, including trends and trajectories for the business world, is still on your to-do list.  This article will zoom in on the top trends for business and specifically performance management, so your company can be in front of developments and evolutions for financial reporting, budgeting, data visualizing, and data warehousing processes.

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Mike Applegate
Configuring the BI360 Warehouse just got easier

Our mantra here at Solver is “make it simple, sexy and powerful”. Traditionally, Data Warehouse projects are reserved for the IT folks in an organization, but we have set out to change that notion with the BI360 Data Warehouse.

We are busy working on many new and exciting features for the upcoming version of the BI360 suite. Here is a quick sampling of two items in the cooker: 1) Adding Attributes and 2) Time Dimension.

Adding Attributes in a Snap

It is a common practice to want many attributes for each dimension. In the current BI360 Data Warehouse (BI360 DW) version, dimension attributes can be added using the Data Warehouse Manager user interface or they can be configured through SQL Server. We have now also added a dimension and attribute import wizard In order to accelerate the time to design and deploy to the warehouse. The wizard automates the process of creating a large number of dimensions and related attributes. Simply create the dimensions and/or attributes in an Excel or text file and import using the Warehouse Manager.

Once the new dimensions and/or attributes are loaded, then they are immediately available to be managed within the Warehouse Manager as well as the Reporting, Planning and Dashboard Modules.

Take Control of your Time Dimension

Configuring the time dimension has always been quick and easy and met most requirements out of the box.  However, we decided to take it to the next level and add controls to define the date ranges within each period from the Warehouse Manager.  Now, configurations such as 4-4-5, 5-5-4, 4-5-4 or any other fiscal configuration, then the BI360 Warehouse Manager can easy implement it.

What are the Advantages of a Pre-Built Data Warehouse? (Buy vs. Build)

Data warehousing is a key technology that many companies are pursuing today. A data warehouse can deliver enormous benefits and key data in a timely manner, however; they are also subject to a high failure rate. The reasons for failure vary but almost always two symptoms will surface, cost and user expectations. Notice I identified the symptoms of a failed DW project not the root causes. For that we need to delve a bit deeper into buy vs. build options around data warehousing.

“Build Your Own” Data Warehouse

Too often the commitments and aspects of building a data warehouse are not recognized by companies. Whether they know it or not, a company that decides to build their own data warehouse becomes a software development company. Once the warehouse is live the company must commit to the same actions a software development company does to maintain compatibility in a fast paced environment of change.

The following are just a few of the events that will trigger modifications and updates to the data warehouse:

  • Users demand new functionality and data be added
  • The company upgrades or changes ERP software
  • The company switches database platforms or vendors
  • Business rules evolve and change necessitating changes to ETL processes moving data from production systems and to data marts.

Since most small to medium companies cannot  attract and maintain staff sufficiently skilled and all the required areas, the lack of resources eventually cause the data warehouse to implode under the load of unmet requirements.

Two key questions every company, large or small, needs to positively answer is:

  • Do we want to become a software vendor?
  • Can we attract and retain the key skill sets?

If there is any doubt or lack of support to these key areas failure is almost always inevitable.

The Alternatives

Most companies do not write their own ERP systems. Why then would they consider creating and maintaining their own data warehouse? Simple answer is the lack of products to address this need. Fortunately, that is no longer a road block. Many companies have decided to productize their offerings. As a result, there are robust flexible products that can deliver the majority of needed functionality out of the box.

Among these packages is one aptly named BI360. Completely based on the Microsoft BI stack, using familiar and easy to use Microsoft Office tools for user interaction, solid proven data transfer and storage technologies in the back end, BI360 delivers many commonly used financial reporting aspects out of the box as well. Extensibility is achieved by using meta data tools to map and connect to most major financial systems while being flexible enough to allow total customization for those unique challenges.

Whatever route you choose, you should evaluate out-of-the box data warehouse solutions like the BI360 Data Warehouse before deciding to build your own data warehouse.

Microsoft Dynamics® AX 2012 Sales and Presales Industry Summit

In partnership with Microsoft, Solver will be presenting the BI360 solution at the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Industry Summit. Solver was chosen based on its proven track record with numerous Microsoft Dynamics ERP customers. Solver has been asked to present during two sessions for industry; manufacturing and public sector.

BI360 is the only business intelligence suite on the market and offers out-of-the-box integration to the Microsoft Dynamics AX2012 ERP system. BI360 is used across all industries, and has specialized financial and operational reporting designed for specific industries.(Healthcare, Retail, Public Sector and Education)

The purpose of the summit is to bring Microsoft Partners / Resellers up to speed with the Microsoft Dynamics AX industry solutions, and to enable them to professionally sell and deploy industry specific solutions. This is the first Industry Summit designed for sales and pre sales professionals.

Benefits of the training:

  • Drive a deeper understanding of how to leverage the demo tools and showcase the solution
  • Enable the sales and pre sales individuals to learn the Industry and language of industry.
  • Empower the partners to execute sales cycles and demonstrate flawlessly in order to increase our win rate.
  • Learn about the ecosystems surrounding the verticals you have chosen to target.

When: February 13, 2012 starting at 8:00AM through February 16, 2012 ending at 5:00PM

Where: Jacksonville, FL Crowne Plaza Hotel

For more information visit the Microsoft PartnerSource, and register for the training via the Microsoft Partner Learning Center.