The modern business world moves at such a pace that it is imperative that our tools be accessible and flexible for our analytical processes. Mobile applications are just one example of how independent software vendors (ISVs) are delivering Business Intelligence (BI) tools that speak to consumer needs for financial reporting, data management, and analytics for Sage 100 users. Today, you should be investing in BI technology that is nothing short of the flexibility you require, in terms of how you get to your transactional and operational information for more streamlined, smarter decision-making, regardless of where you are working. Third party software vendors are bringing flexible BI solutions to market for an upgraded, modern end user experience.
This article discusses the modern, dynamic, and business user friendly financial reporting options available for Healthcare organizations using Sage 100.
It has been a while since I have blogged, and in that time, I have had several great opportunities to talk to finance and accounting professionals, as well as executives, about their Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) needs. Some of these conversations happened at BI360 Focus 2016, some of these manifested as one-off conversations, and one even occurred on a flight to Portland. Lately though, it seems like I have not only been in conversation with more healthcare professionals, but I’ve also found myself personally and professionally curious about this industry. The healthcare industry seems to be one of the most complex and regulated sectors – and for good reason obviously, but the effect it has on financial reporting requires sophisticated, yet business user friendly BI tools. The best financial reporting tools for Sage 100 users offer Healthcare-specific data management that produces the necessary financial reporting and/or dashboards.
This blog article will focus on modern financial reporting with Sage 100. I’ll first discuss the bigger picture of what you should be looking for to achieve your financial reporting and analytical objectives. Then, I’ll zoom in on the financial reporting modules delivered by certain, more dynamic products that can enable Healthcare organizations to produce traditional financial statements, meet regulations, and present information to key stakeholders and decision-makers.
What happened to the vision of the easy, self-service, one-stop shop business intelligence (BI) capabilities that countless companies across the world have been seeking? After years of investing in new ERP systems, including cloud-based solutions, home-grown data warehouses and even sexy, new dashboard tools, the vast majority of companies are far from BI Nirvana.
The sad truth is that most organizations I talk to have 5 to 7 different reporting tools between their ERP solution, CRM, Payroll, Web site data and other systems. It does not make it better that more than 90% of them do all- or a majority of their budgeting and forecasting processes in manual Excel sheets. Oh, and then the sales team or certain other departments have sometimes implemented an analytics tool to provide them with dashboards and easy ad-hoc analysis. This will often fix short term pain, but it will not take you to BI Nirvana. In some organizations, the IT department has spent a year or more to build a so-called “enterprise data warehouse”, often with only some of their data sources included, such as General Ledger data and Sales data, and most of the time with IT-dependent report writers, OLAP cubes or pivot tables as the only means of reporting on the data.
So, what is the status of companies’ BI capabilities as of today? The bad news is that it is far from the BI Nirvana that managers have been dreaming about for years now after watching slick demos from one BI software vendor after another. But, the good news is that things are getting better. You only need to step back and compare your BI capabilities today with what they may have been in 2005, 1995 or, if you were even around in….1985. Chances are that your information workers now have more and better reporting tools available to them. Of course, today you have more data sources than ever, and market dynamics change faster than at any time in history. So, somewhere along the way, business users took matters into their own hands and the result was that…..Excel became the world’s most popular report writer and budgeting solution. But, although Excel is quite user friendly, extremely flexible and familiar to almost every business user on the planet, it was never meant to be an enterprise-wide BI tool. So, how do one get to this utopian place called BI Nirvana? You might need “a little help from my friends” as Joe Cocker sang in his popular rendition of the original Beatles song. In other words, do your homework, talk to your friends both inside and outside your company and educate yourself. Although every organization should stake out their own BI journey based on their needs, available data sources, internal talent, platform strategies (i.e. database type, cloud versus on premise, etc.) and more, a few things seem to fall into a common formula for BI success:
1) Strive for a single BI solution that covers all or most of these: Reporting (financial and operational), budgeting and forecasting, dashboards/analysis and data warehousing. If some key functionality is not covered by the BI suite you select, then make sure it integrates directly with a powerful 3rd party add-on for whatever functionality is missing in the suite. The last thing you need are more reporting tools in your company….so make sure the BI suite eliminates or reduces the need for your other tools.
2) Don’t ignore the power, flexibility and familiarity of Excel. But it should not be a manual Excel model, it should be an Excel add-in that allows you to build reports and input forms that dynamically retrieves and even saves data to a database. Oh, and it should be web-enabled or be able to convert the Excel templates to dynamic, browser-based templates for easy end-user access.
3) Repeat after me: “I promise not to implement more proprietary BI tools with unfamiliar user interfaces and that also may require all my end users to install client software or use Terminal Server or Citrix to access a remote desktop”. Using cloud, hosted or on premise architecture is not the most critical question. What you need to empower your growing number of end users that are seeking BI Nirvana is a single, self-service, web-based BI portal where each user can run reports and drill down to answer their questions without bothering IT or the accounting department, they can enter their budgets and they can discover trends and answer Who? Where? What? questions in interactive dashboards.
4) Finally, and this is a no-brainer….your BI capabilities are only as good as the data available in your BI suite. So, if you don’t have a well-functioning data warehouse yet to give you that sought-after, single version of the truth, start planning for one. You are going to need it if you want to get to BI Nirvana. It is an exciting road ahead for organizations seeking a competitive edge through BI excellence, even if you meet a few bumps along the way. Vendors like Solver with its BI360 solution as well as several other software providers with modern BI suites are continuously investing to help companies’ BI visions come true. Good luck on your journey!
This article will explore financial reporting features and functionalities in today’s solutions for manufacturing organizations looking to expand their Sage 100 experience.
In today’s business world, Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics are becoming the modern way of turning valuable company data into rich decision-making for a company’s future. Navigating through BI is much like maneuvering through the wilderness without a map or a compass. It can get overwhelming, but I’m here to help. This article will focus on what users should know about in modern reporting solutions to improve your Sage 100 experience, specifically zooming in on manufacturing data management and analysis.
This article will zoom in on the impact of a data warehouse solution for manufacturing companies using Sage 100.
Corporations use data to set and meet goals in order to stay on budget. A data warehouse is a powerful tool to organize and strengthen Business Intelligence (BI) analyses. A data warehouse (DW) is a multi-dimensional database that can store a large amount of data, collected from an array of sources within a company and utilized to guide management decisions. The information in data warehouses can be used for things such as scheduled budgeting, reporting, and dashboards or higher level performance data questions. They structure around the subject, so they focus the interaction through organizing by topic such as customer, product, or sales. As a manufacturing company using Sage 100, you may want to know the impact a data warehouse solution has for your company.
It is becoming clear today that Business Intelligence (BI) analytics tools are becoming more important as it is the way to turn important data into dynamic decision-making for the future of the organization. There are various software choices that can assist manufacturing companies using the Sage 100 enterprise resource planning (ERP) system in taking their budgeting to the next level, whether you choose to design your own model in Excel, rely on native Sage functionality, or select an independent software vendor (ISV) tool. This article will focus on the top features and functions in modern budgeting software that will impact the way you manage and analyze data for your manufacturing company.
This article will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of Sage Business Intelligence and Third Party Solutions.
Choosing the right Business Intelligence (BI) solution for your company is a lot like choosing what you need to eat for a healthier lifestyle. Is your company lacking nutrition? What does it need to help that problem and make better decisions? BI is an exciting realm to delve into because it does a number of things. It gives insight into consumer behavior, it improves efficiency, it increases productivity, and it turns data into actionable information. According to Gartner, the world’s leading Information Technology (IT) research company, BI is defined as “an umbrella term that include the applications, infrastructure and tools, and best practices that enable access to and analysis of information to improve and optimize decisions and performance.” The objective is to provide organizations the right knowledge in the hands of the right people at the right time to make informed decisions. BI increases the ability to identify trends and challenges, as well as fine-tune operations to meet business goals.
Some Sage 500 users will probably always wonder why they would want or need to deploy independent software vendor (ISV) tool(s) on top of their accounting system. This confusion is perhaps an obstacle for ISVs and a concern for some Sage 500 users. There are a couple of clarifications that seem to organically come out of the conversation. First, no ISV can create a tool that can be a solution for every single organizational hurdle. A great example would be how competitive mobile device brands, like Apple or Android, provide their own native mapping applications, but still allow you to download an app from another manufacturer, which is similar to modern flexible enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, like Sage 500. Because every organization using Sage 500 has particular objectives, specific budgeting requirements, and rules, the accounting system vary in how effective it is for each company. ISV technologies enable organizations to customize their data management and analytics.
Today’s business world requires that our processes and technological tools be accessible and flexible. Mobile Business Intelligence (BI) applications are one example of precisely how third party software vendors are answering consumers’ calls for solutions that can keep up with the fast pace of the international marketplace, including financial reporting, data management, and analytics for Sage X3 customers. Nowadays, you should be investing in and depending on BI tools that are flexible enough for your organization regarding how you access your transactional and operational data for more efficient, richer decision-making, no matter if you’re on the road or in the office. Independent software vendors (ISVs) are producing BI tools with this flexibility built right in to improve the end user experience.
There are plenty of Sage X3 users who are responsible for consolidating their parent company information from one or more manufacturing or distribution subsidiaries. Combining financial data from more than one entity, at times with multiple currencies, can be a challenge if you don’t have a modern financial consolidation solution to supplement Sage X3 and any other ERP systems that your subsidiaries might use. Data is only growing in size and significance to corporate decision-making, which is why more executives are seeking the best software to enable their business end users to aggregate information into a unified set of financial reports. In this article, we’ll focus on your technology options for today’s intuitive, business user friendly financial consolidations with Sage X3. If your manufacturing or distribution organization is rapidly growing, a high-powered reporting and consolidation software can simplify your Sage X3 implementation and give you more flexibility and power in your reporting process.