Every once in a while, a company needs to answer a question that is outside the regular BI reporting done for performance management, and this is called ad hoc reporting.  This article will discuss the benefits of this functionality and what to look for in a solution to best meet your company’s needs.

Financial reporting is arguably the most utilized solution in the Business Intelligence (BI) world of analytics – and serves as a foundation for other functions, like data visualizations, budgeting and forecasting, and consolidations.  Generally speaking, financial reporting is analysis done in a comprehensive, routine manner to make sense of company data for better decision-making.  Ad hoc reporting and analysis zooms in for a more particular type of report.

Ad hoc refers to something done for a specific reason, so ad hoc reporting refers to a report that professionals need for a particular query.  Furthermore, ad hoc reports usually drill deeper or answer questions that the regular company-wide reports are not addressing.  Ad hoc reporting enables business users to seek answers to their own questions regarding company data, without interrupting or changing the course of organizational reporting permanently.  Because the data is coming from the same sources, the analysis is consistent and accurate, but much like project budgeting, questions and projects can arise outside of the standard, routine reporting that guides the overall course of the entire company – and different corporate cultures have different needs.
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At Solver, we are very excited to announce the second annual BI360 User Conference, Focus 2014.  This year, Focus will take place in sunny Marina del Rey, California, September 9-11th.  Last year’s inaugural event proved to be the ultimate learning and networking event, and that tradition continues this year.  Attendees will get the opportunity to learn best practices and network with other users to improve their performance and get results.

We’re thrilled about our agenda, as it is even wider reaching than last year.  With four simultaneous tracks, a hands-on lab, and over 25 different topics covered in workshop sessions, our product experts and customer presenters will ensure that attendees will leave with questions and curiosities answered.  It is our goal that users head back to their offices having gained valuable new insights through informative breakout sessions and access to BI360 experts; empowered with a hands-on know-how to optimize the use and value of BI360; and aware of emerging trends in Business Intelligence, new product features, and Solver’s road map for BI360.  On top of all that, we have added to our Focus conference experience – just for our trusted partners.
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When deciding if an on-premises or SaaS platform is better for your company’s next business intelligence (BI) solution, there are several aspects to consider.  This article will discuss the pros and cons of both options, so that you can navigate to a decision a little easier.

One element of Business Intelligence (BI) software implementation you cannot avoid these days involves the debate about on-premise technology versus a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform.  The traditional software approach entails purchasing software, housing and managing it on-site.  However, as SaaS or Cloud platforms builds momentum as an attractive, relevant alternative, the conversation heats up for customers and vendors alike.
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Approaching the sometimes confusing process of shopping for a BI tool can mean a lot of questions – and that is exactly what you need.  This article will arm you with some of the best questions to ask when shopping for the right solution for your company.

Whether you are running Microsoft Dynamics GP, AX, SL, or NAV, some version of Oracle, something cloud-based like Netsuite, Intacct, or Acumatica, finding Business Intelligence (BI) tools to enhance your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems can be a very foggy process – and for good reason.  Despite typically being a very salesy process, it is also something that you have to engage in every once in a while.  I have met professionals of various ages that are beginning the process of seeking out BI solutions, usually as a part of a big picture strategy to take their analytics, decision-making, and collaboration into the 21st century of powerful, dynamic, and intuitive products and processes.  Most seem overwhelmed enough about wading into the depths of research, sales pitches, demos, and trainings that they don’t even know where to begin.
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Project budgeting is a task that most companies have to tackle, in some form or another.  This article will address how to financially plan for special projects using Microsoft Dynamics and other ERP systems.

At this point, it probably goes without saying: budgeting is such an important aspect of corporate performance management (CPM).  In some cases, the quality of the budgeting process can be life or death for a company or a public sector organization, especially in today’s post-recession marketplace.  Budgeting and forecasting for an entire organization is a routine process and generally involves many moving parts to come together, linking actual data and projections for the upcoming fiscal year.  However, sometimes a company or a professional will have to budget for a specific task or project.  Whether you are a professional managing one or more projects, a consultant calculating billable hours, or a freelancer putting together a bid for a job, project budgeting becomes a relevant Business Intelligence (BI) term in your job.

Solver COO Corey Barak gives some tips when considering project budgeting solutions.
Last month, I had a conversation with a management consultant who had the task of bringing a company into the 21st century in terms of Business Intelligence.  He was in the beginning stages of the project, and he did not know if he was going to find a comprehensive BI suite of tools for simultaneous implementation that would meet the financial goals of the organization for this initiative.  We got to talking about the structure of budgeting for a consultant of his sort – and that naturally segued into a full-fledged conversation about project budgeting.  He said that, in his experience, most people understand it as a fuzzy art at best, but in practice – and with the right tool, it can be significantly more accurate than widely perceived.
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Dashboards are the most relevant BI investment for financial professionals today.  This article will explore the functions and features of some leading solutions for a better understanding of what product will best meet the needs of your company.

As this blog has already reported, Dashboards are the big man on campus these days.  More specifically, dashboards are the number one Business Intelligence (BI) product for CFOs today.  Talking with BI customers in the business world, I hear it all the time.  One professional in particular spoke about needing fancy-looking dashboards for his executive team.  He told me, “I generate reports regularly, and they are still very valuable, but when it comes to presenting data to the executives, they want to see dashboards.”  He went on to tell me how dashboards are easy for busy professionals to read and analyze quickly.
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There are numerous Business Intelligence tools on the market to enhance Microsoft Dynamics SL.  This article will highlight key features and functions to consider when investing in a BI solution.

The Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics solutions market continued to grow in 2013, up 8% to a total of $14.4 billion from 2012, according to Gartner.  It is a relatively gradual growth, but the development is steady – and it makes sense.  More than ever, analytics are informing corporate decision-makers how to best move the company forward from real-time, monthly, quarterly, project-specific, beyond the General Ledger (GL) and fiscal perspectives.   The corporate world is shifting from IT-managed reporting, budgeting, and data storage to business user friendly, powerful BI software that takes Enterprise Resource Planning systems like Microsoft Dynamics SL, to new heights of analysis and planning.

Microsoft Dynamics SL is an established accounting product, around for a couple decades and acquired by Microsoft in the early 2000’s.  There are approximately 12,000 customers around the globe, and that number will continue to grow under the Microsoft umbrella.  That all said, Dynamics SL users do not have their heads in the sand.  The growing world of BI solutions offer a variety of options to make the most of Dynamics SL through data analysis and planning for the future.  Namely, the BI marketplace offers reporting, budgeting, dashboards, and data storage options.  This article will discuss the feature and functionality offerings for Dynamics SL users in the current landscape of BI solutions.
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