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This article will answer your questions about data warehouses for Microsoft Dynamics AX, so you can make a decision about what your best options are for your organization.

Because data is a buzzword in the business world, it follows that data warehouses are going to be relevant by proxy.  But the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions quickly surface for a lot of us because first of all, what are we picturing here?  Is it an actual physical storage space, like an external hard drive?  Who manages it?  When should we be considering an investment in such a device?  Where is it staged?  Why would we need one?  And how do we deploy a data warehouse?  For Dynamics AX customers, these might be questions you have – and there might be other outlying confusions and curiosities that need answered before any action can be taken.  This article will explore the details of data warehousing for Microsoft Dynamics AX customers, including the key features, so you can understand your team’s specific data warehousing needs now or in the future.
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This article will explore options for you to find the best financial reporting and consolidations tool to enhance Microsoft Dynamics AX in your favor, including key features and functions of the leading modern tools.

Plenty of Microsoft Dynamics AX customers are managing the financials for multiple subsidiaries of a parent company.  Consolidating transactional and operational information from more than one business, occasionally with multiple currencies, can be a logistics nightmare without a modern financial reporting and consolidations solution.  As the size and value of data continues to grow, corporate decision-makers are not able to ignore the need for a tool that can help them aggregate data into one cohesive set of financial statements.  If you are someone who relies on Dynamics AX, this will be an important article for you to understand your options for business user friendly, yet powerful consolidation solutions.
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As a Dynamics NAV user, you should know the functionalities and key features of modern financial reporting tools available on the market today so that you can select the best tool to enhance Dynamics NAV and meet your Business Intelligence needs by generating sophisticated analytical reports.

In today’s business culture, a powerful financial reporting solution is vital for any organization that is dedicated to developing into a competitive, well established corporation.  This article will explore the variety of options and available features, so that you can select the best financial reporting tool to meet your company or finance team’s needs and goals using Microsoft Dynamics NAV as the core data source.
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Join Solver and hundreds of Microsoft Dynamics® AX users at AXUG Summit 2013, October 22-25, in Tampa, Fla. (https://axugsummit.com)! Solver is a Gold sponsor and can be found at the expo hall at booth #535 and exhibiting the most complete Business Intelligence suite for AX, Solver’s BI360.  AXUG Summit is the event exclusively for Dynamics […]

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In most mid-sized and larger organizations with multiple divisions, classic BI tools have never been good at satisfying both local division needs (detailed reporting, local budget models, etc.) as well as corporate HQ needs. In the screenshot below, you can see an interesting methodology where a company can install the BI360 data warehouse (DW) at each division as well as at corporate HQ and then transfer whatever interesting detail/summary they want from the local DWs to the central DW. Historically, this would often not be a feasible model when companies had to build homegrown, custom data warehouses from scratch, because it could get very expensive. With a pre-configured data warehouse like the BI360 DW however, it is very fast and low cost to install it anywhere in the organization where a data mart or data warehouse is needed. There are many other benefits with this multi-level DW architecture, including the ability to then use the same report writer, budgeting and dashboard (like BI360) technology everywhere, thus reducing training cost, license cost and more.

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One of the most common issues with reports containing a large volume of data is the report run time can take a longer time than expected. BI360 Version 3.5 has a new feature that has been added to enable parallel queries so that the SQL Server can be utilized to its maximum capabilities. Once enabled, your reports will run as fast and efficient as possible and deliver improved productivity.
By default, Report Designer, Player, and Composer do not perform parallel queries. Thus, the queries are processed one by one.  However, users can enable this by setting the Maximum Concurrent Queries to a value other than 0 in the Administration Tool (under System Settings).

Executing queries in parallel can optimize performance when generating a report in the BI360 Reporting applications. The optimal number of parallel queries depends on a number of variables such as memory on the server running the SQL server, the number of processors on the server, and other SQL Server related options. In parallel processing, each query can utilize a processor without degrading the performance of the SQL Server. Thus, if there is a Quad Processor, the initial maximum value should be set to four.
A high number does not automatically imply the best performance. Dependent on the different variables mentioned above, a peak will be reached at a certain value. The peak could also be dependent on the nature of the report since the number of generated SQL Statements play an important role. A simple report that would generate only one query would therefore not experience any performance improvements by using this option. The best way to find the peak is to simply test different values and different reports.
For certain customers, they have experienced 80% – 90% increase in efficiency when generating their reports.

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Smartlist is a very popular query tool used by all Microsoft Dynamics GP customers worldwide. It has hundreds of useful SQL Views to allow GP users to filter and retrieve transactions from different tables in the GP database. BI360 now integrates to Smartlist views to provide an almost unlimited number of opportunities for business users to drill down from BI360 financial reports and into GP without having to create their own drill-down queries. For example, a department head can run a Profit & Loss report for his or her department, notice a budget variance on a row (e.g. Office Supplies) and with one click, drill down into the Accounts Payable transaction in GP and retrieve the vendor’s Purchase Order and see each line item on the purchase order. Not only does this provide instant answers to business questions without having to bother accountants and power users,  but it also does not require the user to have any knowledge of the Dynamics GP application, as both the drill down and the resulting view of the underlying transactions all happen from with the BI360 Excel-based report interface. 
For a detailed example of the BI360 integration to Smartlist, please contact Solver and ask for the white paper “Integrating BI360 to a Smartlist view”.
The BI360 Drill To function is available for all BI360 ERP integrations, including Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV, GP, SL, Sage MAS 500 and X3.  and Epicor Prophet 21. This document provides a detailed example of how to integrate a Smartlist SQL view with the powerful Drill To feature in BI360 (version 3.5 and later) for the purpose of setting up a drill down rule that let a user drill down from a Profit & Loss report and all the way into sub-ledger (here: Accounts Payable) transactions in the GP database.

 
 

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While “Financial Reporting” often used to be synonymous with financial statements such as Profit & Loss reports, Balance Sheets, Cash Flow statements and consolidated reports, these days companies are using dual purpose tools like BI360 to also handle their operational reporting.
A quickly increasing number of BI360 users are developing operational reports such as:
– Reports help them manage inventories with details about standard cost, quantities and physical value.
– That shows purchase orders versus requisitions with related information about delivery dates, unit price, quantity ordered, purchase price and purchase quantity.
– Production orders with trend charts that quantities items ordered by date.
– Work-in-progress reports (WIP), quantity per order, how much of an order has been started and the WIP amount.
The above types of reports are particularly popular amongst Microsoft Dynamics AX customers because a good number of them are in manufacturing or related industries.
We also see more customers deploy the BI360 data warehouse in order to combine their ERP data with other operational data sources. Examples of these are healthcare providers that combine financial data with payroll and patient data to produce reports or dashboards that show average cost per patient day, statistical trends like Average Length of Stay (ALOS), etc.
As companies go operational with their reporting and the business users that truly understand the information needs of the business are able to design the reports, the result if often high value reports that earlier where non-existent or that had to be pieced together manually in spreadsheets.

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Join AXUG Partner Solver as they host an exciting Partner Showcase (PS) webinar, highlighting the products and services they offer in the Dynamics AX reporting and budgeting space. Learn more about Excel-based reporting for Dynamics AX in this webinar. This is an AXUG open event.
Empower your users with Excel-based Reporting, Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics AX.
How do you ensure your users access standard reports, but still have the freedom to get to exactly the data they need? Business intelligence is no ivory tower, and the newest Dynamics solutions give your organization the tools to unlock your reporting and budgeting information to gain efficiency and competitive advantage.
People who attend this AXUG webinar will:

  • Learn how end-users can customize their own versions of the standard reports within Excel
  • See how one report could easily serve many purposes just by changing parameter values
  • Learn how one report can be connected to multiple databases
  • Learn how Business intelligence (BI) technology can solve typical Reporting/Budgeting challenges.
  • Live demonstration: Excel-based Reporting, Budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The AXUG Partner Showcase (PS) was developed so user group members could learn more about specific products and services available in the marketplace. The Dynamics AXUG user group is not in a position to specifically endorse any companies or products. Your participation in this program is voluntary. As always, AXUG encourages you to evaluate ancillary products and services thoroughly when contemplating adding them to your optimal portfolio.
This is an AXUG open event all members are invited to register.
Event Type
Partner Showcase
Schedule
AXUG PS – Solver (Aug 2010)
8/25/2010 1:00 PM (ET) – 8/25/2010 2:00 PM (ET)
Existing AXUG members with an associated Windows Live ID, please Sign In below to register (please note: Basic members can only register for events listed as “open”). Existing AXUG members who have not yet associated with a Windows Live ID, follow these instructions before Signing In. If you are not yet an AXUG member, you must complete a membership application before registering for any events – we offer free membership levels!
Register Today!