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In this article, financial reporting solutions for organizations utilizing Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Business Edition will take center stage, so you can make the best software investment.
 

Image taken Shutterstock.

Image taken Shutterstock.


Last November, Microsoft took the wraps off of Microsoft Dynamics 365. It combines Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions into one integrated cloud product offering. As many of you know, there are two versions of Microsoft Dynamics 365. One, the Business Edition, is the lower end version based on the Dynamics NAV product in its structure. The higher end version, Enterprise Edition, is based on Dynamics AX and is designed for the higher end of the market. Both are architected for and deployed in the Microsoft Azure cloud, and it’s managed and hosted by Microsoft. This article will cover financial reporting tools for your company using Dynamics 365, Business Edition. Read more

Have you ever started a new job in an industry you have no experience in? Learning the industry jargon can be overwhelming. I can personally attest to this because prior to working in the

Business Intelligence (BI) and Corporate Performance Management (CPM) worlds, I was in the food, public relations, and entertainment industries, and did not have much experience in BI or CPM. If you have recently been exposed to BI tools, such as report writers, budgeting and planning solutions, dashboards, data warehouses (DWs) and you feel like a deer in headlights, there is no need to panic. In this article, we will discuss ten acronyms in the BI/CPM realm that will help you understand and enhance your experience with BI and CPM processes.

Here are the top 8 business intelligence acronyms that may be resourceful when dealing with BI & CPM solutions

1. Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL)

ETL represents three database functions that are combined into one tool to extract data from one data source. The ETL process is the practice of extracting data from data sources and transferring it into the DW. ETL isn’t necessarily three defined steps, but rather a broad process.

2. Data Warehouse (DW)

Informatica defines a DW as an acronym for data warehouse meaning, “technology that aggregates structured data from one or more sources so that it can be compared and analyzed for greater business intelligence.” The term “Data Warehouse” was coined by William H. Inmon, an American computer scientist. This is an analyst’s dream because all the metrics about the organization’s activities are gathered in one place. You can find out more about the details of a successful data warehouse here.

3. Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)

A RDBMS is a program that enables users to administer, create and update a relational database. Commercial RDBMS typically use the Structured Query Language (SQL) to access the database. A relational database is described as “a set of tables containing data fitted into predefined categories” by TechTarget.

4. Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

OLAP, also known as “OLAP cube,” performs multidimensional analysis of data and offers the ability for complex calculations, advanced data modeling, and trend analysis.

5. Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A KPI is a lot like a GPS navigation system as it allows the driver to be in complete control when making decisions about where to steer next. KPIs are navigational tools that your company will utilize to understand whether the business is on a successful route or whether it’s veering off. According to Klipfolio, a KPI is “a measureable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.” You can learn more about KPIs and KPI strategies in detail in the following articles: 10 Steps to Successful KPI and Metric Design Using Dynamics GP, Part 1 and 10 Steps to Successful KPI and Metric Design Using Dynamics GP, Part 2. Keep in mind that there are vertical specific KPIs; therefore, do some research.

6. User Interface (UI)

In the IT world, UI is designed into a device within which a user can interact. This includes keyboards, display screens, a mouse, and a desktop. It can also include how a user interacts with the application or the website. Companies’ dependence on applications has led organizations to prioritize improving the user’s overall experience, also known as UX.

7. SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is a relational database management system that was developed by Microsoft.

  • SQL Management Studio (SSMS) – SSMS is an integrated environment used to administer a SQL Server Infrastructure. If you’re not familiar with a SQL Server, it is a relational database management software developed by Microsoft.
  • SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) – SSIS is used to execute a wide range of data migration tasks.
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) – SSRS is also part of the SQL Server services. It is a server-based report generating system that stores metadata and object definitions. You can learn more about the SQL Server on the Microsoft site.

8. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon, and offers cloud computing platforms. AWS is also the competing platform against Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure. Companies will be more exposed to AWS and Microsoft Azure as the cloud gets bigger. Cloud Computing platforms provide an easy way to access storage, servers, databases, and applications. It also provides quick access to flexible and low-cost resources.

If you are in the BI/CPM space, you may have seen the terms above used widely. For those who are new to the industry, I hope defining and laying out these terms give you a better understanding of the BI/CPM industry as well as the industry jargon. We’re happy to answer questions and generally review Solver’s web-powered, easy-to-use Excel and mobile BI tools with both real-time or data warehouse integrated analysis, budgeting and collaboration as a way to accelerate your company performance management experience.

Solver enables world-class decisions with a leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model design process. If you’re interested in learning more, our team is excited to hear about your organizational needs and goals.

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This article will explore the benefits of a data warehouse for Healthcare organizations using Sage 100.

All organizations rely on data to identify and meet goals, with plans for growth and development budgeted.  Data warehousing is a powerful option to structure and enrich business intelligence (BI) and corporate performance management (CPM) analytics.  A data warehouse (DW), by definition, is a multi-dimensional database that can house a significant amount of information, deriving from an assortment of sources within an organization, used to make good management decisions.  Your information in DWs can be used in reporting, routine budgeting and forecasting, and dashboards – or big picture performance data questions.  A DW organizes by subject, focusing interactions through topics, like financials, patients, services, or clinics.  If you’re a Healthcare organization using Sage 100, this article will highlight the impact of a DW for your team.
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This article discusses dashboard solutions for Professional Services organizations hoping to expand their Microsoft Dynamics AX analytics.

ProServ Dashboards Dyn AX

We’re all collecting data – stacks and stacks of data. How do we use this data to make it worthwhile? It often comes down to dashboards and data visualizations including charts and graphs. According to Gartner’s survey on financial Executive International CFO Technology, dashboards and scorecards are top priorities in terms of software that executives are seeking. Companies are bombarded with useful information every day, but they often find it challenging to consolidate the information into digestible bits that can be utilized and implemented. Because business is constantly changing and moving quickly, analytics that are accessible and easily digestible is essential.  With dashboards, you have access to graphs, charts, and scorecards that illustrate trajectories, victories, and challenges through key performance indicators (KPIs) and your information to effectively keep a project or the entire company on track.
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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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This article is an interview with Solver CEO, Nils Rasmussen, who discusses developments in Business Intelligence in 2015 and how Solver fits into that culture – and the future.

What can you tell us about what is going on in terms of developments in the Business Intelligence realm in 2015 – and where does Solver fit into that culture?
Well, a couple of things have happened in this last year.  One thing is that companies have adopted a lot of Cloud solutions, and they also still have on-premises solutions.  So, what’s happened in terms of Business Intelligence is that the tools need to bring together data from the Cloud – and from in-house – so the role of a data warehouse has become a lot more important than in the past when all data was in-house.  That’s a key thing that we see happening: importance of warehouse to bring data together.  Another thing is just what we see every year is people want easier and easier BI tools, as the older generations from the 90’s – I’m now talking generations of BI tools – are fading out, and people don’t anymore want a full-time technical resource to sit and manage, in terms of a BI tool.
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This article will discuss top features and functionalities you should be seeking in today’s business user friendly dashboard solutions for professional sports teams using Microsoft Dynamics GP.

You’ve probably noticed or heard that dashboard software is really popular in the Business Intelligence (BI) arena these days.  Additionally, Gartner’s recent study on CFO technology priorities concluded that dashboards, scorecards, and performance management tools are number one for financial executives today.  Professional sports teams are typically relying on dashboards in terms of athlete performance anyway, so BI dashboard analytics are a logical extension of easy-to-digest, quickly accessible analyses.  Dashboards or charts, graphs, and scorecards that showcase data trajectories, successes, and challenges with key performance indicators (KPIs), whether you are looking at off-season plans, investments, payroll, or the overall financial picture of your professional sports team.
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This article will explore key considerations in regard to features and functionality you should be looking for in a modern, easy-to-use retail dashboard tool for your Microsoft Dynamics NAV experience.

You’re probably not surprised when you hear that dashboards are at the top of the list of most popular Business Intelligence (BI) solutions on the market today.  Gartner did a study in 2013 on Financial Executive International CFO Technology, which delivered the conclusion that dashboards, scorecards, and performance management solutions are the top priority for today’s executives.  Modern retail business culture is more fast-paced than ever, and dashboards deliver quickly digestible and accessible analytics.  Dashboards are graphs, charts, and scorecards that illustrate data trends, successes, and problem areas with key performance indicators (KPIs), whether you are looking at a store, region, product, one corporate department in particular, or the whole company.
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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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Today’s modern dashboard solutions offer powerful and easy-to-use features and functionalities to access, understand, and interpret Hotel and Restaurant company data for stronger decision-making.

Dashboards are the current leading Business Intelligence (BI) tool in the marketplace, according to a recent study by Software Advice, a comparison site for business intelligence tools.  In 2013, Gartner’s study on Financial Executive International CFO Technology found that dashboards, scorecards, and performance management software is the top priority for executive teams these days.  Today, managing a hotel or a restaurant is a more fast-paced task than ever, and dashboards provide business user friendly, powerful analytics.  Moreover, dashboards are graphs, charts, and scorecards that demonstrate company trajectories, opportunities, and challenges using key performance indicators (KPIs), whether you’re analyzing the success of a project, a department, or the entire organization.
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