It is commonly said that reporting forms part of your review into your past performance. With the actual report itself focusing on items such as the current year's sales vs past year's sales which are very much behind you now. Producing monthly reports indicates that there is a problem in your business, however they don’t illustrate what that problem is and why it occurred – or even provide you with a solution on how to resolve this.
When we look at analytics it is about improving future results, which is essentially what we are all here to complete. So, therefore it is safe to assume that analytics is about acting – making use of data to both identify, monitor and improve the things that help to drive your business forwards.
In order to make sure a business implements changes it needs all the management team need to be aligned with it on this issue or problem. To allow us to do this, we begin proceedings by gaining a firm understanding of the actionable outcomes and decisions that you want to be able to make and assess the data sources that you might wish to use to help support this. From this, we will then look to establish how you can use these data sources alongside each other to give you that added insight that you require to enable you to highlight the issue, develop a plan to resolve it and review the progress after it's been completed.
How does Advantage work?
In order to be able to deliver the above, we need to gain more of an understanding of everything in your business and what your business is working towards in terms of an overall objective:
Outline – What is the main problem in the business? What problem really gets you worried? Is it ensuring that your staff are working to full capacity or something as simple as being able to deliver customer orders/projects? First of all, we need to understand exactly which problem/issue you would like us to focus on.
Intuition – This acts as the main deliverable. In practical terms, this will be a drafted dashboard which will be designed to illustrate to you and your team what the drivers of this issue are and how to track them going forwards.
Data – It is at this point that we will take into account actual business data that will be used to populate the dashboard. We’ll evaluate how this is captured, the quality of it, how easy it is to access and what other external data will be needed.
After we have provided you with the above framework, assessed what we could deliver and how we would achieve this, we would then at this point ask for you to commit to allow us to build and deliver this:
Create – After the above plan of action has been approved, we will then create this for you! At this point in time, we will look to aim for the minimum viable product that can help meet your specific requirements. After this has been created, we will then enable you to test it out, validate and deliver it from our end.
Tailor it and complete it - When we get to this stage, we will discuss with you ‘wouldn’t it be great if’ ideas, make adjustments, tweaks and add things based on specifically what you tell us. As well as this, we will continue to make changes on an ongoing basis to take the result to the next level as users continue to explore and get used to the solution. When we get to this point, we will arrange to train your users and provide you with extra support to enable you to get the very best out of your solution.
People that sell reporting, BI and analytics believe that the key to the success of these projects is defined by the functionality of their products. This is very much not the case. This is determined by the scoping that takes place around specific business outcomes one piece at a time.
So, what does Advantage use to deliver reporting projects for our Business Central customers?
Even though there are many business analytics solutions to choose from when it comes to these types of projects, here at Advantage we prioritise the use of Microsoft Power BI. Microsoft Power BI is part of the Microsoft Power Platform which is a set of business analytics tools which can be used to help you to analyse data and share valuable insights.
Microsoft’s Power BI solution provides businesses with the following:
As well as the above, Power BI can integrate with a number of different data sources such as your Business Central or NAV solution, your Microsoft CRM and much more.
If you are a business that is looking to resolve your business issues with a reporting solution from Advantage such as the ever-reliable Microsoft Power BI then please give our expert team a call today to discuss your specific requirements.
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