Microsoft Dynamics GP Affords Dashboards for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

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Defining Business Intelligence

Business Intelligence (BI) systems are computer-based systems used in analyzing data and reporting performance across a business.

By the mid 90’s, advances in technology allowed BI systems to extract data across multiple databases and sources. As a result, information excess—even the most mundane and irrelevant data (like the TPS report)—became the standard for organizations.

The Need for Dashboards

As more and more of this critical information became available, it was obvious that there needed to be a faster and more effective way for managers and executives to view the reports at a glance and determine which information was most relevant. Thus, the concept of the dashboard was born.

Much like the dashboard of a car, a BI dashboard helps people visualize real time information in a condensed manner. A number of experts in the industry argue that dashboards don’t offer much more than pretty graphics. Though I agree that dashboards lack all the detail that’s generated in BI reports, I don’t agree that they are useless. In fact, I think dashboards are incredibly valuable to organizations that need to quickly identify relevant, key performance information.

Making Dashboards More Affordable

About a decade ago, the process of linking separate databases, collecting the data, and creating the dashboards was so costly that only larger enterprise companies could afford them.

Over the past few years, software companies have incorporated dashboards in their mid-level ERP systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics GP.  Now, the dashboards come with powerful analytic tools and built-in connections to databases, allowing more mid-sized and smaller businesses to afford and use them.

But before you go out and implement a dashboard, you need to first have an effective business intelligence strategy in place.

Developing a BI Dashboard Strategy

You will want to form a strategy with a technology expert who can lead you to the right solutions and who knows what your reporting needs are.

To start developing a BI strategy, borrow some points from the bigger enterprise companies:

  • Identify your business intelligence objectives

-  What kind of reporting and analytics you need

-  User-friendly tools

-  How you need the dashboard to work

  • Assess where you stand with your current needs
  • Look into available technologies and systems
  • Explore alternative solutions

At BroadPoint, we’ve partnered with countless organizations in developing a BI strategy, with the goals of accurately examining their analysis needs, employing the best dashboard solution, and keeping their performance on track. Find out how your organization can leverage Dynamics GP and dashboards for improved business intelligence and analytics.  Contact Steve Kane at BroadPoint Technologies (301-634-2404 or, Virginia’s most experienced Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner.

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