Dynamics NAV Dashboards for Manufacturing & Distribution

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Today’s business user friendly dashboard solutions are expanding data management and analyses for Manufacturing and Distribution organizations utilizing Microsoft Dynamics NAV.    

If you haven’t heard of Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards, you’re living under a rock as they are the most popular solution for quickly and easily digestible analytics.  They continue to become more popular, particularly for executive teams, because of how easily you can digest your data analyses.  Dashboards deliver business user friendly analytics for the pace of decision-making for businesses today.  Also known as data visualizations, dashboards are scorecards, graphs, and charts that illustrate trajectories, opportunities, and challenges with key performance indicators (KPIs) for departments, the entire company, and/or projects.

Much like the dashboard you utilize in a car, companies make directional decisions by analyzing operational and transactional trends with a BI dashboard.  The main difference between dashboards from your everyday life and BI tools is that the BI solution invites interaction and interpretation for more in-depth analyses and adjustments, as necessary.  In addition, BI dashboards come equipped with drill-to and drill-down functionality, so you can decide how to proceed as a manufacturing and/or distribution company with the insight of Microsoft Dynamics NAV data analysis.  Now that we know why dashboards are popular, let’s focus on how they can assist manufacturing and distribution businesses using Dynamics NAV.


Let’s start by discussing different ways to integrate your data.  Today’s dashboard solutions can query company information from multiple sources.  You can produce real-time analytics by pulling data right from Dynamics NAV and/or Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), in addition to other data sources.  Data visualizations that are generated via live integrations are great for professionals who need up-to-the-minute analytics and smaller organizations that only require basic Dynamics NAV dashboards, without the resources to manage a BI database, like an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a data warehouse.  However, larger corporations typically need a more stable integration, which is exactly what a BI data store delivers for your analytical processes.

Going with a data warehouse or an OLAP cube to integrate company data enables bigger businesses to produce dashboards without slowing the NAV server down – or other data source system servers – because of large and at times, simultaneous data pulls.  BI data stores are an additional expense, and you’ll have to set up and manage data replication to the cube or warehouse, but your data queries won’t make the server sluggish.  Good news: some dashboard tools allow you to decide whether you’d like a live integration for more urgent decision-making deadlines, with real-time information like customer order logs – AND a BI data store integration for more regular dashboards, like employment and staffing.  Flexible hybridity is precisely what modern companies need – and it won’t break the bank.  Next up: platform choices.

To continue learning more about dashboards for Manufacturing & Distribution companies using Microsoft Dynamics NAV, read the rest of this article here.

By Solver, Inc

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