Business Intelligence. Often one of the ‘buzziest’ terms that businesses have to look at in their ERP decision process, when leveraged properly it can prove immensely valuable for organizations who can’t afford to spend a lot of time drafting manual reports or combining data sources. Knowing this, in order to leverage it properly, you have to know where to start.

Following our blogs on calculating ROI of ERP on the value of a cash management solution in your ERP decision-making process, we would today like to turn our attention to this powerful feature and explore how it can help your business.

Start with the Basics: Powerful Reporting

Reporting is one of those necessary evils that businesses need to participate in. Whether internal reporting, external reporting, or preparation for audit, the process of creating and sharing audits is traditionally time consuming and manual process driven. However, it doesn’t need to be.

The beauty of ERP software is in its ability to collect data about the way your organization works. However, modern ERP has taken it a step further, offering new ways to slice and dice information, analyze data from an expanding number of sources, and provide analysis of the business. In this, reporting has become one of the core features of business management software, saving users time and businesses money.

What to Look for in Reporting

When considering ERP, look for a platform that can provide powerful reporting functionality out of the box—able to offer a wide variety of standard and custom reports. These range from easily generated basics such as balance sheets to the ones that leverage unique tools within the platform such as case management analysis all the way to custom reports that are easy to generate with minimal effort.

When comparing ERP software on its ability to provide powerful reporting functionality, look for the ability to do the following:

  • Save Time: Schedule reports, create reporting templates, automatically compile information following your business rules
  • Provide Ready-to-Use and Immediate Information: Generate reports with up-to-the-minute information
  • Offer Reporting and Design Customization: Provide role-based reporting, generate reports in a variety of formats and views
  • Slice and Dice the Information How You See Fit: dig into sub-accounts and provide reporting for multiple entities, create reusable filters.

Get to know more about the powerful reporting functionality that today’s ERP options offer here.

Simplify Your Access: Easy-to-Use Dashboards

While reporting is one part of the larger picture, sometimes you don’t need something as formal as a report to make a decision or analyze information. Sometimes you just need to see up to the minute information, customized to your role, allowing you the information you need—when and where you need it. Enter Dashboards.

Dashboards offer convenience for decision makers, providing at a glance information about what’s happening with current financial, operational, and organizational information. As with reports, these tools can be tailored to each user to give the right decision maker the right information at the right time, simplifying complex data and combining a wide variety of inputs to display exactly what each person needs.

What to Look For

When looking at dashboard functionality, you should look for easy-access functionality that can show easily understandable critical key performance indicators and other factors in business decision making at a glance.

  • User Friendliness: With drag-and-drop functionality, users can customize their views and drill down to uncover insights at the click of a button.
  • Customization: Whether you need standard or custom dashboards, you can’t get held back creating, mapping, or customizing data.
  • Anytime Anywhere Access: Dashboards are inherently ‘at the moment’ analysis tools and ERP vendors should offer the ability to see these from any device—anywhere.

Learn more about making the most out of ERP dashboards here.

Bring it All Together: Powering Your Reporting with Modern Business Intelligence

Companies in need of powerful reporting functionality and decision-driving data can’t afford to spend hours or days waiting on a person or team to compile the data and analyze it. Leaders who can spot trends, identify inefficiencies, and make more informed decisions are the ones who not only make their business look better, but their company look better.

Business intelligence does so much more than what we’ve mentioned above, and if paired with the right ERP platform, it can truly make your people smarter.

With business intelligence apps like Power BI embedded in your ERP solution, you can leverage a wide range of data inputs to see more—with less manual work from your staff. At Innovative Cloud Solutions, we are a trusted implementation partner who has helped companies just like yours to improve their business with powerful ERP applications and who can guide you through the decision making and implementation process. Get to know more about our work with Acumatica, Dynamics GP, and Dynamics 365 here and contact us for more information.