Why Do We Need Business Intelligence?

Brian Petersen, Director of Business Intelligence Solutions

What if you found yourself needing to present a solid case in front of your boss for why you want to purchase a Business Intelligence solution? What would you say? Anything that involves asking your boss to spend money might cause you to begin to sweat.
You may never have to face this situation but, frankly, this scenario is making me nervous. So to help us both feel better, I’ve laid out a few points to help you understand a few advantages of BI.

A streamlined structure for reporting and analytics

Having a Business Intelligence solution with a data warehouse and cubes generally presents a very streamlined way for our users to get access to data. It’s widely known that ERP systems are designed and optimized for inputting information, but they are not built with the end-user in mind for getting information back out in an intuitive or user-friendly manner. A Business Intelligence solution helps ease the process of getting the data out, making it very, very easy to create stunning reports and dashboards. And most importantly, we can structure the data in a way that makes sense for the end users.

Consolidate multiple data sources into a single place

Business Intelligence allows you to consolidate data from multiple places in the same data warehouse. For example, if you have a legacy system in addition to Dynamics NAV plus Dynamics CRM, and a separate system to handle logistics, you can consolidate all of that information into a single set of tables in the data warehouse. The data warehouse would allow you to create a Finance Transactions table to present all of your financial transactions from your different data systems all in one place. In addition, this would give users one single point of access for all reporting across the organization.

Control business rules and calculations for a single version of the truth

Business Intelligence provides the ultimate control over the business rules and calculations while facilitating one version of the truth for the end users. I’ve been in multiple meetings in the past where we sit down to talk about something regarding sales, and the meeting turns into two people arguing about who has the right numbers because their numbers are different. One person was looking at gross sales, and another person was looking at net sales with returns. Business Intelligence makes sure that everyone is looking at exactly the same information, and the information is being pulled from the same place.

Data-driven companies simply perform better

An MIT Sloan School of Business study surveyed 3,000 global executives, managers and analysts to understand how companies use analytics to drive operations and strategy. In the study, they classified organizations as top performers and low performers, looking for anomalies between the two. They found top performing organizations were more than twice as likely to use analytics to guide future strategy and operations. Many people tend to look at Business Intelligence as a long-term investment, but it’s important to note how top-performing companies use analytics to guide day-to-day operations in addition to more strategic initiatives.

Jet Mobile – Video Preview

Steve Little, Product Manager

Coming soon – a new way to access the power of Jet Enterprise Business Intelligence where you need it, when you need it. With Jet Mobile, you’ll be able to access your data at home, in a lunch meeting, or on the golf course all at the touch of your fingers. Get a glimpse now:

OLAP Cubes 101

Steve Little, Product Manager

What are Cubes?

Let me start by stating what cubes are NOT…Cubes are not relational databases. Microsoft Dynamics NAV, AX, GP, and SQL are all examples of relational databases. Relational databases include tables and fields which are joined together by keys. Relational databases are great – we couldn’t run our businesses without them. They are optimized to get information into a system in a cohesive manner. But frankly, they aren’t optimized for getting the information out of the system.

To demonstrate the issue, here’s a hypothetical question that I like to pose:

“How much profit did we make selling Sno-cones to Icelanders last year?”

(more…)

Here’s a quick way to create the unique reports every finance department needs to deliver.

Paul Hollcraft, Global Partner Manager

Financial Dashboard

Finance in the modern enterprise has brought about a need for improved technology to meet a unique set of requirements. Too often, companies already have a Business Intelligence system in place but many of these systems aren’t designed with the needs of the finance department in mind.  If you’re in finance and considering your own solution, here are a few things we’re hearing from financial professionals in the enterprise:

Typically, financial professionals are focused on producing accurate management reports quickly to meet critical deadlines. (more…)

Secret Sessions at Convergence 2014

Emiley Oster, VP of US Sales

Everyone knows about the keynotes and sessions on the conference agenda but what if we told you that you can become the ultimate insider at Convergence this year?

If you’re like us, you spend 10-16 hours a day at a conference, not counting the off-time you spend tackling the work that’s piling up while you’re gone. You feel like you need to make the most out of the limited time you have to spare.

Don’t waste my time, you’re thinking. It’s an investment to come to an event like Convergence!

We’d like to offer more value than you bargained for with Jet Reports Secret Sessions. (more…)

What Every CIO Ought to Know About Data Discovery and Business Intelligence (And Probably Does)

Joe Little, President

Executives in every industry and sector are increasingly being asked to help make strategic IT decisions. A commonly asked question is “how can we use technology to strengthen our competitive advantage?”

Two popular technologies being used by companies today are data discovery and business intelligence. Both technologies are used to turn raw data into useful information. Both can help strengthen a competitive advantage— but each serves a unique purpose.

Although these technologies are related, it’s important to note that data discovery is not business intelligence. Data discovery tools are very popular today because they extend the capability of individuals to contribute by identifying trends and patterns that lead to new discoveries about the world. These discoveries can be very valuable. (more…)

How to beat the competition with Business Intelligence

Jim P. Andrews, Vice President of Sales

Competitive advantage means a company has or does something uniquely excellent. This is important because as you are reading this, your industry is changing and shifting under your feet. Competitors are watching how you evolve and are copying your products and services. Do you have flat rate shipping? They’ve got free. Released a new product? They’re working on the next version. The only way to do something uniquely excellent is to constantly push the envelope through continuous improvement.

In chess, the best of the best; the Grandmasters think many moves ahead for both sides. They know what will happen before it happens. More important than this, they are skilled at evaluating possible decisions before they take action. The most successful Grandmasters notate their games, collecting data from each round. They can then learn from, and leverage the data from thousands of games in order to beat their opponents. Intuition is valuable, but intuition based on data wins every time.

“Intuition is valuable, but intuition based on data wins every time.”

The good news is, your company likely already has the data it needs to make a bigger impact in the marketplace. You have valuable information to help you make better decisions. Think financials, customer databases and sales pipeline data, just to start. The question is: can you use this data to outperform the competition? (more…)

Jet Reports Forms Strategic Partnership with LS Retail

Brian Petersen, Director of Business Intelligence Solutions

We are happy to announce a new partnership created to benefit Dynamics NAV retail customers across the globe.

We have joined forces with LS Retail, the leader in retail for Microsoft Dynamics, to create a complete retail reporting and Business Intelligence platform for LS Retail clients.

So what does this mean? Together, we’ve built a Business Intelligence solution covering all major facets of the retail organization that enables LS Retail customers to analyze retail sales across stores, item variant profitability, loss prevention statistics, and make informed decisions based on their member management information. These are just a few of the things that we have collaborated on. It is this functionality that will help our retail customers make sense of the vast amounts of data available to them. (more…)

A partner perspective on why Business Intelligence matters

Jon Oesch, VP, Business Intelligence Sales

Hi Folks – today we have a guest blog from a well-known Microsoft re-seller and Jet Reports partner on why BI matters and how to think about it in the context of your ERP development. Aside from the sparkling writing by Andi Conti, this will link you to a web site with tons of good content on everything from Cost Accounting to Supply Chain optimization. Read more.

Happy Reading!

Jon

Jet Mobility

Joe Little, President

Jet mobility is getting ready to pilot and I thought I’d take a few minutes to talk about it. First of all, mobility is probably a pretty terrible name for this feature set, but perhaps our marketing group will square this away by the time that we start the pilot in September.

Mobility describes some of the endpoints of the new features, but a better description of the next version is a 3-tier architecture extension of the solution stack.

That’s not a very snappy feature name, so in development we’ve been using mobility as a reasonably accurate shorthand name.

If you aren’t familiar with Jet Reports, here’s a quick summary. (more…)

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