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Direct analysis of list data in Business Central

With the latest Business Central spring release, data from list pages can be analyzed directly in the client without having to open the page in Excel or run a report.

With the ability to analyze data directly on list pages via a new analysis mode, yet another process can be performed in the future without having to switch applications. It also provides access to more functions in report objects, Excel, Power BI or other data analysis applications.

Analysis mode is a new option for interacting with list data. Instead of running reports with different options and filters, it allows you to simply add and save multiple tabs with different data views (e.g. “My customers”, “Follow-up items”, “Recently added vendors”, “Sales statistics”).

To analyze the data on a list page, you can easily switch to the analysis mode by clicking the corresponding button.

Business Central Data Analysis
List view in Business Central with button to open analysis mode (Source: Microsoft)

In the analysis mode, the data is then displayed in a new interface that is specially optimized for data analysis. There, the page is divided into two areas: the main data area (with a Tabs pane) and the field modifier area.

Business Central Data Analysis
New analysis mode in Business Central with data and field modifier area (Source: Microsoft)

The first can be used to interact with the data. For example, in the case of summable columns, statistics can be easily retrieved for a selected field set. Below the data area, the total row count on the column is displayed.

In the field modifier area, on the other hand, you can control which data is displayed and how it is formatted. In the menu, you can select the fields to be displayed or hidden for analysis.

By dragging certain fields into the “Grouping” section of the “Columns” menu, data can also be grouped here. Thus, data grouped by one or more fields to the left of the data area can be explored.

Grouping works best in Pivot mode. To start this, the “Pivot Mode” button must be activated. Then the fields that are to be grouped can be dragged into the “Values” area.

Finally, in the pivot mode, groups can be defined that will be displayed in the column part of the data area. For this purpose, fields can also be dragged into the “Column Labels” area of the “Columns” menu. Column grouping works best when the grouping field contains only a few values.

Filter data via the analysis filter and customize column layout

The “Analysis Filters” menu of the field modifier pane can also be used to apply additional filters to the data set, for example, to focus on a specific customer or time period.

In doing so, the data area allows extensive control over the layout of the columns. For example, columns can be dragged to the location where they make the most sense in the analysis. They can also be pinned to the left or right side of the column part. Data filters can also be defined directly in the column definition.

Business Central allows saving multiple column settings and filters. The next time you switch to analysis mode, you can then start analyzing the data directly. In the tabs area, a tab can be renamed or removed, and a new tab can be added at any time. Tabs can thus be used to save different, frequently used setups.

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