Business Intelligence: no self-service without expert knowledge

Self Service BIEfficient analysis and evaluation methods are essential in times of modern ERP systems. Many companies already benefit from so-called self-service business intelligence solutions and integrate the flexible tools of various kinds into their daily business. But being able to work independently with BI software usually also requires the consultation of an expert to begin with.

Resources and time are precious commodities in today’s fast-paced business world. In this context, the deployed software solutions are expected to make every day work more efficient and to simplify workflows. Above all, conventional analysis and reporting methods often involve considerable effort and cost. To prevent both, and to create more flexibility, many companies have chosen to use modern self-service business intelligence software in the past few years. In the near future, a further increase is to be expected in this area.

Innovative solutions enable users to work independently with corporate data, analyze it and eventually use it for relevant evaluations and reports without having to depend on assistance of the IT department. Because no extensive and continuous communication between end users and the IT department about requirements regarding evaluations to be made is no longer necessary, the expense in terms of time and personnel can be reduced significantly.

Despite the intuitive operating concept, self-service BI tools can often not be readily implemented: particularly for the processing and integration of necessary data sources, it is helpful to consult an expert for advice in advance. During implementation process, basic problems might occur, which often cannot be sufficiently solved with user skills.

For example, in order to determine the complexity and the data structures of modern What is an ERP system in full measure, and to be able to extract the required information and tables, profound understanding of the process, and system knowledge is required. To find and prepare the required data within these structures, service providers can rely in most cases on many years of experience in this field. Furthermore, an appropriate evaluation concept and best practice data models tailored to the specific requirements of the company should be developed before implementation of the self-service business intelligence solutions. Thus, it’s necessary to clarify in advance, what information and evaluations are required by the individual user.

The use of modern self-service business intelligence tools provides many advantages. In addition to the simple and intuitive interface which makes creating evaluations and reports for end users much faster and more efficient, especially the enormous cost, time and resource savings due to not having to depend on the IT department are important factors. However, it should always be considered that expert knowledge is indispensable when implementing a self-service BI solution in order to avoid the problems mentioned regarding data processing and interpretation.

Dynamics NAV 2015 Feature Highlights

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Features Last October, Microsoft placed the new version of its ERP software named Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 on the market. The new version contains lots of interesting innovations.

For three months now, users of the ERP system Dynamics NAV 2015 (Navision) have been able to access and benefit from the new and enhanced features of the software. Many of the innovations promise an even easier and more comfortable use as well as enormous time and cost savings. We have summarized the most important features for you:

Flexible use of the new tablet client
With the new tablet client, users have the possibility to work with Dynamics NAV 2015 not only on the Windows or web client, but also from on the way on their mobile devices (iPads, Microsoft and Android tablets), allowing them to access enterprise data and processes location-independently. With the release of the new version, Microsoft provides Dynamics NAV apps for the use on mobile devices (tablets only), which can be downloaded in the respective app stores.

Optimized user interface
A new customizable user interface allows to set up role centers and pages using active info tiles and individual color coding, so one can easily navigate, and quickly access key information and KPIs. This enables the system to indicate any need for action that might exist in any specific case. By adapting the menu to user roles and permissions, users see only the relevant information.

Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 Features Release Tablet Client Document Report

Comfortable document layout with Microsoft Word
Within the application individual document reports can be designed comfortably in Microsoft Word (instead of Visual Studio) without consulting an expert, and can afterwards be rapidly imported into Dynamics NAV 2015, thereby offering easy design possibilities. The software also provides some predefined templates which can be used or modified according to own taste and requirements. The process here is designed similar to a mail merge in Word.

Integration with other Microsoft applications such as Office 365
Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015 offers the ability to integrate with other Microsoft products such as Office 365, and then comprehensively use the two applications. For example, users can access Word or Excel directly through NAV 2015, and get the necessary information.

Improved update options and performance
In Dynamics NAV 2015 automated processes for standard installations help to optimize update performance to increase efficiency and speed. This in turn may lead to huge cost and time savings, for example, if the upgrade to the next version of Dynamics NAV is imminent.

What’s New in C / SIDE
The new version also brings some improvements regarding the development environment in Dynamics NAV 2015. There is, for example, a new property in the page elements for subpages, where several lines of code can be marked simultaneously, and be commented with a single click.

These features and further “small improvements” shall make working with Microsoft’s ERP system more efficient and comfortable in the future.

QlikView Scripting for Dynamics NAV

Although modern self service Business Intelligence solutions make it way easier for end users to create own analyses and reports, and even if they are much faster and more flexible to implement than using traditional BI tools, the development of relevant data models as a basis for further evaluations still requires a certain kind of “expert knowledge”.

Even for IT professionals the previous processing and integration of data sources, especially from complex ERP systems such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, does often involve tedious and time-consuming effort.

The Qlik connector “NAVdiscovery Toolbox” was developed specifically for these requirements: both the integration of QlikView and Qlik Sense into Dynamics NAV can be realized easily and comfortably with NAVdiscovery.

NAVdiscovery does not provide ready-made script templates as do other connector solutions. Rather, the Qlik data model can be automatically generated from the respective NAV environment with its own script generator.

This way, users can work to create LOAD scripts in the known surfaces of their ERP software – and the technical design of the data model takes place within the usual data structures and business logic.

With NAVdiscovery, the desired tables and fields within Dynamics NAV can directly be selected, automatically renamed and connected. Also the export of option values into readable text and the assignment of relational linked tables is done automatically.
For IT, NAVdiscovery allows to create individual, reusable script templates for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and also provides convenient options regarding management and backup in the development process.

QlikView Scripting

For more information about the capabilities of the NAVdiscovery script generator, see navdiscovery.com

Seeing is believing – don’t hesitate to contact us for a free online demo to see the possibilities of the NAVdiscovery Toolbox!

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