Dynamics 365 Business Central Tips and Tricks: Using Data Analysis Mode to Quickly Run Reports

Updated 3/13/24 for changes in Dynamics 365 Business Central regarding "Analysis" mode.

In this series of bimonthly blogs, Western Computer shares our expertise with tips and tricks to help users work more efficiently in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Based on our more than 30 years in business—with 1,100+ solution implementations, including more than 200 in the cloud—we share the expertise we have accumulated to enable users to work as proficiently as possible. You can also subscribe to these blogs in our LinkedIn newsletter.

In this blog, we discuss how the data analysis mode in Dynamics 365 Business Central enables you to analyze information directly from a page without running a report or copying the data to another application, like Excel. Instead of running reports using different options and filters, you can add multiple tabs that represent different tasks or views on the data.

Examples include My Customers, Follow-Up Items, Recently-Added Vendors, and Sales Statistics. When you analyze information in data analysis mode, the process doesn't change the underlying data of the list page or the query nor the layout of the page or query.

Essentially, you can run Excel-like reports right in Business Central to quickly calculate, summarize, and examine data. Once you have the report looking the way you need it to, you can copy the link and share the report with other users.

Data Analysis Mode in Action

Mastering Data Analysis in Microsoft Business Central 23 with Marcelo Borges

One of the analysis examples presented in the above video comes from the customer ledger entries screen. Just click on <Analyze>, and you turn the ledger table into Excel mode, which enables you to manipulate the data and conduct analysis.

For example, you can run summaries by customer and then drill down into each customer to analyze their activities. You can also run filters, such as open and closed transactions for each customer by store or region, and other filters. You can then drill down further to see the individual line item of the total open amounts.

The summary view at the bottom shows amount totals, averages, maximums, and minimums. This view also presents how many records you are looking at for that filter selection among the total number of records.

Up near the top, the tabs section allows you to save filters so you don’t have to keep replicating or reapplying them. This is particularly helpful when creating reports with specific filters that need to be applied to multiple customers. You save the filter scheme once and then apply it to each customer you want to analyze.

One of the newest features from BC22, the Data Analysis mode, has been rebranded in BC24. When looking for the Analysis mode on lists, you will not find that “Analyze” toggle anymore. Instead, you will find a new Icon: 

How to Use Pivot Mode

The above video also shows you how to use pivot mode, which again is similar to Excel. Pivot mode allows you to analyze large amounts of numerical data by sub-totaling data by categories and subcategories.

To turn pivot mode on, slide the <Pivot> mode switch in the columns pane. The column labels area appears in the pane where you can group sum totals for rows into categories.

The pivot mode feature with the data analysis mode is particularly valuable thanks to a recent capability that Microsoft has provided. You can now run analysis of large data sets, such as those containing more than 100,000 records.

Now A Standard Feature in Dynamics 365 Business Central

Business Central versions 23 (released October 2023) and later come with data analysis mode as a pre-loaded, standard feature. If you see a list page that doesn't include the <Analyze> switch for changing to analysis mode, a developer likely disabled analysis mode on that specific page. And if you don't want to provide certain users with access to the analysis mode, you can exclude them from the permission group.

If you're using Business Central version 22 (released April 2023), the data analysis mode is in preview, so you will need to enable it before you can use it. You can do this on the <Feature Management> tab by switching on <Feature Update: Analysis Mode>.

To Learn More

Western Computer offers deep expertise across the Microsoft technology stack, particularly in Dynamics 365 Business Central. Our thought leaders can help you ensure your critical ERP application meets your business needs for today and beyond.

For more information on how to use data analysis mode in Business Central, or for help in designing, deploying, or supporting your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution, contact Western Computer today.

About the Author

Marcelo Borges has been very enthusiastic about ERP systems since the time he first experienced Microsoft Dynamics, back in 2005. He joined Western Computer in 2017 as a consultant focusing on Microsoft Dynamics solutions for customers in the finance, trading, warehousing, and distribution sectors. When advising on technology and designing solutions, Marcelo calls upon his experience of having worked on both sides of the table: as a consultant for known Microsoft Partners, and as an end-user in multiple industries.

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