Power BI Delivers Timely Data and Improves Business-Process Efficiencies

November 19, 2019 Greg Williams

Deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. That’s the key to running your business efficiently. It’s an obvious statement and sounds simple; yet achieving this mission can be difficult.

In many cases, managers and front-line personnel have to manually search for information. They may be able to import data into Microsoft Excel in order to drill down into the specific data they need, but that takes time. It also requires a fairly good understanding of how to manipulate spreadsheets.

If someone needs a particularly complex report, they likely need the help of your IT department or an outside consultant. That adds to the cost, and it delays how quickly the data can be viewed. By the time the report is ready, it may be too late to make decisions that impact the business workflow that the data pertains to.


Start by Integrating ERP with BI

The key to solving this challenge starts with integrating your ERP platform—the main repository of your business data—with a BI solution. You can then provide greater and faster visibility into KPIs for your managers and front-line teams so they can analyze day-to-day transactional efficiencies, production workflows, and operational expenses in real time.

ERP solutions, such as those in the Microsoft Dynamics suite, offer key finance and operations capabilities out-of-the-box with minimal customization. They also provide the ability to easily integrate with add-on solutions like Microsoft Power BI. With data flowing automatically from your ERP platform into Power BI, you get access to visual Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s).

The data can then be delivered through interactive dashboards. You can also easily tailor the views that individual end-users need across all business functions and according to their job responsibilities. They won’t need any help from IT!


KPIs That Flow Automatically

One of our manufacturing clients recently migrated its ERP platform to Microsoft Dynamics NAV and integrated the solution with Power BI Bundle for Microsoft Dynamics NAV/Business Central—a custom offering developed by Western Computer. Western Computer has already completed much of the heavy lifting by delivering a robust Power BI dataset and corresponding dashboards and reports. With NAV linked to Power BI, KPIs flow much more efficiently in comparison to when this client had to hire a programmer to build expensive custom reports.

That approach was a hassle and more expensive—given that the client previously used developers to write the code. Power BI enables business users to access the data they need without having to contact a developer or IT resource. In addition to receiving information faster, the KPI views helped redefine the way the client looks at its business. Managers can now measure the output of specific business functions to better track data accuracies and workflow efficiencies.


The Ability to Analyze Every Component of Your Business

Just as it did for our manufacturing client, Power BI gives you the ability to analyze every component of your business. Our standard dashboards include vendor performance, inventory, production, AP and AR, and General Ledger.  Most importantly, you can deliver information to end-users just as they are about to make key decisions on how to run your business more efficiently.

To learn more about our approach to delivering business intelligence that empowers our customers, contact us today.

About the Author

Greg Williams

As Western Computer's VP of Strategy, Greg Williams is responsible for aligning the company's product and service offerings with customers.

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