Reporting is a tool that has long been a part of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. We expect financial reports, income statements and open sales order reports to come as part of the package. These are still necessary, but as ERP software has evolved, so has the reporting. What can you gain by these improvements? Here is a quick rundown of the powerful tools at your disposal with Business Intelligence (BI):
- Create Reports without a Consultant: Have you ever wanted to know something about your business only to find out you have to find a “Crystal guru” that understands how to do database joins in order to retrieve the data? Business Intelligence cuts out the middle man by being extremely user friendly. Users can change the report layout and data parameters on the fly and save the templates to be used over and over again.
- Compare Data Real-Time: Are you wondering how one region’s sales fared over the other or how one product line is selling versus another? With BI, you can drag and drop each of the variables into a table and compare them with up to the minute information. This is tremendously beneficial when you are deciding where to focus your marketing, sales or training resources.
- Visualize the Data: While numbers are at the core of ERP, the impact of a graph is much stronger than a spreadsheet. BI can help you to visually represent the data in multiple graphical formats so that complex information becomes much easier to digest. Many companies use these graphs to share their progress with investors and internal decision makers. Some even use them to calculate what would happen if they decide to change something. This forecasting can help you to make educated decisions and simplify complicated data sets.
Reporting has come a very long way in the last few years and small to medium sized businesses are just starting to reap the benefits. In today’s competitive business landscape, the pace of making business decision continues to increase. All too often, business data is difficult to get at and use, slowing business management decisions to a crawl. Expect it to get easier and easier to gain insights into your business with tools like Business Intelligence which helps organizations make better, faster decisions about customers, partners, and operations by turning large volumes of data into valuable business insight.