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The Six Steps to Business Intelligence with Microsoft Dynamics and Productivity Tools

March 6, 2017
MS Dynamics GP
MS Dynamics 365 CRM
MS Dynamics 365 BC
MS Office 365

As the self-service business intelligence offering from Microsoft keeps adding more and more possibilities for analysis and data manipulation, it is quickly becoming a vital asset for any organization at all levels of management. Building a business intelligence practice within your organization doesn’t happen overnight, since having an understanding of what and how you want to track takes time.

We recommend that you build on information that may already exist to help reduce the analysis and development time required to get these dashboards up and running. Here are the six steps we suggest to take in order to maximize your analysis capabilities, thanks to the various tools from Microsoft that allow you to visualize your information and obtain the level of details that you need.

  1. Discover and combine internal and external data using Power Query. This powerful data tool allows you to filter, remove, add and merge various data sets as required. This would be the first step into preparing your data to bring it all together so that you may more accurately analyze it from one place.
  2. Analyze and create detailed data models with the powerful analytical capabilities of Power Pivot. Start by modeling what you are looking for in Excel. One of the hardest parts of building dashboards is figuring out where to start. By working with a tool that you are already familiar with, like Excel, you will be able to import enormous quantity of data from virtually any source in seconds into a single Excel workbook. From there you can start creating graphs and lists on what you would like to view and refresh on a regular basis.
  3. Share information in real time with your colleagues via SharePoint. Its cloud-based access means that you can use it to store, share and access files and documents from almost anywhere and with the device of your choice. SharePoint promotes collaboration and increases efficiency across your organization.
  4. Explore and navigate your data. Now that you have modeled your dashboards and have a better understanding of what you need to share with your various colleagues or departments, you are ready to bring this into Microsoft Power BI, which offers multiple possibilities for you to visualize, manipulate and present your information. With it, you can create interactive dashboards, KPIs and lists for improved visibility and drilldown capabilities into any aspect of your business.
  5. Get the answers you need with the intelligent search and simplified viewing tools of Office 365. Its robust and fully integrated applications are available from anywhere via the cloud to increase the productivity of your organization and integrate every aspect of your business without having to switch tools.
  6. Go mobile to view information and reports in real time and stay connected to your business at all times. Increased compatibility with browsers and devices allows you to make use of your business intelligence tools and access your data and files however is most convenient for you.

Self-service business intelligence tools provide countless ways for you to visualize, organize, manipulate, share and analyze your data, leading to increased visibility into any aspect of your business. The six steps above will open up many possibilities for your organization to increase their reporting and data analysis capabilities, allowing for better access to the information that you need, more collaboration between the members of your company, and new insights into your business.

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