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Leveraging Dimensions in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central

July 16, 2019

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is well-known for the flexibility it offers: from the interface to the integration with other Microsoft products, it provides a highly flexible and customizable experience. Even reporting is greatly facilitated, thanks to the notion of dimensions, which let you review financials based on the values that are most relevant to your organization.

What are dimensions, exactly?

In Business Central, dimensions can be described as a type of customizable tag that lets you group and categorize entries to facilitate reporting and analysis. These dimensions can be whatever your organization needs: department, location, customer type, brand, price category, etc. Depending on your reporting needs, these values can then be linked to anything from journal entries to invoices, not to mention budgets, customers, general ledgers, documents and more.

Dimensions are entirely up to you: as such, they can be used by organizations of all types and industries, ensuring that they will accurately represent your specific realities. Once set up, they can be used to retrieve these groups for analysis and even combined to provide the exact level of detail that you need.

How can dimensions be used within your organization?

A two-dimensional analysis would be expenses per department, for example, but more than two dimensions can be used for more complex analyses: sales by brand by store, to name just one example. In fact, dimensions offer almost endless possibilities: for example, they can be used to send budgets to departments, or submit expenses based on various categories to the employee responsible. They can also be used to obtain a view on the efficiency of sales representatives or stores. If needed, the information can be displayed in a matrix, allowing you to click on any amount shown to drill down and see the specifications.

As amounts can be easily reviewed based on the various dimensions needed, there is no need to set up separate general ledgers for each department or project, keeping your chart of accounts simple while facilitating analysis. Dimensions can be set as mandatory for specific entries to ensure that no information is missing. Values can be updated easily, and changes will be reflected automatically on the dimension.

What are the benefits?

Like most aspects of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, dimensions provide an easy, intuitive way to obtain the information you need while keeping your environment streamlined and user-friendly. By ensuring that everyone has the information they need on hand, dimensions lead to better business insights and decisions, while improving efficiency and insights across your organization. Since dimensions can be set as mandatory, all critical information is filled out, and if needed, data can also be extracted into Excel in just a few clicks for more advanced data manipulations. And as mentioned, dimensions keep your chart of account trimmed down, greatly facilitating navigation, analysis, and reporting.

Watch Microsoft’s video below to learn how to set up dimensions in Business Central:

Visit our product page for more information about Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

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