Real Time Analytics

It has been awhile since I have seen the release of a new tool from Microsoft that really gets me excited. Well, Power BI is just that tool. At the highest level, Microsoft Power BI is an analytical tool that allows you to combine data from different sources like Microsoft Dynamics GP or Microsoft Dynamics SL into one dashboard. Sounds easy, right. Well again, actually it is.

Finding or identifying what information is important to your business is step one. Sometimes that can be the hardest and most time-consuming. We like to start with a company’s KPIs (Key Performance Indicator). In its simplest form, a KPI is a type of performance measurement that helps you understand how your organization or department is performing. A successful KPI must be well-defined and quantifiable. It must be something that can be measured.

Let’s start with some easy ones, financial metrics

Profit, analyze both your gross and net profit margin to better understand how successful your organization is at generating a high return. Day Sales Outstanding (DSO), take your accounts receivable and divide them by the number of total credit sales. Take that number and multiply it by the number of days in the time frame you are examining. The lower the number, the better your organization is at collecting accounts receivable. Sales by Region, analyze which regions are meeting sales objectives, identify underperforming and successful regions.

What if you produce a product or offer services, perhaps an analysis of the number of new tickets, the number of resolved tickets, and the resolution time for each. For a product, look for Percentage of Product Defects. This can be achieved by taking the number of defective units and divide it by the total number of units produced in the time frame you are examining. This will give you the percentage of defective products.


Now imagine this information or other critical data points to your business are all on one dashboard. A view of your business that is real-time from anywhere. In a nutshell, that is Microsoft Power BI.

At SSi Consulting, we believe in the power of building meaningful dashboards. The rollout of the new Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL include some Microsoft provided dashboards. In addition, we are including dashboards we have built specifically to address the business KPIs our customers are looking for. We believe that this type of insight can revolutionize how a business can be managed.

Are you using Power BI? If not, we can show you how to take advantage of this business analytics toolset.

Karen Riordan, Vice President SSi Consulting