Business Intelligence. A solution that has become as much of a gamechanger as it has become a hyped product, at MIBAR, we are firmly in the camp that the product fits in the former category. Whether a standalone option, an embedded or integrated product, or a feature within a larger product, we understand the value that such a software presents to businesses, and are happy to talk about one such option—Power BI—below.

Background: Business Intelligence and Microsoft Power BI

At MIBAR, we bought into the importance of business intelligence early in the “hype cycle” and since embracing and recommending it, have gone all in. There’s good reason—business intelligence has simplified decision-making, empowered company growth, and often done so at a surprisingly low price. As a solution that can combine data from sources in ways previously deemed unimaginable, Microsoft’s Power BI solution provides small businesses a way out of the spreadsheet and into the cloud and large businesses the opportunity to use an enterprise-ready solution without the enterprise price tag. Microsoft Power BI, introduced as Project Crescent in 2010 before being renamed Power BI in 2013 and released to the general public in 2015, was initially a set of Excel-based add-ins before becoming a standalone business intelligence suite. While strong as a standalone application that can handle dozens of data sources out of the box and customized to handle thousands more, this cloud business intelligence application really earns its stripes when used to augment already powerful Microsoft Dynamics applications, something we will discuss below.

The Combined Power of Microsoft Dynamics and Power BI

As we mentioned, Microsoft’s Dynamics and Power BI are both powerful applications that alone are able to improve the way businesses operate. However, when businesses can flow data from Dynamics ERP and CRM solutions into the business intelligence suite, they are able to augment their decision making even further, make smarter choices with better data, and ultimately go from ‘growing’ to thriving. Leveraging the OData feed to connect the applications, businesses can get a complete view of their customer and finance data like never before, turning numbers and metrics into graphs, charts, and user-friendly dashboards.

Connecting Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management with Power BI

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online for Power BI allows you to easily access and analyze your data. Power BI uses the OData feed to create a descriptive model, with all the entities and measures needed such as Accounts, Activities, Opportunities, Product, Leads, Users and more. After you install the app, you can view the dashboard and reports in the Power BI service, and in the Power BI mobile apps. Now, you can visualize key metrics like never before, type in questions about the information at hand, and go even further by integrating CRM data with marketing applications including Google Analytics, MailChimp, Salesforce, and so much more.

Dynamics CRM Sales Manager

Need to track win rate, open revenue, average deal size and more? Dynamics CRM Sales Manager is a powerful tool to make that happen. Want to slice, dice, and analyze the data? Connecting Sales Manager with Power BI can make this happen and do so more beautifully than ever thought possible. Select and filter data, ask questions, and visualize trends within Power BI, tracking everything from Sales Leaders by Revenue or Activities to Top Accounts, and more. Track by the following entities in your CRM platform: Account, Activity, Business Unit, Lead, Opportunity, Opportunity Product, Product, Territory, User, and so much more.

Dynamics CRM Service Manager

It’s so much cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one. By identifying trends and problem areas within Power BI, you can improve customer service and satisfaction numbers, reduce turnover and track employee success—whether they are in the field or the call center. Select and filter data, ask questions, and visualize trends within Power BI, tracking everything from CSAT percentage, service-level agreement percentage, resolved and active cases, and more. Beyond that, the following entities are able to be tracked and filtered: Account, Activity, Case, Case Resolution Activity, Contact, Knowledge Article, Knowledge Article Incident, Queue, Queue Item and User.

Connecting Dynamics ERP Options with Power BI

Whether it’s GP, AX, SL, NAV, or 365, Power BI provides businesses with new ways to tackle their financial and operational data, slicing and dicing the numbers and publishing dashboards quickly and easily.

Power BI for Dynamics GP 2018

Dynamics GP is a powerful tool for midsized businesses looking to take advantage of the solution’s flexibility, integration, and more throughout their financial management and supply chain platform. While the platform already has an effective business intelligence module, Power BI pushes this even further, especially for the newest offering, Dynamics GP 2018. Set up using the OData standard, this connection makes it easier to track ERP metrics in a decision maker-friendly BI platform. Released in the newest Dynamics GP Content Pack for Power BI, users can leverage the following views within Power BI.

  • Account Transactions
  • Customers
  • Inventory Sales Summary and Period History
  • Inventory Transactions
  • Item Quantities
  • Purchase Line Items
  • Purchase Requisition Lines
  • Purchase Requisitions
  • Receiving Line Items
  • Sales Line Items
  • Vendors

This functionality was recently announced in a Microsoft blog, which highlights everything from how to connect OData to the steps in highlighting data to how to make visualizations.

Power BI and Dynamics: Your Solution for Business Decision Making

At MIBAR, we have worked with Microsoft for decades, and are proud to recommend their products for companies looking to improve their results, gain more insight into data, and make smarter decisions. Whether you are looking for a Dynamics solution—combined with Power BI or not—we are happy to discuss your needs, options, and opportunities. Power BI is a strong solution and can connect with many of the products we service, including the aforementioned Dynamics options, Acumatica, NetSuite, and much more. As you progress in your business intelligence, customer relationship management, or enterprise resource planning journey, we would be honored to help. Learn more about the solutions we serve here, download our latest guide on BI software by downloading Out of the Spreadsheet and into the Cloud: 5 Key Considerations When Implementing a Modern BI, and get in contact with us for a free consultation.

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