One of the key aspects of today’s Cloud ERP solutions are business intelligence.  You hear about it with almost every product, and in many conversations about those products.  But often it just seems like a buzzword, and has little or no impact on many who are considering a new Cloud ERP solution for their business.  What sales reps talk about and what it really is are often two very different things indeed.  Business intelligence is not just a pretty dashboard.

Every Cloud ERP solution in today’s market should offer powerful business intelligence, and it should be easy for them to deliver to you and your team and it should be available as part of what the solution offers, not as an add on or after thought.  Getting data into your new system and processing transactions is one of the key reasons new systems are sought.

But what is just as important for most companies and in many cases even more important is that that data tells you about your business, how it is doing, what to look out for, and when you may be heading in the wrong direction.   Business intelligence helps you keep your finger on the pulse of your business.  Without it, it is just processing transactions and recording statistics.  It is what that information tells you about what has happened and what will likely happen that provides the value for any solution.

One example Cloud ERP solution that provides this kind and level of business intelligence to its customers is Acumatica.  With Acumatica, there are many ways one can get the relevant data needed to ultimately impact the profitability of their business and the effectiveness of their employees, but here are just 4 ways to start with that provide impact:

  1. Acumatica provides an easy for each user to create custom dashboards that fit their needs in real time. Users can create dashboard objects on demand from most screens in Acumatica to alert them to take action.
    • For instance, their upcoming task list can be represented telling them what’s on their to do list for the day, and allows them to complete those tasks with notes when done.
    • Or, they can see documents specific to their job function that are ready to be processed.
  2. Or they can create dashboard objects that tell them a story in a graphic way, such as cash balance over time, profitability over time, or a pie chart showing the profitability of their top ten customers.
  3. Another way in which Acumatica offers quality business intelligence is through integration with Excel Power tools such as Power Map, Power Pivot, Power Query, and Power View. Data is accessed from Acumatica in a real time or periodic manner using Acumatica’s generic inquiries. Users can easily access data that is important to them and create an OData link that Excel can use, so that they can then use Excel’s power tools to create graphs, reports and calculations that fit their business intelligence needs
  4. Microsoft’s PowerBI is also easily connected to Acumatica to bring data to life and provide graphic reports, data reports and KPIs (key performance Indicators) to enrich the user experience and impact productivity and profitability. The users can even embed these powerful PowerBI objects into Acumatica’s standard dashboards to bring the entire picture into focus

As a further extension of what is possible with Acumatica and PowerBI, data from various other sources can be blended together to begin to show correlations and even predictions of profitability.  Here’s an example of what can be done.  Suppose that your company offers products that are affected by the economy in some way, such as employment rates or gas prices.  Data from economic sources can be accessed and combined with sales data from Acumatica to determine the amount of impact the economy has on your sales.  Once that is known, dash board graphics, and reports can show what to expect as the economic outlook improves or falters, allowing your management team time to take effective action to positively impact your profitability. 

Having these tools at your fingertips provides by far more value than just run of the mill data processing and reporting.  It gives you the capability to take action when necessary, at the right time and with the right intensity to navigate your team through difficult times and take advantage or good times.

All this power at your fingertips, on any device, anytime, anywhere in the world with internet access, and the ability to provide this power to anyone you know needs it.  In the end, it is not just another pretty dashboard.