Knowledge is power

Effortless reporting for your business with Microsoft Power BI
for Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 CRM users

What is Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is an end-to-end reporting platform designed to transform complicated numbers into easy-to-digest visualisations, graphs and dashboards.

Power BI visualises data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Dynamics 365 Sales, Marketing & Customer Service (previously Microsoft Dynamics CRM) PLUS a whole host of other internal and external sources to take your reporting to the next level!

Stop spending hours summarising data from endless reports into management information and make the move to Power BI.

Interactive buttons

to show alternative views of data

Pop up windows within reports

Key influencers show what affects sales and the Decomposition Tree shows where sales originate from

Headline figures

Showing sales and margin

Drill-down

Day by day sales

Interactive Q&A visualisations

Why should I use Power BI? And who does it benefit?

In the warehouse

If you’re a warehouse manager using ‘Picker Performance’ to keep track of your operatives’ speed and accuracy, Power BI will help you visualise the information so that’s it’s easy to spot the trends, identify areas for improvement and help keep on top of day-to-day operations.

If you’re a network-based distributor you might want to keep track of sales by product by distributor or region to better understand “what products are selling where” to uncover missed opportunities and/or the need for improved sales support. You could also compare your sales data with externally sourced information to assess the true market opportunity.

On the factory floor

If you’re a manufacturer, you might be inspired by one of our customers who compared actual production output (using data collected automatically from sensors on every machine on the shop floor) to production targets. Even with a significant investment in the sensors, they achieved payback in less than 3 months through quality improvements, reductions in scrap and improved operator training.

In Finance or Vendor Performance

Increasingly, Finance teams are using Power BI to generate their Management Accounts quicker and faster – and with greater analysis and drill down querying – than ever before. And those in purchasing can use Power BI to measure supplier performance to keep track of returns vs receipts, price variance against sell price and OTIF delivery.

In Sales & Marketing

As an example, if you’re pushing for product sales for bathroom tiles, but you can see from within Power BI that bathroom tiles are up 3% from last year, you may want to focus your marketing on items that aren’t selling as much. Or you might decide to continue driving this campaign to boost those sales even more, with the aim of increasing it to 5% rise compared to last year. Having Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Sales both feeding into Power BI, you’re able to analyse your sales and marketing metrics together and make any business decisions based on real-time data.

Want to get up and running fast with your sales reporting?

Discover our packaged solution - Sales Reporting Essentials

No matter what department you sit in...

you’ll be able to take advantage of the visualisations within Power BI to tell you a specific story for your role. And, with all teams working on the same report, there will only ever be one version of the truth, making communication, decision-making and operations more streamlined and unified moving forward.

Plus, as your business continues to grow and expand, Power BI will continue to do so alongside it. The scalability that comes with this reporting tool allows you to continue adding users, so you’re all looking at the same information, no matter how old or new to the business you are.
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How does Power BI work with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central?

Power BI is the next level of reporting for Dynamics 365 Business Central users. It takes the data from Dynamics 365 Business Central and enables you to drill-down and customise the visualisation in a way that best suits you and your business. Whether that’s building dashboards that contain graphs, charts, decomposition trees, tables, or a simple list of products, for example. Plus, you can add data from other internal systems and external sources to give you that complete picture you crave.

Plus, you can embed Power BI reports directly into Dynamics 365 Business Central screens, so you don’t need to switch from one platform to another: it’s all in one system.

How does Power BI work with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM?

Power BI integrates seamlessly with Dynamics 365 Sales, Marketing and Customer Service (previously Dynamics CRM) just as it does with Dynamics 365 Business Central. You can take the data you already rely on from the in-built sales, marketing and customer service dashboards and deliver greater visualisation by combining additional data from other systems and sources.

Again, you can also embed Power BI reports directly into Dynamics 365 Sales, Marketing and Customer Service, saving you the hassle of switching between platforms.

How does Microsoft Power BI compare to Jet Reports and Jet Analytics?

First, you need to consider a handful of factors, such as who is going to be using the reporting tool? Will they need to access it remotely? (If so then Power BI lends itself quite nicely to this), what is it that you’re trying to say in your report? Are you planning on manipulating the data in Excel? (As some team members might find it hard to let their spreadsheets go so easily!). Are you going to need to embed your reports within Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central or Dynamics 365 Sales, Marketing and Customer Service or will they sit outside the whole operation entirely? These are just some of the questions that our reporting consultants can help you with to find the right solution that best fits your business.

Comparing the products side by side

When it comes down to comparing the products side by side, there are always going to be pros and cons to each, in the end, it all comes down to what your business wants to achieve as to which is best. Power BI comes first place for visualisation and easy-to-digest reporting, whereas Jet Reports is for quick and instant data that you can use in Excel, especially in finance and operational departments. Once the data is in Excel, users can slice, dice and filter the data however you want to – using pivot charts, tables, VLOOKUPS and more without losing the links back to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

Users can take advantage of the pre-built reports and dashboards within Jet Reports, and the automated data warehousing using Jet Analytics. Jet Analytics can also work with Power BI where Jet Analytic is the data warehouse and Power BI is the visualisation tool.

In terms of pricing, Jet Analytics can be more expensive than Microsoft Power BI, making Power BI the more cost-effective reporting solution to get you started. But again, it entirely depends on what your business wants to achieve as to which is best for you.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Harnessing Power BI

In this episode of Tecman Talks Dynamics, you’ll get an easy-to-understand, non-technical exploration of Power BI and how it can help your business based on it’s features and functionalities. From essential information such as security and licensing, right through to why it stands out from other reporting tools, it’s all covered in these 20-minutes!
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Interested in Power BI?

If you're interested in deploying Power BI, get in touch with us