Supporting Business Goals with BI Tools Part #1 Exploring the BI Software Vendor Landscape

Supporting Business Goals with BI Tools Part #1 Exploring the BI Software Vendor Landscape

December Blog Series: Spreading the Joy

Insights from: Understanding the Challenges of Business Intelligence: What You Should Know Before Deploying a BI Solution (Whitepaper written by Gina Pabalan)

When considering BI and the different reporting tools available to access information within Microsoft Dynamics AX, there are choices.  The reality is that no single reporting tool is appropriate for every user's needs for all questions that must be answered or explored in a day.

Let's take a look at some enterprise level tools that your business can harness with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012:

Embedded Microsoft Dynamics AX Client Tools (accessing AX data directly)

  • Advanced Query Tools (AQT) – These tools are used to create and execute queries against the Dynamics AX database and offer the user the ability to filter, arrange and sort the data the way the business needs to see it.
  • List pages with PowerView – This tool can be used to create highly interactive, ad-hoc reports quickly and easily by users.
  • The Auto-Report Feature within Dynamics AX – This feature provides users with an accelerated approach to developing the reports they need.

 Microsoft Excel – Excel is a key part of Microsoft's BI strategy because it's easy to understand, has high adoption rates, and business users know how to use it.  Consider the different ways to leverage Excel as a reporting tool:

  • Importing data from AX to Excel
  • Connecting Excel to a data store (more typically to a data warehouse designed for reporting purposes)
  • SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) – Typically written by technical staff and run by users.  SSRS reports may query the AX database, or any other SQL Relational or OLAP database.
  • Financial reporting tools such as Management Reporter – These reporting tools are geared toward financial statutory reporting, and while not always necessary, some companies deploy these as part of their over-arching BI strategy.

Stay tuned for Part #2 Exploring the BI Software Vendor Landscape. To learn more about what you should know about deploying a BI solution, be sure to download Gina Pabalan's white paper Understanding the Challenges of BI.

Related Blog Content:

Supporting Business Goals with BI Tools Part #2: Exploring Microsoft's BI Capabilities

BI, Business Intelligence (BI)