Dashboards for Professional Services with Dynamics SL

They are referred to as dashboards, data visualizations, or more specifically, charts, graphs, and scorecards, but whatever you call them, they’re everywhere.  This is due to how important they are to executive teams – just do a quick Google search for top software priorities and you’ll see them at #1.  With business moving more quickly than ever, SBS Group knows that having easily accessible and digestible data analytics is vital.  Dashboards do exactly that: charts, graphs, and scorecards showcase trends, successes, and challenges through key performance indicators (KPIs) with your data to stay on track with a project, a division, or the whole company.BI 360 logo

Dashboards as a concept, in the myriad of forms they appear, are wildly popular, regardless if you are monitoring your speed, reviewing expense trends on a credit card, or looking over an account activity report.  Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards offer the same kind of trajectory information as these examples from your everyday life, so you can make smarter decisions for your Professional Services company.  BI data visualizations are different in that they’re adjustable, meaning you can interact with the analysis to come to your strongest interpretation of your professional services organization’s standing.  Most BI offerings are equipped with drill-to and drill-down capabilities, so you can zoom in on the details of your data to make the right decision(s).  Now that we’ve covered the popularity of dashboards, let’s dive into how you can expand your Microsoft Dynamics SL processes with modern features and functionalities of data visualizations.

Dashboards can consist of information from multiple sources.  If you need real-time analytics, specifically regarding financial data, you can utilize the built-in dashboard function within Dynamics SL.  Live analyses are a great tool for the professional who requires up-to-the-minute financials – or smaller groups that are fine with simple ERP system dashboards, without the resources to manage a BI data store, like an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a data warehouse.  On the other hand, larger organizations typically require more than financial information and a higher performance for their dashboards, which can be tough to achieve with a live Dynamics SL data visualization.

BI data store integrations allow larger Professional Services organizations to create operational and financial dashboards without making the SL server sluggish when pulling information for real-time analytics.  If your team has multiple Dynamics SL users, who might be querying data simultaneously, SBS Group would recommend a BI data store for a higher performance.  You’ll have to replicate your information to the data store, but it will likely still be faster, depending on the query size.  Additionally, BI data stores enable you to combine diverse data types into one place, like clients, types of service, consultants, projects, etc.  Some third party software vendors also build flexibility into the product, so you can decide how you’d like to integrate your data, depending on the process.

To continue learning more about dashboards for Professional Services with Dynamics SL, read the rest of this article here.


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