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Using Power BI and Business Central

Power BI and Dynamics 365 Business Central

Dynamics 365 Business Central does include built-in reports out-of-the-box. We’re talking: financial reports like AP, AR, and cash flow analysis, sales and production reports, reports that tackle inventory and project management, and more.

There’s a lot of good stuff in there — important information all businesses should be tracking, but nothing that digs into the nitty-gritty data points that make or break a business.

Integrating Power BI with Dynamics 365 Business Central (BC) gives users a direct line to the data they care about most. You’ll always have the data you need right at your fingertips — presented in the way that makes the most sense to you.

In this Velosio Viewpoints segment we’ll quickly go over some of the key ways Power BI enhances the BC interface by bringing intelligent insights into the flow of daily work.

 

 

Our short, guided tour covers the following:

  • Using the business performance dashboard in Business Central
  • Power BI reports – plus access and filtering options
  • Managing and customizing reports
  • Running queries in Power BI
  • Data sharing & collaboration

 

Watch the full video to see the BC-BI interface for yourself, or keep reading to learn more about what this dynamic duo has to offer.

What you can do with Power BI and D365 Business Central

The D365 Business Central dashboard provides an overview of what is happening inside your business. There, you can access canned reports (i.e.: general ledger or chart of accounts) and customize them (think – fields, data points, colors, fonts, formatting) from your Dynamics 365 BC dashboard – allowing you to make the built-in templates feel more like your own.

But, the Power BI integration takes things a step further. You can design custom reports and embed them directly into the BC dashboard, Teams channels, Outlook, and Excel to make it easier for employees to access critical insights from their primary workspace.

You can also incorporate data from multiple sources – allowing you to create reports that allow users to drill down into specific areas or data points, get statistics on individual customers, and create compelling visualizations that help them make sense of it all.

Ultimately, Power BI helps users understand not just the “what” but the “why.” For example, the screenshot below features a report that helps users identify the key factors that determine whether an item is on backorder.

Power BI Supply Chain Report

In this case, there are several converging forces that lead to this outcome: volatility, forecasting bias, demand. So an analyst might then look for ways to avoid this issue – finding alternative suppliers, improving forecasting capabilities, whatever.

The integration also streamlines collaboration. Users can share information directly from Business Central out to a Teams channel or a person. So, that might mean pulling a report for a client in Power BI, then sharing it with a client from the BC interface – or via email or chat.

Querying is easier, too. Power BI is designed to help non-data scientists find the answers they need from all connected data sources – structured, unstructured, images, text, etc. Users can simply choose “ask a question” from the top menu, then enter natural language-based queries like “what are my top-selling items?” to surface relevant insights.

Finally, users can also view and edit report settings so that they’re better aligned with their unique needs and preferences. You can change the look and feel of the UI without leaving the BC interface, customize tabs, review data points, and summarize data.

Final thoughts

Whether you’re happy with the canned reports or not, Dynamics 365 Business Central comes with a free Power BI license. So, there’s no excuse for not setting up the integration and learning your way around the platform. And while you’ll need to get over the initial learning curve, the effort and expense of training your team will pay off in the form of smarter decisions, better service, and eventually, more profits.

To see more Microsoft apps and integrations in action, check out the rest of the Viewpoints playlist on YouTube Velosio experts will take you behind-the-scenes – offering an inside look at D365, Teams, Azure, and more — all in 15 minutes or less.


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