In the current technology-driven era, all businesses, big or small, are generating loads of data. The majority of these businesses use an ERP application for data acquisition across departments. This data, if leveraged correctly, can help companies make strategic decisions. Integrating the ERP application with a Business Intelligence Solution is the key to this.
A Business Intelligence solution helps businesses convert the available operational data into meaningful insights and intelligence. A BI solution collates data, analyses the data, and provides actionable insights to them in a format they understand. This data intelligence empowers businesses to make better strategic decisions.
ERPs have evolved over a period of time. Earlier, legacy ERP systems were on-premise and had their set of pros and cons. However, the latest cloud-based ERP solutions like the Microsoft Business Central ERP has many powerful and innovative features. Many businesses question the need for a BI solution if they are using an advanced ERP.
ERP applications help businesses acquire data efficiently from multiple departments. It provides easy data access and smooth data flow between different business stakeholders. It also ensures that there are no data silos and all critical data is available easily.
In short, an ERP makes this operational data available, whereas a BI solution analyses it to provide real-time insights and actionable knowledge for a business.
Integration of ERP with BI offers is a powerful combination in many ways and can provide numerous benefits.
BI tool can help manage historical legacy data and provide intelligent insights. Let’s say your ERP contains the past few year’s records of product sold. A BI solution provides details about seasonal variations in product sales. It will help you in inventory planning and management. It can also give insights like the profitability of projects undertaken, determine the resources required for future projects, etc.
A business generates large amounts of complex data. ERP is used to store this raw data. The BI tool transforms this data as per the business requirements and user specifications. It then loads this transformed data in a location that allows users easy access. This new location is the data warehouse. The users then can generate reports for various use cases easily post-this data storage and data processing in the data warehouse.
As mentioned in the earlier point, a business generates large volumes of complex raw data daily. A BI tool helps users to extract the necessary information in the form of simple and easy to understand reports. These reports enable the relevant stakeholders to analyse the use cases and make informed data-driven decisions.
An integrated solution will provide a complete 360-degree view of the business. You can use a single integrated software solution to acquire data, analyse it, and derive action items. Let’s say you are storing all your customer data in the ERP. It helps you to manage your sales funnel. As the deals close, you can use BI to share insights that can help you better manage the inventory requirements to fulfil the orders all from a single software.
It makes it easier for the users as they are not switching between systems continuously. Also, they need not prevents time and money spent in training users across multiple systems.
Data Intelligence based decision making can provide a competitive edge to the business. A business should have the ability to change things quickly if required. The ability to get real-time insights from the data is the key to this. An integrated solution will allow you to do just that. It can help you monitor critical business parameters like revenue, inventory, customer details, etc. real-time. You can then use it to make strategic decisions. Let us consider an example wherein a business can streamline inventory management based on legacy data and real-time records, thus ensuring optimum stock levels at all time. It can also quickly adjust to any sudden rise in demand for the product.
Traditionally, solutions generated reports based on historical data. It would provide a business, insights about what has happened in the past. Post-introduction of BI, the scenario is changed completely. BI tools can analyse historical data and use it to predict future trends.
Let us understand this with a real-time scenario a sales professional may face almost daily. An integrated solution like the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central analyses the complex data about the prospects and provides predictive intelligence about the likelihood of prospect purchasing by helping them spot buying signals.
It helps businesses identify the current trends, determine the course of action, and pivot quickly to benefit from these trends.
If you want to know more about the benefits an ERP integrated with BI may have, for your business, reach out to us at CocoonIT Services Pvt Ltd., a leading Microsoft Business Central ERP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner located in Mumbai.
We are a trusted Microsoft Gold partner offering intuitive Enterprise Technology Consulting and Automation implementation. We also provide ongoing support as per your business requirement.
We help businesses in their digital transformation journey by delivering Microsoft Business Automation tools, Power Apps, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Power BI, and other technology solutions services and support.