Business Transformation

3 new benefits of Business Central supercharged

with Power BI

July 12, 2023

What rules the business world?
Data does. As well as your ability to transform it into a valuable business asset.

If you overlook advanced tools that help extract actionable insights from business information, you fail to make rational decisions that produce tangible business outcomes.

Microsoft Business Central is one of the world-leading cloud-based ERP solutions and one of such tools. It empowers businesses to streamline operations and keep all vital business data neatly organized and within reach.

However powerful BC is, you can transcend its capabilities to a whole new level by supercharging it with Microsoft Power BI integration. MS Power BI is a robust business intelligence platform deservedly known as a catalyst for improved data visualization, data analysis, and better decision-making.

  • With Power BI, you get rid of Excel spreadsheets and bulky data.

  • Add flexibility and customize data visualization with standard and custom visuals.

  • Boost business communication through online dashboards and real-time data access.

  • Process more information from multiple sources like SharePoint and SQL.

  • Reduce time spent on data analysis with interactive and informative visuals and make smart, data-based decisions faster and with less effort.

That said, Power BI has more to add to the list of benefits for business.

In this blog post, we explore some untapped benefits of integrating Power BI with MS Business Central and how this synergy can revolutionize your business processes.

Reveal and fix bugs in the BC business processes

This is one of the greatest and least obvious benefits we appreciate in the powerful combination of Business Central and Power BI.

When dealing with the Business Central reports, you directly interact with your data structure. Until the moment you start building data models in Power BI based on the different data from your BC, it seems the data is correct. When Power BI comes into play, it might help reveal the bottlenecks in your ERP.

Namely, the way your business processes are set. Because if the latter have poor business logic, or you use the wrong dimensions or accounts, these will result in wrong transactions. Thus, the numbers you see on Power BI visuals should alert you. And push to revise your Business Central behind-the-scenes and fix the gaps, optimize processes, focus on how your dimensions are set, etc.

You may customize the following high-level flow to fix your business processes in BC. It looks quite simple though it requires deep analysis and contribution to ensure long-term success.

1. Define the areas for improvement, read the insights from the Power BI visuals to identify the anomalies, wrong patterns, or trends.

2. Set the objectives you need to achieve by fixing your processes. Maybe these are wrong connections in BC that provoke wrong analytics in Power BI dashboards and draw your attention?

3. Collaborate with stakeholders, BC business process flow owners, and other users to get a full understanding of the process. A specialist’s view on the business flows and expertise will help you get the context and troubleshoot specific pain points only visible via Power BI.

4. Dig into the initial causes. You might want to brainstorm the roots of the process’s flaws, like manual errors when processing data, lack of automation, or limitations of the BC itself.

5. Come up with solutions. Again, engage stakeholders to discuss your options and possible steps for further optimization.

6. Implement the changes and observe the results. Control the updated Power BI dashboards to check whether your improvements were effective enough for BC. While implementing changes for one issue, you may also identify new ones, as well.

7. Repeat and polish. Continuous improvement is crucial for dynamic business processes. Get new insights from the updated processes, visuals, and input from your stakeholders to discuss, implement, monitor, and iterate.

TIP: Pay attention to your Power BI dashboards for BC data. If the visuals look weird and the numbers don’t seem to look proper, they are most certainly built wrong at their core in the BC processes.

Optimize data architecture in your BC

Business Central is a vast trove of data. With every data column full of critical business information.

This sometimes turns into a complete mess for one reason or another. Even if you get an experienced business analyst or consultant engaged to implement specific business processes, you may still end up fighting with duplicate records or wrong relations between entities inside your BC. That is a time-, effort-consuming, and counterproductive process.

“With Power BI, not only do you turn your data into immersive and interactive visuals, but you also test the consistency of your business processes.”

- Evgeny Buriak, Director of Delivery

And for that, you don’t even need a tech-savvy BC specialist. You need a Power BI specialist, a person well-versed in data sets to reassess and redefine the processes in BC itself.

TIP: View your data architecture with fresh eyes and collaborate with a Power BI specialist to reassess your data architecture. A view from the side might be very refreshing and objective.

Multiple levels of data analysis

Interpreting your data via Power BI charts and dashboards allows you to analyze your critical business information at least at two levels.

First, you analyze your data when building your data models. When you deal with customer lists and invoices, for instance, from either your BC or any external source of data for analysis. You analyze the data at the summary or statistics level via Power BI charts to get a helicopter view of how things are going overall. And to build the basement for the next level of data analysis.

After you build your charts and dashboards, you evaluate them from quite a different angle. The detail-level analysis is the means to dig deeper, interpret business KPIs and processes, and see which business flows, activities or connections in BC need improvement. Filter and slice your data to examine specific records or data subsets. Investigate data relationships, identify outliers, and find patterns to make data-driven decisions faster.

TIP: Drill into the deepest aspects of your business data with the flexibility of Power BI filtering options.

Bottom line

The synergy of Power BI and MS Business Central amplifies the ERP system's capabilities and surely helps expand your business horizons.

This combo greatly intensifies data visualization, reporting functionalities, and analytics. Power BI introduces interactive dashboards, advanced data modeling, and excellent collaboration. It enhances decision-making based on the full potential of business data.

Feel free to contact us for the powerful integration of Power BI into your BC. Raise your chances of propelling your business toward success in today's competitive landscape.

Please feel free to get in touch.

We are always open to dicussing your case and collaborating

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