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Taking the BS out of Sage BI Tools

Taking the BS out of Sage BI Tools If you are like me you have heard the word BI or Business Intelligence tools but you are a little confused about what this actually means.  BI has been around a long time, according to Wikipedia, the term Business Intelligence was first used in 1958 by IBM researcher Hans Peter Luhn.  So it’s not a new Buzz Word. In my terms it’s a simple as this  “using automated techniques to get info out of your ERP system in a way and format that you can use and understand”.  I smiled today when one of our consultants explained it to me “you let excel do all your gymnastics”. Sage ERP has a number of BI Tools available and you will need to make a decision about which tool you wish to use. All three tools give you the benefits of your familiar Excel interface as well as report templates that automatically pull and refresh data from Sage ERP. Which tool you use will ultimately depend on your requirements and you may in fact use one or more of these tools.  Below I have listed some pros and cons of each. The three modules available for Sage ERP are: • Financial Reporter • Intelligence • Insight   Sage ERP Financial Reporter Pros -       Great for easily and quickly accessing General Ledger Data -       Drill Down available to source documents -       No additional Purchases required -       Lots of samples supplied Con -       Only Accesses General Ledger Data -       Drill down only from Report writer -       Utilises a Sage Licence   Sage Intelligence Pros -       Easy to use report templates -       Can access all modules not just restricted to General Ledger -       Dashboard Data View -       A Single User Report Manager Licence Included - allow you to author new reports, filter and aggregate data, and set security for reports -       Report Viewer licences available for those who just wish to run reports -       Can consolidate data from multiple companies, or connect external data from other sources via ODBC. (only if you own a Report connector Licence) -       Using the Analysis add-on you can create  OLAP cubes that enable multi-dimensional analysis of large volumes of data, and overcome  Excel row limitations. (additional Purchase) -       Its only limited by your imagination and what you can do in Excel -       Comes with ready-to-use data cubes that enable multi-dimensional analysis of your data. -       Insight into your business through multi-dimensional analysis of your data -       Multi-currency and multi-company capabilities to give you the competitive edge to succeed in today’s fast-paced global marketplace -       Comprehensive security at variable levels, protecting your important business intelligence from unauthorized access or manipulation -       Easy it is to import and export reports. -       Allows you to report on Database Tables, Views, Stored Proceedures and SQL Query Statements. -       Scheduling of reports via email or saving to specified paths. -       Easy drill downs on GL Codes -       Ships with lots of standard report templates -       Reports security is high, can specify user access to certain reports -       Allows you to create your own report parameters Con -       Need Connector Licence to add to Containers -       Licence seat and workstation specific -       If you don’t use a standard template you need an understanding of how to link tables to add fields Sage Insight For enterprise-level organizations needing automated report distribution; strong security measures to protect sensitive data; and complex budgeting and consolidation this is your tool. Pro -       Powerful Data Warehousing -       Can produce large amounts of data quickly without affecting performance of Sage ERP -       Enables remote distribution and collaboration of data -       Insight reports can be published to the web Con -       Complex to use -       Cost can be prohibitive In Short it seems like Sage Intelligence is the way to go for most clients, I just have to brush up my excel skills and let go of Financial reporter. I guess the best bit is that you have a choice and you can choose the option that best suits you.
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