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Too Much Data. Not too hard with DIY Business Intelligence
By Anne Fouche
There are many great Reports included with Sage 300 ERP (Sage Accpac) but we often need more, and different ones, and not just static reports if we are to analyse our raw data fully. What are our daily sales results, as well as over different time periods, compared with budget – and be able to pull in specific regions, employees, products - and “slice and dice” this adding and removing different permutations to better understand what’s going on? Are our inventory levels OK or do we need an emergency top up, or clearance sale? It’s hard to do this with static reports and many pages. We have so much data available, it can be overwhelming. Do you want to drill into the detail of history, performance, transactions? It’s hard with one report and difficult with many. Maybe you need an expert in advanced report writing.
Good news. There is a rescue at hand. Orchid Info-Explorer is a simple to use Business Intelligence tool that allows you to pull together and manipulate columns of data - dimensions, using “slice and dice” to change the dimension in your cube. For example, you can analyse sales results in total, decide you need to show regions, products. You can do this yourself, dragging the dimension you want into the cube and the results appear, or removing it to exclude fine detail. It’s DIY Analysis, more power to the user. This is not a spreadsheet, where a change can spoil your formulae, but easy to use like a spreadsheet, like a 3 dimensional spreadsheet using pivot tables supported with underlying computing power. That’s why Info-Explorer is referred to as a Cube Viewer. It is simple Business Intelligence without the high cost, without the limitations of spreadsheets.
There is a free version, Info-Explorer Lite for Sage 300 ERP that contains pre-set up cubes. Maybe that’s enough. If you want more cubes for analysis, or to change what’s provided, the full-feature version is only a few hundred dollars.
There is a case study on the liberation this provided a customer, check the Orchid web site, http://www.orchidsystems.biz/successstories-des.shtml