Make the Data Work! Power BI & Dynamics GP (Video)

Getting the Data out of Dynamics GP

Access to timely and accurate data is a key to any ERP system. Watch this video to learn how to retrieve the information you need when you need it.

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Dan: All right. Good afternoon to everybody. I am Dan Schuster. I am an account executive at Encore Business Solutions. Essentially, that means I’m a sales guy, I’m out there selling all of our ERP and CRM offerings, as well as other productivity suite of offerings such as Power BI and Office 360, and 365, and so on. I actually have quite an extensive experience around mostly ERP in the ERP area. I started out back in 1996 at Great Plains Software back in Fargo, North Dakota. And of course in 2001, Microsoft decided to get into the ERP world and acquired the Great Plains Software. And so I then spent the next 13, almost 14 years, working at Microsoft, primarily in product development, about half at that time in the Great Plains solution, and then the other half on the Dynamics AX solution. And then joined basically the partner community through Fine Solutions initially.

And, of course, Encore acquired Fine Solutions back in September of last year. So I joined and I’ve been doing basically selling the products that I used to help develop when I was at Microsoft. But today, you know, we’re gonna specifically focus on, you know, Power BI and as it relates to Dynamics GP. But let’s move on actually to the agenda. Basically, you know, the next hour or so is gonna be spent on talking about business intelligence and Power BI specifically. So we’re gonna kinda start at the very, you know, 30,000-foot view and to kind of describe what business intelligence is in general. And then we will kinda go down a layer and talk about, you know, basically on Encore’s, you know, take on business intelligence and how we can help you as organizations to move forward with the business intelligence and the tools that go along with it and specifically Power BI.

And so we’ll do some demos and things of the Power BI solution. And, you know, and in there, we’ll show some specific Dynamics GP stuff. But, you know, the way to think about Power BI and any business intelligence solution is it’s not really just for one ERP solution, or CRM solution, or any other, you know, system you have out there. Some of the powerful things about this is that it really amalgamates data from disparate systems. And so we’ll talk about that a little bit as well today. But to start out, we’ll really just wanna talk about and start at the 30,000 or 50,000-foot level. And what is business intelligence?

So what we have here is really, you know, three different sources, Wikipedia, Gartner, and other, and definitions from three different basically sources. And if you look at these three definitions, they all say essentially the same thing with different words. I like Gartner, it’s kind of the best. But at the end of the day, business intelligence is essentially about getting data that you have in your organizations and surfacing it to users using, you know, applications, and tools, and best practices, so that you’re decision-makers can actually make decisions, informed decisions.

And the best part about it is that, in today’s world, most people have data all over the place, multiple systems. And there’s a lot of business data out there, but there’s no way to make intelligence out of it, or there wasn’t in the past. But now, you can actually make intelligent decisions and business decisions based off of data from multiple areas basically. And so that’s essentially what we’ll be talking about is, you know, how you take data from multiple areas, and pull it in, and help decision-makers make decisions.

So in terms of business intelligence at Encore, you know, the way… You know, we’re obviously a partner in Microsoft. And what we do is sell ERP, CRM solutions, and all productivity software and hardware. But at the end of the day, it’s, you know, when you talk about business intelligence, like I said, it’s about the data. You know, there’s different ways of surfacing data. Obviously, there’s Excel. That’s probably the number one way people get at their data, and pull it in, and look at it. SSRS is another pretty powerful tool.

And both of those typically are strong in grabbing, you know, transactional-type data, operational-type data, and pulling it out, and having you look at it, you know, and things like that. But then, there are these tools like Tableau and Power BI, which kind of take it to another level. They actually are not just grabbing operational data or transactional data. They might be taking financial operational data amalgamating it and then not just showing it as raw data, but actually making it and surfacing it in a way that helps people make the decisions easily.

And so that’s what we’re gonna talk about today. That’s we’re gonna show you today. And so, you know, we see the power in that in Encore. And so we’ve put a lot of focus on this. And we’ve even built some specific content packs and so on. So we’ll talk about that as well. In terms of data warehouse and data marts, those kinds of things, I mean, if you think about data, it’s in some table. And like in the GP’s case, there may be a table called UPR, you know, 19200. And to most people, that means nothing.

And if I’m an end user, I’m like, “I don’t know what that is. Is that payroll data in there? Is that financial’s data in there? What is it?” What warehouses and data marts do is, I mean, you transform the data, bring it into what makes sense to an end user. So you’re not seeing table names that are, you know, kind of cryptic and nobody knows what’s in there. You’re seeing things like customers. You’re seeing things like, you know, vendors, and so on, things that really make sense to end users.

And so they’re transforming the data that’s kind of raw, pulling it out, and making it easy for people to do stuff with. Prophix is a solution we sell and everything as well as from corporate performance management. And at the end of the day, we really talked about and wanna do integrations. I mean, we wanna integrate your data, pull it in because you have things. And you have data and multiple data sources, like I said. And all these tools that we’ll talk about and, you know, but Power BI is certainly one of those. You wanna integrate data that is all disparate today and pull it into one area where it makes sense to people. And things like Prophix and data warehouses, and, you know, things like Power BI will help you do that.

And so that’s why it’s important to us as Encore because we know we can help you with that. So today, like I said, we’re really gonna talk and walk through some samples, and some demos, and and so on, just to show you what Power BI is. I’m not gonna spend a ton of time on it related to Dynamics GP. But at the end of the day, a lot of data that we’re gonna play around with, you’ll basically see this data that’s in your ERP system. GP, certainly, it’s in there, CRM systems, other ERP systems that you have. And the idea of today’s demo is really to show you the power of, you know, visualizing the data.

And so I’m gonna switch over here to…actually, we’re gonna be inside of a Power BI desktop for most of the, the rest of the presentation and demo. Before I actually demo things, I do wanna…you know, I mentioned Gartner a little earlier. We have here essentially a plot diagram thing here where Gartner does this. Most people in the room here I’m sure are familiar with Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. So they do this for multiple things, whether it be an ERP solution or, you know, business intelligence solutions, or CRM solutions. But the goal of any organization is to be in the upper right-hand corner of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. So you wanna be essentially where Tableau, and Microsoft, and ClickTech there are in this particular picture. And because that means, number one, they’re visionaries. And number two, they have an ability or high ability to execute on their vision.

One thing that’s really interesting and is kind of fun to play with on this particular thing, again, this is a Power BI you’re using. We’re using Power BI here. And, you know, you’ll see some of the cool things that you can do just in this particular thing. If I select Microsoft, for example, it actually…what it just did was it plotted out where Microsoft was on this particular graph in the last eight years from 2010 to 2018. So you can see Microsoft has always been basically up in the visionary, you know, high ability to execute section, which is a good thing. And then they’re kind of flattened out it a little bit while, but now they’re really looking like they’re the highest in terms of visionary, and then even in the ability to execute.

Tableau, you’re gonna see kind of started out a little slower, you know, eight years ago, but obviously has moved into this quadrant. They’ve actually been around longer than Tableau or than Microsoft. And they’re probably even more known than Power BI is. But certainly Microsoft has done an amazing job to invest heavily and get caught up there. ClickTech of course, this is kind of another one that’s up here. One that’s really interesting is IBM. IBM actually started out kind of up in kind of high ability to execute almost and even in the visionary high execute area for a little bit. But then they’ve actually kinda gone down. So kind of a neat thing. And I can hit the play button here. And again, this is all Power BI, showing all these things moving round, you know? And you can see for a minute there, there were quite a few people up in or quite a few of these organizations up in that upper right-hand quarter. So I’ll play this one more time just to show you that.

So there was a lot of stuff, a lot of work, a lot of investment. And it really kind of got weeded out to essentially three. And, of course, we’re gonna focus on Microsoft’s Power BI right now. All right. So one of the great things about the, you know, business intelligence tools such as Power BI is the whole concept of data visualization, okay, you know. And we’re gonna go through a quick little thing after this that’s gonna show kind of power of the data visualization. But essentially, it enables the decision-makers to see analytics presented visually. So they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns quite quickly, quite easily, more than if they just see a bunch of flat raw data.

And what takes it even further is that it can use interactive better visualizations. You can select on something, for example, on one chart. It actually changes all the other charts to maybe drill and kind of hone in on a specific area that you wanna look at. And I’ll show that as well. So it’s just an amazing… You know, you’ve heard a picture’s worth a thousand words. That really is what data visualization is all about. And let’s maybe… Without any further ado, let me just show you kind of what I’m talking about here.

So one thing that’s really neat, what you’re looking at here is essentially a chart that’s showing a bunch of revenue for a different category, so it’s in per month. So you have 12 months across the top. You’ve got a couple categories or three categories, furniture, office supplies, technology and then basically for each year, what the revenue was. So if I had a question, if I asked a question for you and basically which month in a year had, you know, negative profit for office supplies, you know, if I gave you five seconds, could you tell me that?

Okay. You’d be pretty rare. There are people that I’m sure could pull it out, and pull out those two basically or, I guess, I know it’s two, but, you know, basically the negative profit for office supplies for a couple of different years. But it’s pretty tough to tell with this particular Excel spreadsheet is what it is. So then, if we put some data visualization behind this, and we get this, now, how many or what are the two that kinda stand out for office supplies in terms of lost revenue?

Obviously, there’s two here. And they’re in red. So you can actually see very easily, just with a tiny bit of visualization changes, how quickly you can come to a decision and see things that you wouldn’t have seen before or it would have taken you a lot longer. So imagine the productivity gains from that. Now, on top of that, we can even take it another level and do something that, you know, is one of my favorite things, which is a heat map. And so now you’re taking that even further. And you can see really the dark reds. You know, this is a major problem because you’re losing a lot of money. To the dark greens is a great problem. You’re making lots of money. You know, you’re making $11 million versus…and so it’s a really cool way to see and to kind of feel the power of what data visualization is all about.

All right. So let’s actually go jump right into a typical dashboard that you might see built on top of an ERP systems such as Dynamics GP. So this particular…like I said, it’s called a dashboard. You’re seeing a lot of different information here. It might be a lot, seem like a lot, when you first look at it. And it is a lot of information. That’s the amazing part about it is, is you can basically get a ton of information on one screen. And you can actually, you know, do some pretty amazing stuff.

Now, one of the things that I talked about was, you know, being able to even select something and have it interactive with the other pieces on the dashboard, in this case. And so if I select, in this case, California, so I’m looking at basically, you know, customers, sales, and products, and profits, and all of that information. And I’m seeing it across the United States today. But if I wanted to just quickly look at California alone, I just select California. And you see everything changes, very powerful. I mean, it’s just one of those things…it was pretty unheard of, you know, not even very many years ago. And now they can do things like this.

If I just select California again, it puts back and gives me the overall view of the United States. So that’s one really cool thing. Obviously, you can highlight any bar and see more detail. And in this case, you know, I’m gonna just start talking a little bit about this middle bar chart. And you see Becky Martin is red. So why is she red? All that I do is kind of highlight over top of her. And what I see here is that her sales are great. You, I’m assuming $11 million here in sales or $11.7 million, but her profit, not so good. It’s even negative profit. So not doing us a lot of good if she’s selling lots of stuff, but we are not making any money on her.

And so, you know, I wanna actually see more details behind that. If I right-click on it, you can actually drill through and see more data and again, in different things. You’re now seeing it visually up here. You’re seeing in a kind of a familiar format, and kind of more in, like, a self-thing here. And what’s great is you can really, click of a button, come in here and see the details behind this. And so you see there’s specific sales, specific products that this person is selling, that is not so good. There’s a red one that comes out. And, you know, you can easily see where the problems are, go talk to that sales person or whatever the case may be, to try to fix those problems that you’re seeing, okay?

Next, what I wanna talk about is this little bubble hole chart that we have over here, a scattered diagram or whatever they wanna call it. What’s interesting about this one is that, you know, you’re seeing a lot of different data here, right? You’re seeing sales, profit, you know, quarterly size by product name, by segment. Like, for example, the segments are the color. So you can easily tell kind of what segments we’re looking at, whether it be consumer, corporate, or home office. By the size of the bubble, you’re seeing actually how much of the product is being sold in terms of quantity.

And then, of course, you have your X-axis showing the profit, and the Y-axis showing the sales, and so on. And what’s even better is that you can see there’s some outliers. So obviously, this probably it is hopefully normal, this whole cluster of stuff in the middle. And what you’re really interested in is what are these things, you know, that are outlined. Why is this one down here where it is, right? And so I can just, again, select that one, just like I did California earlier, I wanna kind of, you know, hone in on this particular problem. And all sudden, all the other data around here changed.

And so I can easily kinda see some numbers up here. And one thing that pops up to me is this 70% average discount. I also can see quickly over here, it seems like it’s happening in Ohio, probably, it looks like, a couple of times because it’s a negative, you know, 146% is the average discount of what we’re doing here. So, you know, I sold a couple of items, you know, at a dirt, you know, as a huge discount, and that’s a problem. And so just by a few clicks, you can actually, you know, tell, you know, what’s going on and, you know, how you might want to actually do. Obviously, you wanna talk to whoever the salesperson is that’s selling those products.

Okay. We move it along. We’ll go to the bottom charts here. These are essentially area charts. The one thing I want to show up here is, again, you’re seeing a lot of different things. You’re seeing different regions. There’s four different regions being represented by different colors. And of course, this is really just sales by year, quarter, month type of stuff showing up here. In this case, it’s from July 2015 all the way to January 2018. One thing that’s very interesting here is there was a pretty big dip from what appears to be, you know, Q4 of 2017 down to Q1 of 2018. And one of the really cool things that Microsoft has done is they’ve built in what’s called an analyze function.

And so if I right-click on this, I can say analyze. And I can say explain the decrease here. And what’s really neat is that they will come up and they’ll come up with not just a graph kinda showing some stuff that’s going on there, but they basically textually will tell you, “Here’s what we’re seeing. Here’s what happened in that time period, you know. California accounted for the majority of the decrease. You know, it offset basically the increase in Montana,” and so on. And so just amazing how they can just take data and they can tell you, you know, what exactly happened. I mean, imagine as a CEO or CFO, and you see something like that, you can just right-click on it. And the system kinda tell you, you know, why that happened or why it thinks, you know, or at least it can tell you what happened specifically. And then you can actually make a decision based off of that, all right?

Okay. I think we’ve probably seen enough of that particular dashboard. So let’s switch to kind of a little different pivot and talk about… In this case, you wanna talk a little bit about, you know, data coming from multiple sources. And specifically here, what you’re seeing is this top chart is essentially…the bar chart is the actuals. And the line chart is the budget. And it’s pretty rare to have a budget or an act…it’s kinda interesting, but actuals and budget information very rarely, certainly rarely, in the same tables. And sometimes and oftentimes, there even in maybe different databases or, you know, the budget might be in an Excel spreadsheet and the actuals are gonna be in your ERP system, for example.

What’s great about…or it could be multiple ERP systems or whatever the case may be. What’s kinda great about Power BI is that you can actually… Again, you know, basically they call a data mashups, but you’re taking data from multiple data sources and pulling it onto a single report. In this case, a bar chart, line chart, showing data that typically lives in different areas, which is, again, very powerful stuff. So if we select here, I’m just gonna… This is about as geeky as I’ll probably get in this particular demo. One thing that’s really nice is that… What you’re seeing here is really just a bunch of tables. And imagine these as…I don’t know if these are from GP, but they probably are. And you can actually right-click. And I can delete kind of…what they’ve done is there’s two tables here. The sales dimension table looks like…and a sales target table, right?

If these tables have, you know, fields that are the same, you can actually tie those fields together. So I can actually just say I wanna I want to marry these two so that I can actually start reporting and getting data from both of those tables, for example. And so that’s kind of the power of this solution is that it can, again, take data from multiple data sources, multiple tables, whatever the case may be, and easily pull it into a really nice chart and graph or whatever the case may be, okay?

Just another dashboard. I won’t probably go into a ton of detail on this, other than, you, you know, you’re basically seeing, in this case, customer analysis, right? As a sales team, you probably wanna see you west, east, central, and south kinda broken out in terms of my customer counts and how are my sales in those areas, you know, in terms of the items that I’m selling by region? How does that look?

And then obviously customer ranking, you know, a really powerful tool here just to see really who your top kinda customers are at a very good glance. Again, another scatter diagram where you can see some outliers here you might want to dive into and see what’s going on there. So, you know, again, you know, just looking at something real quickly, you can really make some, you know, get a good understanding, a good feel for your business, you know, where it could have taken forever kinda to analyze that information in the past.

Okay. So now, we’re gonna spend a little time on another kind of cool capability that Microsoft has built into Power BI, which is forecasting capabilities. So they actually have basically built in an exponential smoothing algorithm and a forecasting tool. And so they can take the data. And they can look at data in the past. They can smooth it out. And they can take an algorithm. And they can predict, you know, basically what the sales might look like in the future. And you, you know, you have the ability to actually, you know, determine how you wanna look at this pretty easily.

And so if I… just a couple clicks of the button, for example, I can see, like, right now, it’s forecasting five years out. Maybe I wanna just look at three years out. I could ignore the last years. I could change kinda my confidence interval going forward. I can put in some seasonality information in here. And I can select apply. And the algorithm will kind of re-forecast that for me. And so I can easily quickly see and I can, you know, again, highlight. You can see kind of the upper and lower bounds of that forecast. And, you know, you can make adjustments as necessary. So a really cool capability built right into Power BI to be able to do some forecasting for you.

Okay. Before I actually show this, I mean, one of the things I wanted to talk about a little bit was, you know, we have showed you a bunch of dashboards. What’s really interesting is that, you know, if you think about the past and what, you know, or even what today looks like in most organizations, you typically have a scenario whereby you have a finance department. You have HR departments. You have, you know, operations. And people will…the different departments, or maybe the CFO for example. And I want a report showing something. And I have to go to my IT department and say, “Hey, I need this data and I want to show it.” And maybe I have a presentation or maybe I just want to see something in terms of how the company’s doing.

The IT department might go back behind the scenes, write some sequel scripts, you know, pull in some information from the SSRS and Excel, and mash it all together, and spit that out, and maybe put it into a nice chart or graph for the CFO. CFO will look at it and they’ll be like, “Well, wait. That’s not exactly what I want.” And then they go back. And then the IT department goes and spends more time on it, spits something out. And, you know, just imagine, it took me probably a minute just to describe that. But that’s probably a week’s worth of work going back and forth, just to get something that you need.

One thing I want you to think about is that scenario, and basically what you’ve seen, and more importantly the fact that…and it’s not like your IT department is gonna go away. Obviously, they’re still there. They may still have to do some of the data mashup kind of behind the scenes getting different data sources hooked up to Power BI. But once the data hooked up to Power BI, you as an end user can actually create your own reports and do your own stuff. And there’s kind of [inaudible 00:27:42] two flavors of that. One of them is via some pre-built dashboards that Encore has actually built.

And specifically, I’m gonna show you, of course, the ones on top of Dynamics GP first. And so let me go ahead and pull open a file that one of our guys had put together, a Power BI, for Dynamics GP 2018. And so essentially, this is what they call a content pack. And essentially, it’s pre-built dashboards, built on top of Dynamics GP. So these are reading right off of Dynamics GP tables. Specifically you’ll see Fabricam up here, which means, of course, it’s the sample data.

But right out of the box, you are seeing an executive dashboard, for example. And so as an executive, I might wanna look at my sales cost, gross margin, gross margin percentage, you know, all the sales kinda information. I wanna see, you know, my aging trial and what it’s looking like. And obviously, what I can see it’s red here real quickly. Again, this is pulling from Dynamics GP right now to dashboard that our team at Encore built. And it’s just a content pack. It’s just a file. Essentially, it would be available to customers to use.

And there’s a sales tab. So you can actually dive into as a salesperson. We’ve surfaced the kind of information that we, you know, based off of research, you know, see sales people wanting to see and care about. But, you know, and you have the same capabilities that I showed you before where you can hover, and you can drill down, and you can, you know, everything is interactive when you do stuff like that. And so you can, obviously, as an end user, you can actually change these charts and things to make, you know, them the way you want them to maybe slice and dice and even the kind of stuff that shows up here.

So as an end user, you just have so much more power than you used to, There’s finance dashboard that shows, you know, trial balance, and net income, and revenue, and things like that, purchase orders. So anybody that’s, you know, managing purchase orders has actually a pretty cool dashboard for that. And then GL entries, not quite as sexy as the other things, but it’s all good. So again, this is just a content pack that Encore built.

Microsoft also supposedly has a content pack for GP. I have yet to find it on the Power BI’s website. But you can Google it. You can see it. I’ll show you a screenshot of what it looks like. It’s not nearly as nice as what our Encore team has built here. And I’ll show you quickly what their content packs supposedly looks like. And I think it’s a work in progress. They did one for 2016. It turned out to be kind of an epic fail. It didn’t look good, or I don’t know what was wrong with it. But they’ve built or they’re in the process of building one for 2018. But again, not nearly as nice looking as what you’re seeing right here from our Encore team.

But I wanted to quick show you that. If we go back to our presentation here, yeah, so not only could you take a content pack that, you know, from Encore, and apply it. And actually, I just realized I should have shown you one more thing when I did this. All you have to do, or I’ll do, you know or actually, I’m gonna show you this quick too. If you go in, you can see that I’m showing all companies. But if I want to just show Fabricam Ltd, I can select that. You saw the charts change slightly throughout there. I can change the year to 2018. You’ll see charts change again. So it’s easy to flip through companies or see all companies. You can pick which year you wanna look at and so on.

And just to show you basically that, you know, what you’re looking at here is from Dynamics GP, all you do is you go to edit parameters. And all it’s doing is pointing to, in this case, Justin’s dev box for SQL Server. And this is his Dynamics GP data. Again, it’s Fabricam. So it’s pretty quick and easy to point. You know, you can basically take our content pack and point it to your SQL Server, and you can get your own data in there.

Okay. Now, I’m gonna move on to…let’s cancel this…to building up my own from scratch. So assume you didn’t have a contact pack or anything like that. I’m not gonna do all the fancy stuff to hook it up to an [inaudible 00:32:33] in this case, but I will show you pretty much how easy it is to actually build your own Power BI stuff. And all I did was launch the Power BI desktop application fresh. There’s nothing hooked up here at all. So the first thing you’ll do… I mean, you can watch the videos and all that good stuff. But I’m gonna bypass that, of course. And I’m interested in just going out there. And let’s start getting some data. And let’s start building some reports.

And I happen to have an Excel spreadsheet already stored on my desktop. So I’m gonna go ahead and point to that. And it has data that I got from Dynamics GP, in this case. But each tab has different information and entities, you know, customers, orders, people, returns, orders, and so on. I’m gonna select the orders tab and let’s say go ahead and load that guy. And so it’s basically gonna take all that data from that tab and that spreadsheet. And it’s gonna load it in here. And then I’ll just show you, you know, if you wanna build your own charts or graphs, how easy it is and how easy it makes it is with [inaudible 00:33:40].

So you have all the different charts. You can select whatever chart you want, if you made a part pie chart or, you know, a circle diagram, or whatever you want. Basically, you could even put something on a globe if you wanted to. But I’m gonna do a simple kind of bar chart. And basically, what I wanna look at is let’s look at the sales. And I wanna slice by order date. Let’s actually put in…let’s slice it by order date. And so there is the order date. I can select it or I can just drag and drop, if I wanted to.

And all of a sudden, I have basically…there’s my sales for, in this case, 2015 through 2018. And that’s interesting, but a little bit boring. I actually wanna see a little more detail. And it’s really a simple click of a button. And I can get a little more granular data in this case. Now, it’s added those years, but also the quarter information. If I click it again, you can actually break down all the way down to monthly.

So you can see how powerful it is to build your own report, you know, drill into those low level of, you know, that you might want to or maybe there’s some limitations there. But in this case, obviously, I’m going right down on that monthly level, which is pretty powerful stuff. So now…let’s also go in and slice by a different segment. So we can even do a different, another level, right? And so let’s say I wanna take the segment here. And I wanna actually drag and drop that into…let’s highlight this first like that. And I wanna make this segment…drag it into the legend. And so here. And all the sudden, you have another level.

So you can go…see how powerful it is to go to deeper levels just by dragging and dropping, clicking a couple buttons. I basically now have all my sales by month for four years and sliced by segment. And that really wasn’t hard to build. And so you can see how easy it is just to build it, even just to build your thing, your own charts and graphs. All right. Let’s go back to here. So, yeah. So that’s basically, the power of Power BI, kind of the charting and graphing. You’ve got the content packs. You’ve got ability to build in your own, you know, charts and graphs quite easily.

And essentially, the way to look at Power BI and the common flow around it is you have the desktop app. And you can also use…go to, and you can create reports. You basically have to point to a data set. Start building some reports. And then you publish those reports. And you can share those reports. And so you’re building dashboards. And then you’re sharing those dashboards with other users. And it’s really a new way to think about not only sharing data, but sharing data that really means something is really the way to look at it.

And it’s all, you know, basically on HTML5, so it can be on any device. So you can actually go and on your cell phone even, and, you know, basically go to and view nice charts and graphs. And so it’s all up in the cloud. There are options to do on-prem as well, but, but yeah. So basically, you know, you build the reports, build the dashboards, publish them, share them with your friends, and then, you know, everybody can view them with different devices.

Another thing I’ll show quickly is a little security in action. So oftentimes, you know, for example, you’ll have salespeople that are in, you know, obviously salespeople in the East Coast, maybe salespeople in the Midwest, and then salespeople on the West Coast. And you don’t want your East Coast people looking at your West Coast numbers or vice versa, or, you know, maybe they do, but maybe they don’t. And so you can build security quite easily as well.

And so if I go… I’m just gonna show you a quick demo of how I would do that. And it’s gonna take a little minute here to show, to pull all this together. But what you do is if you go to,under modeling here in Power BI, I’ve already created a west region. But I want basically my west region to be filtered orders. I’m basically creating a role for my west region. And I’ll need to, you know, save that guy. And I can see what that looks like here, if I just select the region as a west region.

What I will do is now all the data, if I’m in that particular role, I’ll only see the people in the west region. So just by a few clicks of a button, you can create roles and, you know, assign them to users and basically have that data, you know, applicable to the people that are in specific regions or whatever the case may be. And it’s all the way down to, like, a rural level security. So it’s very powerful stuff.

Okay. So we’ve basically talked about multiple… I showed you one thing, Power BI. But behind the scenes, there’s kind of different flavors of Power BI. What you saw today mostly was basically the Power BI desktop itself. This is just an app that Microsoft sells that is essentially the tool that you use. And it’s a free tool that Microsoft… You know, obviously, just you can go out on Microsoft Store today, download it. You could also just go to the and create a username and login. If you’re using Office 365 you can just use your Office 365 credentials.

And again, it’s all free at that level. You basically can create some reports. You can actually point to some data sets. They’re out there, pulling some data, and build some stuff yourself right out of the box. When you start doing things like collaborating and sharing data, you do have what’s called Power BI Pro. Power BI Premium is, of course, more the enterprise level type of thing. But, you know, essentially, once you start doing a lot more collaboration and a lot more, you know, building bigger dashboards and so on and having a lot more security and things around it, then you will have to pay.

But even that’s actually quite cheap. The Power BI Pro is only $9.99 I think per user per month. So relatively inexpensive when you think about the capabilities that Power BI has. And just to, you know, in terms of the pros of this particular solution maybe over like a Tableau or other solutions out there, obviously, number one is that it’s an office solution, Microsoft kind of solution, where you’re used to the feel and the look. And if you know Excel Power Query and Excel Power Pivot, you’d be super familiar with building these charts and graphs, and things using those tools And so its familiarity. It’s just the fact that I showed, you know, the drag and drop kind of capabilities. Really quite easy to build your own, you know, dashboards and so on.

There are, of course, some limitations for the product based on the actual skew that you purchase. When you actually do purchase, like a BI Pro has one gigabyte for one data set limitation. Premium has a 10-gigabyte per, you know, data set limitation. But by and large, those are pretty small cons, but to get really what is a pretty cool solution.

I guess the last thing I’ll just show here, our team has put together a little chart that kind of you can put together. And I think this will be shared. I’m not sure if you’ll have the…when you get to the PowerPoint if it’ll actually allow you to kind of move things around like I’m doing it on here because I’m doing it in Power BI. But essentially, they’ve built this pretty cool little tool here. Again, Power BI that shows that you can change the number of users.

So as I pointed out before, desktop users are free. So I could put 100 or 1,000 in here, it doesn’t really matter, or 1 million in here. My price is not gonna change down below. As soon as I start adding kind of your online users for the…And these are the pro users. So if I put 20 in here, you can see it calculates it. It gets it. But it’s still pretty reasonable even for 20 users. It’s essentially about $2,000, $2,300 a year. And then, of course, there’s more kind of pivots and stuff that you can do there. So, okay. Yeah, that’s essentially Power BI, a good look at it.

I’ll flip back to my… There’s just a couple more slides here. One thing I wanted to talk about was just the fact that there is a way, once you’ve built reports in Power BI and dashboards in Power BI, you can actually pull them right into your Dynamics GP solution. So I just have a screenshot of it here. But you can see here this is a basically Dynamics GP with the Power BI reports pulled right into that. And there is a little bit of work to get to do that.

So in the PowerPoint deck, which, of course, will be shared with you, we have the ability for you to go out, look, and follow instructions to be able to embed your visuals into Dynamics GP, if that’s something that’s interesting to you. I think this might be the last thing I show. And that’s essentially, I talked earlier about the content pack for Dynamics GP. Actually, I’ll just show it next to the one that Encore built one more time. And you’ll see how much better the one that Encore built than the one that Microsoft is kind of working on.

Now obviously, Microsoft can obviously make a lot of improvements here in a pretty short amount of time I’m sure. But this is just similar to what I showed you here where I was showing you a content pack that, you know, Dynamics or that Encore built and you can get from us. Microsoft, again, will be eventually having something like this out of the box available for you to point to. And that is it. Questions?

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