In July, Microsoft introduced six new chart types that will be available as part of Office 2016. Today, I’m will show you how to take advantage of the waterfall chart, one of the most popular visualization tools used in small and large businesses by modifying Dynamics GP’s Excel Financial Dashboard with Excel 2016 to add a Waterfall chart. A waterfall chart is a form of data visualization that helps in understanding the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values and is very useful in analyzing an income statement.
In April, Microsoft announced that it had acquired the Datazen mobile BI platform and were adding it to their enterprise BI product suite. This is exciting news that rounds out the Microsoft BI stack and, better yet, it’s free for SQL Server Enterprise customers who have Software Assurance agreements.
What is Datazen and what are its capabilities?
Blogs are a way for KTL Solutions to provide information and highlight particular items and solutions to our customers and users. In this month’s blog, I wanted to highlight KTL Solutions’ 10th Annual User Conference and, in particular, I wanted to provide a recap of the “Ask the Expert” session hosted by Dave Vora and myself.
In my last blog post we talked about Power BI Designer Preview and why I was lovin’ it. In this post I’m going to use Microsoft’s most recently Power BI tool to connect to my SQL server instance to analysis my Google Analytics data, Marketing data and CRM opportunities.
Connect to your SQL Data
Let’s get started by selecting the Get Data button in the top left corner and then select SQL Server
The Power BI preview released by Microsoft in Convergence provided a great tool to quickly make sense of large amounts of data. Power BI does all the heavy lifting and provides a quick and easy way to interact with the data. As promised by Microsoft with the release of Dynamics CRM Online 2015 Update 1 CRM is now available within PowerBI alongside SalesForce & Google Analytics to gather data and provide data analysis. As of publishing this article the Power BI Dynamics CRM connector will only work with Dynamics CRM Online, it will not work with an on premise CRM installation, hopefully the on premise connectivity is not too far.
This year Convergence was held in Atlanta. While this conference is a huge Dynamics Users conference, they highlight applications that are not necessarily part of the Dynamic stack. One of the most captivating sessions I attended focused on Power BI, Microsoft’s excel based Business Intelligence tool.
Microsoft has a great new offering, Power BI Designer Preview, as part of the Power BI platform. It is a standalone Windows Desktop application that can be downloaded from the Power BI site. It is an optional Power BI content authoring option for users that are unable to upgrade to the latest version of Excel. The application combines Power Query, Power Pivot Data Model and Power View into a seamless experience that will allow users to build their Power BI dashboards and reports.
I often get asked about Business Intelligence and related tools, as dashboards and data integration have become so common today, and everyone wants “instant information”. After all, aren’t we all information workers today?
Since my company is a Microsoft Partner, doing Dynamics (GP, SL and CRM) business applications, my first recommendation is to “look close to home”. You may be surprised how much existing BI you already own and are not utilizing if you use Microsoft products. (Dynamics, SQL, SharePoint, Office) The Microsoft BI toolkit is not a lightweight player in the BI market, as you can see from the 2013 Gartner’s Magic Quadrant graphic below.
I love listening to the Kane Show on Hot 99.5 during my morning commutes into the office. So I couldn’t resist using Arnetta’s saying in the title of this month’s blog. When someone calls in to the Kane Show saying that today is there last day at their company they like playing a clip from Arnetta. In my case it’s not my last day at KTL Solutions but a job change within the company.
Many of the projects that I’ve been working on over the last 12 months have evolved integrating data into a data warehouse. Specifically companies are looking to import more data from other systems to do various types of analysis. Data integration is nothing new, companies have been doing it for a long time, but usually with a very manual process that includes vast Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
What Is a Data Warehouse?
A data warehouse is a database designed to enable reporting and data analysis activities. Data warehouses store current and historical data from one or more disparate sources. Some of these sources may include: