End your reporting woes now!

We can help you find the best reporting fit for your business according to your organisation's size and complexity of requirements.

Reporting - Intro

Helping you with your Reporting and BI needs

At The NAV People we understand that all businesses need to report on their KPIs (turnover, stock-on-hand, etc.) but the level of reporting and business logic varies vastly from company to company. We know it’s an absolute minefield when it comes to finding the right tools and to understanding the data you have and how your business can use it! So we offer guidance on best practice, the pros and cons of the different solutions and how to practically and successfully deploy your new reporting platform and you don’t have to worry - we will be with you every step of the way.

We provide several services that are designed to fit your potential needs depending on the type and complexity of your requirements. Working with you to understand your requirements, agree on the right tools, plan the deployment and enhance the solution or data where necessary, we make sure that you end up with something that meets your business needs, but more importantly is easy to adopt and practical to evolve.

So, let’s take a look at the three solutions we offer...

Reporting - Power BI for NAV

1. Power BI for NAV

What is it?
Power BI is an out-of-the-box data visualisation tool (which means loads of great looking graphics and dashboards representing your data) from Microsoft that’s been designed to work seamlessly alongside NAV. With Power BI you will get access to a range of standard reporting templates and the ability to connect directly to Dynamics NAV and Dynamics 365 Business Central to create your own reports and dashboards. 

How does it work?
It takes data directly from your Dynamics system and displays it in a visual format enabling users to easily ask questions of the data and gain a greater insight in to their area of interest. We help you get started on your journey by giving you some common dashboards around areas such as sales, receivables and purchasing. These views can be enhanced or used as a guide to build further dashboards - after all, it’s much easier than starting from a blank page!

Who is it for?
Power BI working directly against Dynamics NAV is great for smaller businesses where users need to interrogate and report on their data whilst getting started quickly and not having the overhead of data cubes and complex BI.

Reporting - Reporting as a Service (RAAS)

2. Reporting as a Service (RAAS)

What is it?
Simply put, it’s like Netflix for Dynamics reports!

Hosted in our secure, Azure cloud, we can have you up and running in a matter of days. Your monthly fee gives you Power BI access with range of reports and dashboards The great thing about RAAS, as more content gets added you get that straight away without the need and expense of asking for extra reports.

This pay-and-go solution is quick to get up and running, easy to use and can even be plugged into ageing NAV solutions, so no need to upgrade just to get better reporting.

So how does it work?
With Reporting as a Service (RAAS) we extract Dynamics data into your reporting database with Power BI already connected.  As well as Dynamics NAV data you can also define and extract data from other 3rd party data sources (e.g. SQL databases, excel files, etc.) and, by aligning this with your Dynamics NAV data, you get a whole new dimension to your reporting. For example, you can report on sales by day or by hour from Dynamics and bring in data about the weather conditions (from an external data source) to see how that effects your sales trends. This example shows how data from Dynamics NAV and elsewhere can impact your business, providing you with the information to make informed, strategic business decisions. 

Who's it for?
RAAS is suitable for businesses that have more than a handful of users (i.e. more than 10 users) or who have more complex reporting requirements with larger datasets (e.g. your item ledger entry table is approx. 2-8 million rows). By using RAAS you are no longer putting the performance strain on your Dynamics database!

We take care of it, so you don’t have to.

Reporting - Jet Analytics

3. Jet Analytics (formerly known as Jet Enterprise)

What is it?
Jet Analytics is designed to simplify reporting making it quick and easy to play with large datasets. It delivers, with the use of Power BI, some great out of the box dashboards for key business areas such as finance, sales and inventory.  Jet Analytics delivers a platform that larger businesses can easily enhance, without the need for bespoke code, to deal with all their reporting and KPI requirements.
 
How does it work?
Jet Analytics uses cubes, optimised for Dynamics to aggregate large datasets for very responsive reporting. The result? Businesses can run complex reports and packs in rapid timescales while handling large quantities of data and not impacting their Dynamics platform. For example, you can report on sales alongside stock-on-hand with outstanding purchases and projected stock positions, a great view for a merchandiser to gain visibility on what’s selling well, where the stock is and what’s coming in so that they can make decisions on whether to order more. This type of report is using a significant amount of data, from different areas and carrying out some complex calculations, something which would be a heavy burden on an operational ERP database.

Jet Analytics' OLAP cubes are pre-defined against the Dynamics data, so it is very quick to get up-and-running; click the button below to learn how we help get you started. As with RAAS, Jet Analytics supports external data sources to enhance reporting alongside the data held in your Dynamics system.

Who is it for?

It’s great tool for anyone who wants to be in full control of their data, while developing their reporting to the next level and where the data volumes and history required are beyond normal monthly report packs. As well as the Power BI integration, it comes with Jet Reports, the powerful excel based reporting tool, that’s a must for any Dynamics NAV user… It’s powerful, quick to get up-and-running and you’ll be reporting in hours. 

'Jet Analytics To Go' - everything you need to get started!

FAQs

Where do I start?

Talk to your Account Manager so they can understand what you are looking to achieve. They will work with our Reporting and BI team to make sure you get the best advice and a clear idea of what may work best for you.

If I am on premise can I get access to all of these solutions?

Yes, regardless of whether you are on premise, in a private cloud or on Microsoft’s Azure all three solutions can be deployed.

Do we need Office 365 in order use Power BI?

No, you do not need Office 365 in order to use Power BI.  However, if you do have Office 365 always check your agreement as there might be Power BI Pro licences included. If you do not have a Power BI licence we would be more than happy to sort it out for you. You can learn more about Power BI here.

What type of Power BI licence do I need?

In short, Power BI Pro because it comes with the ability to share your dashboards and reports with other users in your business along with extended functionality. Power BI is licenced per user. If you are either a designer or a viewer you will need a Power BI Pro Licence.

Where does Jet Reports fit into all of this?

Jet Reports is a great tool for operational line-level reporting e.g. finance reports, income statements, P&L etc. However, if you want to create top-down reports such as sale by item division and then be able to drill down to item level then you would need a tool such as Power BI which is great at combining line-level and visual elements to bring a dashboard to life.

What is the difference between Jet Reports, Jet Analytics, and Power BI?

Jet Reports - This is a tool which is used for a more ‘operational type’ of reports; Trail Balances, Income/ Balance Sheets etc. Whilst these operational reports can be done in Power BI, more design work is required than when they are created in Jet Reports. Jet Reports is an excellent out-the-box tool.
Jet Analytics – A Business Intelligence Solution, which includes a data warehouse and pre-configured cubes which tools such as Power BI use to visualise the data. This tool extracts and builds a data warehouse. It’s a flexible tool which allows superusers to create and design the data warehouse and cubes to meet business-specific needs without the need of lots of bespoke code (Drag and Drop etc).
Power BI – This is a visualisation tool which can sit on a data warehouse, cubes, or data direct from Dynamics NAV or Business Central and allows users to run pre-built reports or design their own.

What prerequisites do I need for Jet Analytics?

You will need a server (either one which you already have or one which you have through us – private or Microsoft cloud). Here’s more information on server requirements. Also please find addition supported features by Jet here

What prerequisites do I need for Reporting As A Service (RAAS)?

Your NAV system needs to be on SQL server 2008 R2 or above and standard edition.

What are data warehouses?

A data warehouse is the central datahub for all data sources within the business; here all data is collected and stored in one area, which can then be made available to the cubes. Having a data warehouse has many benefits, including:

- One version of the truth – meaning you don’t have to go to many different areas for the same data.
- Designed for efficient reporting - compared to the NAV Database, the data warehouse is designed to report data efficiently; no more waiting for long queries to run!
- Removes potential performance issues from the NAV System.
- Historical analysis – can store large volumes of data, which in turn can be presented in OLAP Cubes, Power BI for reports such as trend analysis.

What are Cubes?

Cubes are aggregated data, usually separated into business functional areas such as Sales, Stock, Finance. Cubes are very responsive for queries and are useful for processing and displaying large amounts of data.

What is High Availability?

High Availability refers to when BI solutions have a failover server to mask the effects of hardware or software failure; meaning that the Cubes / data warehouse are almost always available.

Often, this isn’t really required for BI; Jet Analytics supports online processing which can be implemented to allow the Cubes to stay online when they are processing. With the right maintenance and backup plans, if the server goes down, there are options to restore. If BI is seen as critical to the business High Availability can most often be achieved through SQL Enterprise, although from SQL 2016 onwards there is support for certain features that are available in Standard Edition.

What are incremental loads?

An incremental load, is where data is taken from table(s) which have changed, inserted or been deleted since the last execution. This is the most efficient way of data transfer. The alternative is where the full load of data is taken from the table each time – this is a very time-consuming process, as things like Stock Tables can be very large, taking in the region of 30 million rows in each instance. Incremental loads apply to both the data warehouse and OLAP Cubes (partitioning).

What is Power BI Market Place?

This is where designers who have built visual components for Power BI make their components available. Examples include different type of bar charts or visualisations.