One of the more common questions we get working with companies looking at new Business Management/ERP Systems is now to get precise and fast reporting.  As technology continues to improve, methods of extracting relevant and accurate data are very available through modern business tools such as Microsoft Power BI (Business Intelligence).  Many Business ERP Systems, for example, Microsoft Dynamcis 365 Business Central, has built-in connectivity to Power BI.

Many times, we focus on the report we need from our business management systems and how we want to see the data presented.  Do business leaders prefer a certain dashboard layout, daily email report, graphs, or some sort of visual display to better understand the information.  This can lead to issues if first, we do not focus on the data model. The data model is the foundation of all reporting and BI (Business Intelligence). packages.  It is an essential building block to establish correctly.

Without an accurate well-structured model, the report will never deliver the results that are expected. We first need to determine what data tables we will need in our report. The next important step is to clean that data to make certain that it is accurate and meaningful. The data model should only contain data and supporting information for our report; anything more than what we need to see or use to relate tables will only increase overhead and slow performance. After the data is clean and organized in an easily consumable way, we can then build the relationships between our tables. One needs to be very careful in creating relationships that represent the data correctly.

From helping numerous businesses with their reporting needs; we have determined that in general, the “many-to-one relationship” is considered best practice for most companies. One should avoid many to0 many relationships as these can cause undesired results in your reports. Once you have a well-structured data model then the task of building a well-thought-out report becomes much simpler.

Contact iCepts Technology about your business reporting requirements and how to utilize Microsoft Power BI to its potential.

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