Thursday, February 5, 2015

Business Intelligence for Beginners

Excel Pivot Tables


Vicinity Software

By utilizing Business Intelligence (BI), manufacturing operations will have increased visibility, improved efficiency, and most importantly the ability to turn data into actionable information.

So let’s begin by looking at your options for bringing BI into your manufacturing organization.
The most basic way to begin with BI is Excel Pivot Tables. This is a free tool that anyone with Microsoft Office already owns via Excel. Pivot tables are one of Excel's most powerful features. A pivot table allows you to extract the significance from a large, detailed data set.

Excel Pivot Table help manufacturers look at KPIs such as:
  • What products are we getting the best yield?
  • What products are costing me more or less than it significantly should?
  • How much labor do I think I am consuming versus actually consuming?

Manufacturers are looking at exceptions rather than static pieces of data. Production by month, by formula over time is an example.  Trends and outliers can be identified easily.

How can you access data that you did not key into Excel? You can use a data connection  to connect to a Microsoft SQL Server database from a Microsoft Excel file. All you need are rights to read the database and the tables within the database which you probably already have.

So while I don’t encourage using Excel as a replacement for a database it is a terrific tool to analyze data you already own with a tool you already use.  If you need assistance in using Excel Pivot tables to access Vicinity software or Microsoft Dynamics data don’t hesitate to reach out.  Once you have created your first data connection and pivot table you will truly see the power in this starter BI tool.

Here is a quick video example. 
Simple BI with Vicinity and Excel Pivot Tables

1 comment:

Dumi Soft said...

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