Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spotlight on Solver’s BI360 Business Intelligence Solutions

In this article, we’ll discuss financial report writing, budgeting, and forecasting demands specific to the manufacturing industry that can be met by today’s premier BI solutions, like Solver’s BI360. 

In the modern era of business, Business Intelligence (BI) analytics are solidifying their place in decision-making processes, utilizing company data to plan for the future.  However, if your job doesn't typically involve researching and comparing BI software solutions, it is likely that you can get lost in the sales and marketing language, especially in regard to finding the right features and functionality to address your industry-specific data management and analytics goals.  Therefore, this article will discuss the top features and functions you should be familiar with in regard to today’s financial reporting and budgeting software, using Solver’s BI360 as an example of a premier offering to assist you in flexibly accessing, managing, and analyzing your manufacturing company data.

There a few major elements to consider when seeking to implement a modern, powerful BI tool.  First of all, you will want to decide if you would like to query data live from your accounting system (or other data sources), rely on a high performance integration that a BI data store, like an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube or a data warehouse, or a hybrid approach to pulling your data for analysis.  You’ll also want to consider what platform you would like to regularly interact with, whether that’s an Excel add-in, a web portal or interface that you can access from anywhere you have access to the internet, a proprietary platform that can be either on-premises or hosted in the Cloud, or a combination of a couple of these options.  You should evaluate how easy-to-use, how collaborative, and how secure a particular product is before you decide to implement.

When it comes to BI reporting and budgeting for manufacturing, you’re going to seek financial and operational modules for analysis.  You’re likely going to need a product that at least offers a financial reporting module, a sales module, a purchasing module, a survey data module, an inventory module, and a manufacturing/production module that produces a Build of Materials (BOM) report.  When it comes to budgeting and forecasting, your manufacturing organization can benefit from a payroll module, a capex module (for your capital expenditures), an inventory manufacturing module, and an expenses module, to professionally and efficiently structure your planning processes. 

There’s a lot to consider, and Solver offers Excel, web and/or mobile-based reporting and budgeting as stand-alone tools or as part of the comprehensive suite of BI modules and would be happy to generally answer questions and review BI360’s easy-to-use solution for collaborative, streamlined decision-making capabilities for manufacturing organizations.

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