Why did you start working with BIRDS?
It is difficult to bring up and analyze data simply and quickly from Microsoft Dynamics NAV. It is possible, but often there are differences in definitions. Having that data ready for interpretation is very important to us but without BIRDS you also need specific knowledge of Navision and Excel. Besides opening up the data, it is also quite a lot of work to prepare the data in such a way that it becomes interesting for several people.
What do you use Business Intelligence for?
We first standardized our ERP system. We are now running on three different versions of AX, so we needed a central place where our data could come together in a structured way. That happens in the Data Warehouse. We then use the data from the Data Warehouse for various sales reports, margin reports, but also the financial reports come from there. Furthermore, we have a number of very valuable operational dashboards that we use, such as the production dashboard and logistics dashboards
'Making cross-sections has really become easy'
Where do you see major benefits in using Business Intelligence?
Our accountants are now also using it to do age analysis. That was very difficult before. There was no easy way to get the data out of NAV. We kept track of exactly what the stock levels were on a weekly basis. On the basis of historical data, we kept track of exactly how things were then. Now, however, we can very simply look at data at different levels of detail. For example, we can zoom in to article level and you can see immediately who the supplier is. In this way we can quickly answer questions such as "Where is it going wrong now?" and "Where can we improve our assortment?
What steps do you still want to take?
With PPC we want to make the step from Excel to Power BI in the short term. Because many of us still have a lot of knowledge of Excel, we will continue to work with it. It is simply the quickest way. However, we have noticed that colleagues who have less experience with Excel find it more difficult to open it and start working with it. We hope that the high level of user-friendliness of Power BI will also improve this. At that point we will be using Business Intelligence across the board.