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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Power BI for Microsoft Dynamics GP

Posted by Steve Chapman

Power BI has been around for a while, but it’s recently received more development attention and has become a solid reporting tool for small and mid-sized organizations. Power BI lets you easily assemble informational dashboards that can be viewed in browsers and mobile devices. (Also, the pricing is simple and inexpensive.)

Power BI is essentially a web application that allows you to connect to data within your organization, create graphical reports, and distribute to users.

The Power BI Desktop tool allows you to create the reports and connect to the data. The Power BI web portal allows you to distribute the reports by sharing them with users you select.

There are a variety of data connectors you can use to pull in your data:

Power BI for Dynamics - Get Data

For this example I connected to SQL Server Analysis Cubes that are part of the Dynamics GP solution. This is the Power BI Desktop where you get your data, create your report, and publish to the Power BI web portal. You can see the fields I selected to use from my SQl Server Analysis cube and the various graph formats you have available.

Power BI for Dynamics - Dashboard Example
Once the reports are completed and grouped together for a dashboard, they can be published to the Power BI web portal. You can further arrange them in the web portal to get the desired appearance and information on your dashboard, which can then be shared with others. Additionally, there are apps for IOS and Android devices that make these dashboards easily viewable on mobile devices.

The three graphs on the dashboard below are interrelated so that a user can interact with the dashboard and affect the results in real-time.

Power BI for Dynamics - 3 Graphs
If the user selects one customer, state, or product, the other two graphs will change to fit that selection.

Power BI for Dynamics - 3 Graphs Editing
Additionally, there are apps for IOS and Android devices that make these dashboards easy to view on mobile devices. Here’s a dashboard I created to show well on a mobile device. On an iPhone, these three graphs in the web portal dashboard stack up vertically.

Power BI for Dynamics - Mobile Dashboard Example
The screenshot below shows the same dashboard on an iPhone screen.

Power BI for Dynamics - iPhone Dashboard Example
The information on these reports is easily updated. You can manually do it in the Power BI Desktop, or select the “Connect live” option when you get the data from SQL Server and the data will be refreshed when the users requests it.

Learn more about business intelligence and Dynamics GP with the Armanino team.

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