42-19789344_low-1024x682Technology is a game changer. In today’s world we expect instant access to information – whether we are in the office, sitting in front of a customer or travelling. The reason we all want better, quicker ERP reporting is that we want the ability to make the right decisions – on time. This requires quick access to lots of data and the ability to quickly represent ERP data in a meaningful way. The very nature of ERP reporting is changing – gone are the days of static, semi-manual, one dimensional reporting. In today’s world of mobile technology we want the ability to be able to slice and dice big volumes of ERP data quickly – analytics is important.

ERP Reporting is changing for the better and is opening up opportunities to change the way we run our businesses. Previously business intelligence tools like KPI dashboards and analytics was only within the grasp of larger organisations with substantial reporting budgets and high end ERP. Smaller businesses where left to run “static / one dimensional” reports distributed via email or worse still hard copy. The problem with this older style reporting is that the user only gets one view of the data. As an example if a sales report indicates that the July sales number is on par with expectations from a revenue perspective but the gross profit is below budget or forecast the sales manager will want to quickly drill down to a detailed level so that they can identify the reasons for the lower than expected gross profit. Hard copy or one dimensional reporting does not allow this type of analysis and is therefore of limited use.

So how does a new age of technology and reporting change your reporting options? Analytics is the answer. A good analytical report can offer hundreds of reports in one interface. How is this possible you might ask? Let’s look at our sales report example again – the sales manager is trying to identify the reasons for lower than expected gross profit on the July numbers. Using analytics the sales manager can drill down on the monthly sales number, can sort the July invoices by margin and define and choose the orders which are below budgeted margin. Now the sales manager can drill down and review these invoices and the associated line items and notes. Now the sales manager can drag these “below margin” sales orders out of the month’s numbers and can see what the net effect on margin is. All this in under 30 seconds.

Now add in the advantages of taking your analytical reporting mobile.

In summary – when choosing reporting for your ERP implementation consider a good analytical reporting option that allows users to drill down to source data and slice and dice or sort data by multiple criteria. Make sure your ERP reporting tool can help your business change the way you do business.