Organizations use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to streamline and automate business functions. These business functions could be anything – ranging from human resources to distribution management. One of the key reasons that ERP systems have been so widely adopted is because of their ability to create a centralized source of truth by integrating a variety of enterprise functions. Imagine how wonderful it would be if multiple valuable insights could be extracted from the ERP system itself on click of a button. Such is the power of ERP and BI integration.
In this blog, we will discuss how, by successfully integrating a good BI tool with the right ERP system, enterprises can equip themselves to monitor data across their software ecosystem and leverage it to enhance organizational performance.
To become successful, businesses can’t only rely on historical reporting today; forecasting has become equally important. BI tools enable enterprises to perform predictive analysis using data that is already present in the ERP system. For example, HR Leaders can leverage predictive analytics to identify on-boarding and engagement activities that will most likely have higher retention and engagement rates. Similarly, predictive analytics can be applied to multiple business functions across the enterprise, including but not limited to supply chain management, finance, and operations to get a clearer picture of what kind of planning will holistically work for the enterprise.
In the past, even the data available within the ERP system needed time for extraction, evaluation, and analysis. In fact, by the time the data was analyzed, it probably was obsolete or irrelevant – rendering all decision-making opportunities wasted. With data increasing every day, the analysis process has only become complex and time-taking. But with BI tool as an added layer, it is possible to extract and analyze reports in real-time. The real-time provision of data helps business leaders make timely decisions that are based on hard evidence rather than on intuition or inferences derived from stale data.
ERP systems enable enterprises to organize and store a massive amount of data. However, enterprises often struggle while navigating the incredible amount of data and fall short when it comes to making the data visually comprehensible for all stakeholders. A BI tool, when used as an added layer on the ERP system, helps enterprises move out of the confines of traditional reporting and manipulate a large amount of data with great ease. With multiple reporting and visualization options, a BI tool enables every authorized user to pull out a report based on what they want to look at and how they want to view it. Not only does it allow enterprises to generate reports in multiple formats for technical as well as non-technical users, but also unlock possibilities such as lower the cost of generating reports and deliver self-service reporting and analysis.
Enterprises can benefit from having a BI tool in place in many ways: better data assimilation, improved insights, enhanced business decision-making, seamless customer experience, and so on. However, to fully leverage BI features with the ERP system in-house, it is imperative to choose the BI tool most suited for the enterprise’s software ecosystem. The three BI tools that are widely discussed today are Qlik, Power BI, and Tableau BI. While each tool has its own advantages and disadvantages, Power BI has gained immense popularity because of its economic pricing model and its compatibility with existing, popularly-used Microsoft products, including Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Looking at how both ERP and BI technologies are evolving, it will not be incorrect to assume that very soon BI will be an indispensable and integrated element within the ERP systems. Advanced BI-enabled ERP systems are the future because they are capable of providing enterprises with advanced analytics, greater workflow automation, and increasingly intelligent interfaces and predictions. By seamlessly integrating these two systems, enterprises can discover new roads to success and unearth pioneering ways to enhance their businesses while streamlining internal processes.