On 4 March 2021 (Tuesday), AFON hosted a joint webinar with InsightSoftware on how you can turn raw data from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central into actionable insights using Jet Reports – a powerful reporting tool designed specially for Microsoft Dynamics users.
In this webinar, we covered the biggest reporting challenges that SMEs like yours face, and their top priorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Co-led by Michelle Lee – Channel Manager of InsightSoftware in Asia – the webinar included a live demo for Jet Reports, which demonstrated how the real-time reporting solution can help users of Microsoft's Business Central get all the financial and operational data they need from their ERP software in their preferred report format.
Here are some of the highlights of our webinar.
Common Challenges That Businesses Face Today
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses like yours often encounter a common set of challenges which hinders their efforts to drive growth in their organisations.
These challenges are the result of a gap that exist between the reporting capabilities and the analytics of the enterprise software that these businesses are using. Jet Reports is designed to fill in that gap, by connecting reporting and analytics.
Top Priorities Of Business During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the top priorities that businesses need to achieve if they are to overcome the impact of the pandemic and drive better business outcomes.
Specifically, businesses must focus on:
- Enhancing visibility of data generated by their processes to inform their business decisions.
- Increasing productivity levels during challenging periods.
- Improving their agility so as to react quickly and proactively to ever-changing conditions.
As such, there’s no better time to demonstrate how Jet Reports can help businesses that are using Business Central to achieve these three priorities.
What Jet Reports Offers For Users Of Business Central
As a real-time reporting solution that’s embedded within Microsoft Excel, Jet Reports draws financial and operational data from your Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and presents it in reports that are formatted to your preferences.
It allows you to drill down from the figures to see the transactions in detail directly inside Business Central, leverages the familiar environment of Excel to provide an easier learning curve for your end users.
Jet Reports also comes with a selection of pre-built reports that are designed to be useful out-of-the-box for your business. And if you need more customised reports for your needs, your developers can design an unlimited number of them, and they can also be automated with the need to cut and paste.
Jet Reports is also integrated with the security features of Business Central, relying on the same user roles permissions that the ERP software comes with.
Because Business Central stores the data of multiple businesses separately in the same environments, this makes it impossible to consolidate their financial data to get a single integrated report. But Jet Reports enables you to consolidate data across businesses, and generate a consolidated report.
You can also access Jet Reports through the Web Portal, with which you can publish and run reports on any mobile device through a web browser.
Finally, you won’t have to worry that your reports will become incompatible whenever Business Central gets a product update, as Jet Reports automatically moves your customised reports from the previous version of the ERP software to the latest one.
Highlights Of The Jet Reports Product Demo
The webinar included a live product demo for Jet Reports which shows some ways it solution can help Business Central users get the reports and insights they need. Here are some of the highlights.
As you can see in this pre-built Consolidated Profit & Loss by Company report template, the “MyDataSource” button allows Jet Reports to draw business data from Business Central to generate its reports.
Clicking the “Run” button will cause the Report Option window to pop up. In Report Options, you can adjust various parameters to customise the report to your liking; for example, you can change the Date Filter option to get a quarterly report, instead of a monthly one.
Once you’ve generated your report, you’ll find that a button will appear beside the figures inside the report. Clicking on it allows you to drill down to the transaction details in the General Ledger (GL).
The Go to Design button is what you need to design and customise your own reports to suit your business needs. It will pop up a “Jet Function Wizard”, which helps you understand what the queries in the formula mean and make it easier for you to design your reports.
You can also use Jet Reports to generate your report in Microsoft Word. This can be done by starting off with a report in Excel, and using the “Generate Word Document” button.
This results in Jet Reports generating your report as a Word document.
Jet Reports also allows you to see and compare the performance of your sales staff within a single screen, something which would not be possible with Business Central alone.
It allows you to design reports that pulls data from multiple tables, as well as from multiple companies, to generate a report that fits into a single screen.
Finally, you can upload your reports to the Web Portal. Your sales staff can then log in to Jet Reports through a web browser using the Portal, and access the reports that you’ve uploaded for their own use.
Jet Reports Webinar Q&A Session
At the end of the webinar, we also took some questions from the participants and provided answers to them. Here are some of these questions and answers:
Q: Does Jet Reports have any elimination for intercompany transactions?
A: No, Jet Reports does not offer intercompany transactions. It only pulls all the data from your businesses’ P/L across, and adds them together to produce the final figures. You may have to put through the information entry on the Excel file itself, insert columns as necessary, and put in your elimination entries.
Q: Is it possible to use Jet Reports to create customer payment history repeats?
A: Yes, it is possible. In fact, we have an out-of-the-box sample report which you can run, to show you which amounts are outstanding and which are the payments. You have the option to re=run the report to see only the customers which have made payment, as well as their details.
Q: Can I use Jet Reports to combine data from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Business Central?
A: Yes, you can if you want to. Jet Reports allow you to combine a single report from multiple data sources, which means you can point it to NAV, add more columns or cells to Business Central, and then re-run the report. Alternatively, you could consider using Jet Analytics as a data warehouse solution, to consolidate the data you want into the data warehouse.
Q: Can I also email the report to my customers or vendors?
A: Yes. Jet Reports is embedded inside Microsoft Excel, it does not restrict you on the number of reports you can design, and you can also choose to view your reports as a static file. You can share the static Excel file with your customer or vendors, or alternatively export it into the .pdf format and email it as an attachment to them.
Q: Are there any interactive dashboards in Jet Reports?
A: There are some interactive dashboards in Jet Reports. However, if you want more analytics or dashboard creation capabilities, you might want to consider Jet Analytics instead.
Q: The demo makes report generation look effortless, which is different from our practical experience. Does Jet Reports have a platform where pre-designed reports are shared for users to adopt?
A: Yes. In fact, you can log into www.insightsoftware.com and scroll down to see the list of sample reports. Filter it to Jet Reports, and you can download the set of pre-designed reports. Alternatively, you can use the following link to download them: https://insightsoftware.com/sample-reports/products/jet-reports/.
Questions About Jet Reports?
We hope this summary of the webinar has been useful in helping you learn more about the benefits that Jet Reports brings to the table.
If you’d like to learn more about what Jet Reports can do for your business in detail, click on the image below to view the on-demand webinar.