You may be aware of the well-used phrase, ‘a good craftsman doesn’t blame their tools’. This very true in many ways. However, what if the craftsman was using the wrong tools altogether? That’s not to say that the craftsman wouldn’t somehow, miraculously, do a good job but it would certainly be more difficult, right? The points raised in the metaphor are just as valid when reporting from Sage 200c. It’s about having the right tool for the job. It makes it much easier to gain valuable insights that are becoming more and more vital for business success. Luckily, the Sage 200c tool chest has plenty of options that will help enhance your business analysis. Let’s focus on some of the most popular reporting options to help you figure out which is the best tool for the job.
Sage 200 Report Designer
We’ll start with the internal reporting setup of Sage 200c. The system is already equipped with multiple reports across various modules. These can even be filtered to set criteria. Great!
What’s more, Sage 200 Report Designer allows you to customise these standard reports to your exact specifications. You can specify criteria to only see the information that you need and even create new variables for more insightful reporting, all in a format and layout of your choosing. It’s an easy system to use, once you get the hang of it. We even provide Report Designer training options here at itas. Click here to find out more.
Report Designer isn’t the solution to everyone’s needs, however. For example, there are certainly better options for analysing trends and data visualisations. The user interface isn’t the best either. If everything needs to be aligned and formatted to perfection, this isn’t the best reporting tool. Unless you have lots of spare time on your hands!
Sage Business Intelligence
Sage Business Intelligence is a Microsoft Excel integrated reporting tool. This is one of the great advantages of this tool, allowing you to create and configure reports in the familiar surroundings of Excel in a pivot table format.
There are lots of pre-built reports that you can utilise into a single workbook. These will cover many points of business analysis, such as profitability and trend analyses. You can also configure reports to your specific needs and drilled through the data for more powerful analysis. This can help you pinpoint strong performance areas as well as opportunities for your business.
With the system being an Excel add-in, there is a limit to data visualisation within Excel. Furthermore, data cannot be pulled through in real-time. The system is set to refresh periodically, or it can be done manually. However, depending on the nature of your business, the system may not give you the necessary data flow needed to react to changes within the business.
Microsoft Power BI
The final reporting tool that we’ll look is Power BI. Unlike the other reporting tools that we’ve looked at, Power BI is an external option coming from Microsoft. Check out the 7 reasons why we love Power BI.
Power BI stands out for the variety of impressive visualisations and subsequent dashboards that can be created. The interactivity of the visualisations allows you to easily drill down and track business progress, all in real-time. This is because Power BI links directly to a Sage 200c SQL database, allowing dashboards to pull through real-time data. There are lots of other cloud-based and on-premise database options that Power BI links to.
The key to building an insightful Power BI dashboard is understanding how to best model data within the system. This is probably the trickiest aspect of the software, which uses a formula system that has a similar feel to Excel, called Data Analysis Expressions (DAX), which is actually very different. Therefore, some knowledge of DAX is certainly an advantage prior to using the software. This would help you to understand how to transform and model data within the system, which in turn will enable you to create more powerful reports.
We’ve looked at just a few of the reporting tool options that are available to use with Sage 200c. It can be difficult to know exactly which reporting tool to go for. At ITAS, we take the time to understand your business needs to help steer you towards the right reporting tools, that will provide you with those critical insights. If you would like any information on how we can help you enhance your business analysis, please contact a member of our friendly team today.