Martin and Associates

Dashboards for Non-Profits using Dynamics GP

Dashboards for Non-Profits using Dynamics GP

Dashboards or data visualizations are charts, graphs, and scorecards, and you’ve probably utilized them at some point, if not regularly.  This is likely due to dashboards being a top priority for executives, according to Gartner’s recent study on Financial Executive International CFO Technology.  Because business is seemingly always moving at a breakneck pace, quickly accessible and digestible analytics are not only desirable, but necessary. We are happy to report that dashboards deliver exactly that: graphical scorecards and charts showcase trajectories, successes, and challenges by using your own data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to enrich decision-making for a project, a department, and/or the whole organization.

All varieties of dashboards are everywhere, whether you are checking your driving speed, looking at how you spend money on your credit card, or even reviewing the account activity for your e-mail or social media account.  Business Intelligence (BI) dashboards relatedly enable you to understand your organizational data trends.  BI data visualizations differentiate themselves because they are interactive.  You can make changes and set up your dashboards to best understand the information you need to familiarize yourself with the true health of your non-profit organization.  Most BI dashboards are equipped with drill-to and drill-down abilities, so you can zoom in on vital data for smarter planning.  Let’s talk about the features and functionalities of today’s data visualization tools that can be helpful in expanding your non-profit’s Dynamics GP processes.

Modern dashboards can query data from multiple sources.  If you require real-time data, specifically in terms of financial figures, you can utilize the native dashboard function in Dynamics GP.  A live analysis is perfect for professionals who need up-to-date financial data – or smaller organizations that find the built-in ERP system data visualizations without the resources to maintain a BI data store, like a data warehouse or an online analytical processing (OLAP) cube.  On the other hand, larger organizations usually need data beyond just the financial, as well as quick, high performance dashboards, which is typically not what you can accomplish with a Dynamics GP graphical scorecard.

A BI data store integration allows bigger not-for-profits to design and produce financial and operational dashboards without slowing down the Dynamics GP server when querying data for real-time analyses.  If your organization has several Dynamics GP users who at times pull data simultaneously, we might suggest a BI data store for a higher performance.  Despite having to replicate your information to the data store, it will likely still be a faster process, depending on how much you’re querying.  In addition, a BI data store invites you to house multiple kinds of data from diverse sources in one place, like donors, grant project data, members, etc.  Some independent software vendors (ISVs) also offer hybridity in their software so you can choose how you would like to integrate your data, based on the process.

To continue learning more about non-profit data visualizations for your Dynamics GP analytical processes, read the rest of this article here.

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