Top 5 things you need to know about Jet Analytics
OK, so welcome, and thank you, everyone, for attending today, our webinar on the top five things you need to know about Jet Analytics. So, just before we start the webinar, just a few housekeeping rules. All attendees will be muted and will remain for the whole webinar.
Please do use the question box to ask any questions related to the topic, and all questions will be answered after the demo. If we run out of time, or if your question requires a longer answer, the questions will be answered offline directly. Please do use the chat box for questions related to the webinars, such as if you can’t hear the audio or the presenters going too fast. But, please note, the link to view the webinar recording will be sent to all attendees after the demo.
So, this is a monthly webinar on key areas of NAV and Business Central, and you can sign up to as many as you like on our website. We also send out e-mails to register for the next one.
I’m Tiziana Giardina, also known as Deetz, and I’ll be facilitating the demo today. I’m an Account Manager, TVision. Rob Jackson from Insight Software will be doing the demo today, and his role as Senior Technical Account Manager.
Just to introduce the subject today, many of you use Jet Basics, or Express as it used to be called or Professional, which is now, known as Jet Reports.
And as you’ve been using these solutions for some time, you may be wondering what the next level of reporting looks like and how this compares to the likes of Microsoft’s Power BI or other BI type reporting solutions or data warehouses. To answer these questions, Rob will be taking you through the following in our webinar today.
He’ll give you an introduction to Insight Software solutions, tell you about Jet Analytics, and the differences between Jet Reports, Jet Professional and Jet Analytics. Then he’ll go into a demo of Jet Analytics, showing you the top five reporting challenges that companies generally have, and how to address them using Jet Analytics. Finally, after the demo, you can submit some questions to Rob.
By the end of the webinar, I hope that you understand why many companies use Jet Analytics, and how it can be used in your business to improve your business processes.
So, I will now hand over to Rob, who will present to you a little bit more about Jet Analytics. Over to Rob.
Rob Jackson and Will Lines – Insight Software
Thank you very much. Yeah, well actually Will is on the line and he’s going to do a very quick intro into Insight Software. And then I’ll start with my stuff.
So perfect. Cheers Rob and hi everyone. So just a quick introduction. I’m Will Lines, the Channel Manager for Insight Software, looking after the UK and Ireland and work alongside Rob and alongside TVision as well. So, quick introduction to what we do at Insight Software. So essentially, we simplify financial and operational reporting processes for customers of over 140 ERPs.
And so we enable the office of the CFO to connect and make sense of that data. We have a global presence with offices across five continents. And we currently have over 25,000 customers, and the good news is over 15,000 of them are using Jet.
So, it’s a huge part of our business, and over 400,000 active users worldwide. So, we have a good amount of customer sites using our products. And so, what I’ll do now is I’ll hand over to Rob to take you through the product and show you how it works, and do some demos for you as well. As Deetz mentioned, any questions, please just put them in the question box, and we’ll answer at the end.
Over to you Rob.
All right, thank you very much. Well. So, I was asked to do a webinar. What are the top five things we need to know about Jet Analytics. So, these are the five that I’ve listed out on and I’ll jump into each of these in more detail. And I think, really one of the most important things right at the top is actually understand what is the difference between reporting as we achieve with Jet reports, and analytics, and business intelligence? OK? Because there is a distinction between the two, there may be some overlaps, but they really are two completely separate things.
Also, number 2, have a single version of the truth, OK? Have one single govern data set for your organisation that everybody can access, report from, and everyone’s coming up with consistent numbers, whether they’re reporting in Excel, or Power BI, for example.
Thirdly is how we actually connect to the information in your ERP or the other systems, so we’ll dive into that a bit more. Number four, don’t be restricted by global dimensions.
So, in the ERP, NAV or Business Central, you only have direct access on all of the transactional tables to only two global dimensions, but a lot of organisations want to report by more than that.
Then, number five, hold onto your history, this is in relation to upgrades when you’re upgrading maybe from NAV to Business Central. You know, what happens to all of your old transactions, and how can you keep that for your reporting and long-term analysis?
So, the first one, like I said, let’s just take a quick dive into what is the difference between reporting and analytics? So, on the left, I’ve got a comparison here between Jet Reports and Jet Analytics. Some customers on the phone on, the on the call may already use Jet Reports. But just as a very quick recap, Jet reports is a reporting solution that is built inside Microsoft Excel. And it is designed to pull information from your ERP and you can lay out your reports in exactly the way that you want.
One key feature of Jet Reports is that every single time you run a report, you’re putting fresh data from the ERP back into Excel. So it’s really good for financial reporting, like your monthly end of your monthly financial statements for example, all kind of operational reports that you might need to run on an ad hoc basis, during, during the working day.
Jet Analytics, on the other hand, OK, is actually processing large quantities of data and building a data model to make it suitable for analysis either in Excel or a visual platform like Power BI. OK, so this is really a preferred solution when you want to produce some interactive dashboards and perform trend analysis.
So on this slide, you can see a typical sales dashboard that gives me some, some KPIs, a breakdown of, you know, how the sales have been tracking over many quarters, How the sales are broken down, for example, by item category or salesperson code.
This is really the end point of what a lot of organisations want to end up with a dashboard that basically shows you your important KPIs or things that you want to measure in your business. It really helps you identify problems quickly and uses have got a very interactive experience. OK, you’re working with a very large data set and you’re basically playing with that data or slicing and dicing with different selectors in the application to show you the results. So it’s a very, very good tool to give you a lot of insight into your organisation
But, and this is a big but, when you look at, you know, dashboards like that, the perceived value is that they all look very flash, and the perception is that the value is in the front end visualizations.
Whereas, in fact, when we pull in data from an ERP system, we’ve got a lot of processing to do, to actually produce a data set that lends itself well to a tool like Power BI. And actually, the actual value is in the preparation of the data in the actual backend. So this is actually the other process that we take the raw data from the ERP and actually process that and turn that into a data model that lends itself well to Power BI.
Why do we have to do that? Inside the ERP, the database schema looks pretty much like the graphic here. It’s, it’s an organized mess, but it is a collection of tables. And effectively, this is a relational database.
And the way that this is designed lends itself well to, you know, getting data into the system, making sure that the data is consistent. But it’s actually not a very good starting point when you’re when you’re trying to report and a lot of business users get frustrated because the information that they need is scattered across many tables in different places.
So this is really the process that we go through. We start on the left-hand side with our raw data and a standard NAV or Business Central database has about 1,300 tables, 22.5 thousand fields, and it’s quite a complex data model. We don’t need all of that information. So, we go through a process of transferring into a data warehouse just the relevant data that we require, we start to organize the data by topic. So, it could be by sales, by inventory, by purchase, for example. And we’re also able to take data from multiple sources, which could be, it could be that you’re running multiple different ERP versions. It could be that you’ve got other data sources, like a CRM system, for example.
And then, from the data warehouse, we can actually report from this, also with Jet Reports, but we actually produce cubes or data models, which are optimized for speed.
So it’s very possible to build a cube with, you know, several million rows of data, potentially. Many, many years worth of transactions. But we can actually analyze that data very, very quickly with, with something like Power BI in the end.
So what is Jet Analytics? Jet Analytics is a collection of a few things. Let’s say it’s the Jet data manager, which is a software tool, responsible for pulling the data from your data sources. Modelling that data and shaping it, so it’s ready for analysis with something like Power BI. We have an out of the box solution that is designed to plug and play into a Dynamics database.
So in a NAV or Business Central database, we can get customers up and running very, very quickly with prebuilt content.
So on this next slide you can see that we’ve got six standard cubes that we can implement very, very fast, and then customers can go there on top of this. You build on top.
And in addition to this, we have a suite of standard reports that you can use both Excel and Power BI based. I’m just going to jump to our website and just pull this across here.
So on our website here, you can Google sample reports for Jet Analytics, for example.
But this gives you a suite of both Power BI and Excel reports that are designed to run against those cubes, OK? So, we kind of got a turnkey solution because we can implement this very, very quickly, this includes a lot of things that the customers require and you’re working in a platform that allows you to extend that according to your requirements going forwards.
So, a single version of the truth, What do we basically mean by that? So, the process that we go through. So the Jet Data Manager is our main software tool that is responsible for pulling the data from our source systems that are shown in the top left corner here. So, it could be that this is your Dynamics ERP database. You might have a CRM system, it could be that you’ve got a legacy database with historical transactions in, or you might want to pull in transactions from a cloud based data source like Google Analytics, for example.
All of this information is transferred into a staging area. And we process the data, model the data into a format that in a different schema, if you’d like, to the relational database, and we store this in a data warehouse from the data warehouse we basically make the cubes. And this whole process runs on a schedule, so it runs. It updates according to how have you set that schedule out.
But the important part of this is that whether this information is being accessed by a user using Excel or a user using Power BI, you’re both pointing exactly the same data source, OK, So this eliminates the possibility of people having, you know, a sales report that, one person is build a sales report that somebody else has built and the numbers don’t basically match up, OK, this is the the value in working from a govern data set for the entire business.
I mentioned other data sources. We’ve got over 100 connectors that works with the Jet Data Manager for Jet Analytics, and we can pull data. I’ll be honest with you. I’ve not come across a situation where we haven’t been able to integrate to another system, OK. So we’ve got many connectors to other systems available.
The idea is that Jet Analytics is responsible for pulling your data from the ERP, additional data sources, and then present in the out to the users, so they can consume the information very easily in Power BI or Jet Reports.
OK, so I’m going to just hop out of PowerPoint now, just to show you an example of a couple of the reports. So, I’ve just picked at random an inventory purchase report that we’ve got on our website, So this is exactly as it is downloaded.
There’s an instructions tab here to explain what you need to do to get the standard reports up and running. And we need to connect the Excel sheet to our data source. If I press OK there, you’ll see at the bottom, this runs all of the overlap queries, just to make sure that the data source has been updated and now my report is ready to use.
So every time I make a selection from these slices here, for example, now, this is basically pulling the updated information from the Data model that this is now connected to. And you can see here that I’ve got information from multiple companies.
All right, and then I’ve got the drill down capability for different years, you know, to sort of jump into more detail, to show what the purchase history is across all of my product groups, OK. So that’s a very, very quick example of one of the sample based Excel reports.
In addition, we’ve got the suite of Power BI reports. So this is an inventory valuation report which is inside Power BI. Again, this points to the fields that have been generated from Jet Analytics. And if I just show you that what that software basically looks like. So this is the Jet Data Manager. Now, I don’t often show the Jet Data Manager on a demonstration. But this is more of a technical tool. And they sit in the background running on a repeated process, but this is what is responsible for connecting, firstly to the ERP.
These are the tables that we are basically pulling the information from. And we carry out some calculations and some lookups to denormalise the information.
So we’ve got less places to look up information from, we transfer the information from here into our data warehouse. So this is a much simpler dataset by this point. And then the final step of the process is this part here, which is where we actually build the cubes. So what I’m actually connecting, Power B I to is this Inventory Cube here, where I’ve got a number of different measures and dimensions available to me inside Power BI.
OK, so what you’ve got here is a subset of the fields that I’ve chosen for this, for this dashboard, from that data model that’s been built.
Now, this gives me pretty much instantaneous reactions when I, when I click. For example, if I want to see, you know, what is the stock in my Amsterdam warehouse at the moment, shown with a stock, just for example, for, for certain product group.
And this gives me a nice overview. It gives me a trending chart to show what my positive and negative balance is, our analyst, to each individual product, and the value of each product. And then I’ve got KPIs, just shown here. And it’s possible to, of course, publish something like this to the Power BI Service, so it can be shared, and that that’s really your Power BI standard functionality.
But, if I go back to Excel and somebody else in the business, where I want to look at, let’s say, the same information, it’s really important, like I said, that these numbers add up, and we’ve got a single version of the truth, so, instead, I’m now pointing Jet Reports to the cubes.
And if I just, so, I’ve got the choice of the six standard cubes that are available.
And, I’ll just make a connection quickly to the Inventory Cube.
Now, I’m really looking exactly at the same information that you can see there in Jet Analytics. I can look at my total inventory. I could break that down, for example, by Product Group.
I might want to analyse that by location unless you put that across approx columns, for example, then I might want to include a couple of slices to say, OK, I want to look at this information by company and maybe, I want to filter down again by location.
So in a pretty short space of time, I can kind of scroll down to, you know, just the stock for the UK, just this warehouse, And if you remember, speakers, 60949, or, in fact, if I just format that, as currency.
What I’m hoping if everything goes correctly, is the 609-4866 should show? Absolutely!
Yeah, Match up to what I’ve got in Power BI, OK? And this is really important, because, what you’re doing is, effectively using, whichever front tool, you choose, whether you choose to use Excel or Power BI, you’re pointing at a constant dataset for the organisation. It’s arranged and easy way to use, where you haven’t got to understand how will those tables are joined in the actual transactional system underneath.
And it could potentially include data from multiple data sources. And it’s in a nice, friendly way that you can give your organisation a govern dataset with some standard reports, but also a dataset where they’re able to put together their own visualisations themselves pretty easily.
OK, I’m going to come back to PowerPoint now. Just go through some of the other points, So, connecting to any table in any field. Now, one challenge with Business Central is how you actually get to your information. Because if you run Business Central in the public cloud, we no longer have access to the database directly.
And in order to connect, we have to make a connection over web services. And if you want to connect to any non-standard field that you’ve had added by your ERP vendor, or you’ve got a like a vertical add-on, like an industry add-on to the ERP, you have to have extensions written in order to expose a specific data set as a query. We work in a very different way.
We’ve got adapters that are designed to work specifically for NAV and Business Central. We make an installation of an extension. Once you’ve done that, we’ve got access to every single table, every single field in the database, regardless of whether that is a standard field extension or an add on from an ISV, OK, so this really kind of insulates you.
So, when we look at everything in the Jet Data Manager for Jet Analytics, but yeah, the same principle applies to Jet Reports as well, OK?
These are, you know, everything that you get, get access to without having to maintain additional extensions.
OK, we spoke about global dimensions in the ERP. And this is the general ledger entries page, and you can see here that we get the access to the first two dimensions, which are known as Global Dimensions. Both in NAV and Business Central.
Inside the Jet Data Manager, we’ve got a tool, which is called the advanced dimension editor. This effectively means that we can pull through a transactional table, perform all of the lookups for the additional dimension entries. And it means that I’ve got now got a transactional set of data that I can then analyse by any number of dimensions. So, in the end, the dataset that we provide is almost like having more than two global dimensions, and you’re completely free to analyse your data by any dimension you want in again, in Excel or Power BI.
Hold onto your history, right? What happens when you upgrade your ERP? If you’re on an older system like NAV 2009 and you’re making the upgrade to Business Central, what actually happens to all of your old information? A lot of customers don’t want to fill their new shiny ERP with, you know, the last 7 years of transactions, so, what we can do is actually pull the information together, all of your legacy transactions from your old ERP.
Join them up into the data warehouse. And actually, by the time that it’s presented to an end user, they can still look at all of the historical transactions looking backwards, OK, Without having filled up your, brand new ERP with all that data.
OK, So I’ve just got a quick recap here. Again, if you’ve got any questions, please, type them in. I like questions.
Sometimes it’s good ones, but, but please ask any questions if you’ve got any, but there’s a quick recap here, and then I’m just going to hand back to Deetz, also, who’s going to give you a quick overview. Did you want to do the promotion first Deetz? Or take the questions.
Yeah, I can do the promotion or yes, that gives people time. Maybe. Yeah.
Should we do that?
OK, no problem, thanks for that Rob. That was very good.
Jet promotion until 23rd June 2021
So, this quarter, we’ve actually got promotion, is quite good discount on Jet Reports, and Analytics for additional designers, viewers, and connect to licences.
So if you purchase Jet Reports, or Analytics between now and the 23rd of June, you will get 25% off Jet Reports or Jet Analytics foundation packages. And 40% off all Designer viewers and connectors added in a one-time order.
This also applies to existing Jet customers to upgrade to Jet Analytics or would like to add users to the Jet licence. So, just to note that the offer applies to perpetual and yearly subscription licences, but as always, you know, if you want more information or a quote, please feel free to get in touch with me after the webinar.
OK, let’s see, Rob, if you have, had any questions come in, OK.
OK, we’ve got one. Can a data cube be built combining data from Business Central and Dynamics CRM?
Yeah. It can. So, in the standard project that, we provide, it’s only including the ERP. Because by that time you are into more, you know customer specific requirements, but yes, the way that we license the product is in the foundation package you get a single connector to a data source, to an ERP, for example. And then you can buy additional connectors pulling information from multiple data sources.
Thanks, we have got another one. Um, can you control security against the data cubes and models?
You can absolutely! Yeah. So by the time that you take information out from multiple systems and put it into a data warehouse, we are actually disconnected from the security that we respect, when we run reports in because when we run reports and Jet Reports, we actually run and pull information directly from the ERP. And we actually respect the permissions in the ERP when we do that as well. When we work with Jet Analytics, in these data models, you’re in effect disconnected from the ERP. And we’re merging information from multiple sources. So we have to implement our own security.
So this can be done at a very high level, so you can choose the cube of the data model that somebody gets access to, or not, Or actually, you can implement security inside of that. So it might be that a salesperson only sees customers in a cube that belongs to them, for example. But yeah, you can get down to a very granular level, but all of that, again, is controlled in a central place inside the Jet data manager.
Brilliant, thanks Rob. I think that yeah, if anyone’s got any other questions that can think of off to us, then please feel free to e-mail them.
I’ll give you an e-mail address in the moment, Say, well, if you could just put it on the next slide, just to show the webinar series that we’ve got. So, yeah, so I hope you found this webinar interesting and informative. We sending out e-mails soon to register for the next one will be held on the 16th of June on Procure to Pay with myself and Ian Robinson. And we should put a reminder about the webinar in our newsletter.
So thank you for attending the webinar, and thank you to Rob, and Will. Once you’ve closed the session, a survey will appear and it would be great if you could respond with some feedback. If you do have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail them to me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much, everyone.
OK, thank you very much Thank you.