Why use Sage Business Intelligence?

One often finds, when trying to convince people to use one software package over another that they want to know the software’s core strengths. I was recently asked this with regards to Sage Business Intelligence, or more specifically, Alchemex Smart Reporting. My answer, without hesitation was the fact that it has the ability to export the correctly formatted information directly into MS Excel.

By utilising MS Excel, Alchemex Smart Reporting allows you to use your current Excel skills, as well as develop new skills in Excel. These skills can then be used in workbooks that are not even related to Sage Business Intelligence. I find some clients are more than happy for me to retrieve the raw data from a report and they create their own pivot tables. All they need my help for is to create the data container. There is also a mass of support and ideas on Pivot Tables, Macros basically anything you are trying to do in Excel someone has tried to do something similar. You can tap into this knowledge without too much effort by searching forums like the Alchemex BI Community and improving the look and feel of your reports as your Excel skills progress.

Another benefit is that as Microsoft develops new features in Excel, Sage Business Intelligence benefits from these new features.  Excel 2007 brought with it increased worksheet size, more user friendly Pivot Tables, much more efficiently compressed workbook data, and additional formula functionalities. In 2010 we received Sparklines, and my favourite, Slicers. If you are a fan of Pivot Tables, use Excel 2010, and have not started using slicers please click this link to see what you are missing.

Another strength of Sage Business Intelligence is how easy it is to import and export reports. I can create a report that can be used by different companies as long as they are on the same ERP system. I sometimes don’t even need their databases. If I am confident with their database structure or ERP system, I can create their reports without receiving their data. You can also email these exported reports, as they are normally fairly small in terms of file size. You can create a standard report, export it, and it can be sent to multiple companies. They will however need to be on the same ERP system and obviously want to see a similar report. This saves you time. Once you build up a library of reports, you will find you don’t need to create reports from the beginning all the time. Sometimes you can take something you have built, make a few changes and you have a different report or a different way of analysing your data.

So if Excel is your favourite tool for data analysis and you like the idea of being able to import a report for your system, then Sage Business Intelligence is the BI tool for you.