Customize your reports once, save time forever

One of the biggest frustrations I have heard from customers, and friends for that matter, relating to the use of their accounting or ERP system, is reporting or the lack thereof.

I could go on and on listing the very explicit frustrations shared with me over the years relating to reporting, but the loudest and most common challenge above all else is along the lines of, “But all I want to do is tweak my sales report to include the document date or to show which products are moving fastest – oh, and did I mention that I want to do this without having to attend a 4th generation programming language course over several weeks?”. Seems like a reasonable request, and yet the majority of systems out there make these small changes incredibly challenging for the average person to do themselves without involving IT. The end result being one or all of the following:

  1. A frustrated customer without access to all the information required to make a sound business decision.
  2. An expensive and time consuming report writing task handed to IT, often involving Crystal reports.
  3. A time consuming and manually repetitive task of exporting the report to Excel and manually configuring as required.

In my 12 years of being involved in the creation of Microsoft® Excel® based business intelligence (BI) software for small and midsized businesses (SMBs), I have found points 1 and 3 above to be the most prevalent complaints amongst them. The cold hard fact is that people love Excel and it is undisputed as the number one application for sharing and analyzing business data. Gartner said it best at one of their BI summits when they stated that “efforts to stop Excel BI uses are futile” (you can read the full article here).

But why does wanting to perform such simple tasks have to be so complicated? It actually doesn’t have to be, that’s why we created Sage Intelligence– an extension of various Sage accounting and ERP solutions that delivers trusted, real time information from Sage systems into pre-formatted Excel report templates.

With Sage Intelligence you can create dynamic dashboards that allow you to view detailed information about your Key Performance Indicators at a glance.
With Sage Intelligence you can create dynamic dashboards that allow you to view detailed information about your Key Performance Indicators at a glance.

“Ok, but how long does it take to learn Sage Intelligence?” I hear you say. Well, just as an onion has many layers, there are different ‘layers’ in or levels of using Sage Intelligence. The first layer of Sage Intelligence, running and customizing a report, is very simple – you don’t need any training. All you need to do is select a report you want to run,  click the Run button, and the data will be delivered, real-time, into a pre-formatted Excel report. You can make changes via simple drag-and-drop functionality like simply dragging in the document date from the available fields list or reordering the report by product to see fast movers or changing the font, adding a graph, you name it – and these changes can then be saved back to your Sage Intelligence report with a single click, so that the next time you run the report, the changes you’ve made will have been saved.

“Now we’re talking. So what about peeling back some of the other layers of the onion?” you say. Well, there are so many things you can achieve with Sage Intelligence, our Product Specialists would be happy to demonstrate them for you. If you would like to get a free demonstration, email me and I will arrange one for you.