Here’s Why Your Dynamics ERP and CRM Reporting and Analytics Tools Aren’t Meeting Your Needs

Here’s Why Your Dynamics ERP and CRM Reporting and Analytics Tools Aren’t Meeting Your Needs

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According to a recent survey of hundreds of Dynamics ERP and CRM users, only 2.7% of organizations represented had all their reporting and analytics needs met.

Does this represent your organization? Or, is your organization better represented by the 40% who had most or enough needs met, or finally the 60% with a lot of room for improvement?

How is this possible?

Dynamics ERP & CRM are part of the Microsoft suite of business solutions and there are numerous tools for reporting and analytics including:

  • The out of the box (OOTB) tools shipped with Dynamics
  • The Microsoft SQL stack (i.e. SSMS, SSIS, SSAS & SSRS)
  • Management Reporter
  • Power BI
  • Excel
  • Third-party BI tools

So, with so many options, how is it possible that an organization’s reporting and analytics needs are not met? In my experience, any number of the following factors can cause this data-rich, insight-poor reality

  • Manual reporting in Excel: Users continue to dump to Excel and manually update and distribute reports
  • Too many tools: Users find that there are too many tools and options to choose from, resulting in tool confusion and an ineffective use of available tools
  • Tools too complex: Users find it too complicated to use the tools available to develop the reports required
  • Ineffective training: Users are not trained effectively to both understand the best tool for each reporting requirement and to use the tool to develop the report
  • Unclear reporting requirements: Reporting requirements were either not originally addressed as part of the original Dynamics implementation or they have changed significantly due to the change in systems, processes and data now available

What can you do about it?

The good news is that you can change this! Your reporting and analytics can be improved!

In nearly all cases, user training will help. In some cases, user training alone is sufficient to develop the internal resources in your organization to enable self-service reporting and analytics.

In cases where the OOTB tools do not seem to adequately address the reporting and analytics needs, other tools should be investigated. In many cases, these tools might already be available for free with your Dynamics investment.  It is worth pointing out that a free tool may be more costly for an organization to implement than a third-party tool.  While most third-party tools will involve additional licensing, they are often much easier to setup and maintain and offer superior benefits (i.e. performance, automation, simplicity, data quality, distribution, governance, mobility) or help streamline and reduce the number of tools being used for different purposes.  This can often translate to a higher value to the organization, as well as, a lower total cost of ownership.  If they can be implemented quickly and improved upon in an iterative manner, they also lower the risk of project failure.

Similarly, if reporting needs were not adequately addressed during the original implementation or if they have changed considerably, a phase 2 reporting and analytics project should be planned.

Next Steps

If this blog has piqued your interest and you’d like to have a conversation, please contact me using the link below. BDO Solutions is Microsoft Gold certified on Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV. We have the experience you need, as well as, an uncompromising commitment to client service and your success!

If you are reading this and your organization does not use BDO Solutions to support your Dynamics ERP and/or CRM, don’t let that stop you from reaching out and working with our Business Analytics team. We’d be happy to work with you in this capacity!

For more information, please contact your BDO Client Manager or Les Wright at

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