646.736.0060 Data for Finance and Accounting

Financial Reporting and Accounting Blog

7 Key Data Integration Problems

Adam Jacobson November 26,2015

Few companies get all their information from one system. Most companies we work with have multiple systems—from ERP and WMS systems, to web stores, EDI and other trading partners. Indeed, we spend 30-50 percent of our time integrating data between different systems.

To that end, here are seven classic problems we encounter with integration projects—and clues for how to solve them.

Read More

Tags: Data Integration

Numbers That Don’t Do Anything

Adam Jacobson November 24,2015

As a business intelligence consultant, I spend most of time looking at other people’s information. But as a small business owner, I do occasionally get to look at my own information. And when I do, it reminds me of a basic rule: Information is worthless if you can’t do anything with it.

Case in point: We use HubSpot to run our website. And HubSpot provides lots of metrics. But many of the metrics don’t really help me. For example, HubSpot tells me where my traffic is coming from. (It's easier to use than Google Analytics in this respect.) It can tell me whether traffic is coming from organic search or social media.

Read More

Tags: Business Intelligence

Person + Hammer <> Carpenter:  Thoughts on Self Service BI

Adam Jacobson November 19,2015

For years and years, software vendors have promised end-users they can have the data they want without talking to the IT department they don’t like. Things haven't changed. I recently saw the following business intelligence stats (thanks to @TimoElliott and Logi Analytics).

As you can see, people still need IT. But why? Here are a few thoughts:

Read More

Tags: Microsoft BI Business Intelligence

(Almost) Never Blame Your System

Adam Jacobson November 17,2015

It’s been a fun few weeks. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with Halloween, but in the last 10 days I've fixed more business intelligence “systems” problems than in the last six months. But in almost every case, it wasn’t a systems problem at all. It was a people problem.

Blaming the system is easy but usually not correct. If you have problems with your technology, you probably have issues in your process, training and communication. When (and only when) you have these other pieces in place (and working well) should you look to your system as the source of your problems.

Read More

Tags: Business Intelligence

Using Dynamic SQL to Solve the Problem of Too Few SQL Server Instances

Adam Jacobson November 13,2015

As consultants, we pride ourselves on both knowing the best way to set up systems AND finding workarounds when client infrastructure is “suboptimal” and unlikely to change. We recently performed such a workaround for a client that had too few SQL servicer instances—and I'm going to share the experience with you here. (Hopefully, your system is set up more optimally. But even if it is, you can still learn from our example.)

Read More

Tags: Dynamics GP

Finding Stored Procedures Used by SSRS Reports

Adam Jacobson November 12,2015

Recently, I was asked which stored procedures power which Dynamics SSRS reports. If you want to go report by report, you can download any report from your SSRS website and open it in ReportBuilder.

But, as I was on a roll with my recent SSRS catalog query, I decided there had to be a way to get this information through a query. And I figured it out.    

Read More

Tags: SSRS

List All Your SSRS Reports—With a SSRS Report

Adam Jacobson November 9,2015

Reports have a habit of multiplying like crazy, no matter what reporting tool you use. You're soon left to wonder, “Where did I put that report?" or, if you're working with Dynamics GP, "What reports can I get out of this thing?" To help you answer these questions, I'm going to do three things in this post:

  • Show a basic query of the Catalog table to get report and folder information right from SSRS.
  • Use the data in the SSRS report to build a nice list of all stored reports, starting with a beginning base folder.
  • Provide a link to an Excel sheet for Dynamics GP folks who just want a listing of the reports.
Read More

Tags: SSRS

On Being Less of a Jerk

Adam Jacobson November 4,2015

Has anyone ever said to you, “Hey, you’re like a different person,” meaning, OMG, you’ve calmed down. You’re being nice.

It makes you wonder what they thought of you before.

But I already know what people think of me. On one hand, people trust me. I don’t lie. I know what I’m talking about it. I pay on time. And I’ve never objected to anyone telling me I'm going too fast, being too curt or not listening.

Read More

Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants

I Don’t Care If Someone is Wrong on the Internet

Adam Jacobson November 2,2015

I love this cartoon by Randall Munroe at xkcd.com:

A few recent blog posts got me involved in that kind of exchange. I’m not going to mention the topic as I REALLY don’t want to revive the discussion. But, in short, a bunch of guys took a LOT of time to explain why technology A was vastly superior to technology B. And why I was misguided for thinking otherwise.  

Read More

Tags: Business Intelligence Consultants

Finding the Relevant View in Dynamics GP

Adam Jacobson October 28,2015

During my recent presentation on SSRS for Dynamics GP at the recent GPUG Summit conference, an attendee asked how to begin. Could she just start with the Report Wizard in Report Builder, she asked?

I replied that would work fine if he had a test database (and preferably a test system) so he wouldn’t blow up the production work. Also, rather than try to join tables directly himself, he should work with one of the provided views—this would give him and his team a major head start with names that make sense and joins that are already in place.

Read More

Tags: Dynamics GP

Get Tips and Insights Delivered to Your Inbox