Friday, December 7, 2012

BI Snowflakes & Stars - All Are Unique

I couldn't resist another winter themed post on Business Intelligence. 

While those of us who are less technically inclined may enjoy the picture below, those who design and develop data marts and data warehouses are very familiar with both the snowflake and star schema.

One popular truth regarding snowflakes is that no two snowflakes are identical.  When it comes to Business Intelligence, no two organization's needs are identical either. 

Enjoy the winter beauty of stars and snowflakes this season - and let us take care of data structure underpinning your Business Intelligence solution.  You'll be happy you did!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What are you getting for Christmas?

If you have kids, you'll agree that one of the top things on their minds this season is what they want for Christmas.

But what about the retailers and organizations who are hoping to make the best of this Christmas season?  How can they best predict what products to stock up on? 

I know from first-hand experience, that my favourite winter tire brand seems to always be 'sold-out' by mid-December - what if they could better predict demand and optimize their production and supply chain to fulfill more requests?

From a BI perspective, the answer lies in the predictive power of data mining.  One real world predictive analytics and data mining solution called Sentinel Mining is based on the Ph. D. thesis by TARGIT CTO Dr. Morten Middelfart. Check it out!

When will Management Reporter do budgeting and forecasting?

This post is nothing but my own thoughts, as Microsoft unfortunately does not have an update on when Management Reporter will incorporate budgeting and forecasting functionality.

That being said, I wonder if the following two recent developments in MR 2012 RU3 might hint that budgeting is just around the corner:
  • Extension of the data mart for Dynamics GP
  • MR Web Report Viewer
What could these developments hint at you ask? 

Well, the data mart would be a good backbone for housing the budget and forecast version data in a uniform way across all Dynamics ERPs.  Since MR will eventually be the full Dynamcis ERP CPM solution, the budgets will not necessarily need to be brought back into the respective Dynamics ERP, unless other aspects of the ERP require it (i.e. encumbrance management).

To a lesser degree, a web-based interface simplifies access to Management Reporter and could be leveraged for future remote budget entry similar, but much better than, Forecaster's webclient.

Click here for more or my ramblings about budgeting in Management Reporter.