An Introduction to Microsoft Business Central’s Dynamic Reporting Features

Unlock the full potential of data with dynamic reporting.


April 26, 2021


Data is the electricity that runs your organization. It’s what drives business decisions, shapes a marketing strategy, and propels customers down the sales pipeline. The emergence of new tools like artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and machine learning has provided organization’s with a wealth of data, much of which businesses aren’t tapping into. In fact, one report found that an astounding 90-95% of data is unused and un-analyzed. With more than 1 MB of data created every second, there’s no shortage of data to go through. So, how do we harness this power? Not just effectively manage it, but grow and expand with it?

AI is the answer. It’s truly the only tool that completely unlocks the valuable insights tucked away within data. There are dozens of tools available that sort and organize billions of bits of data, analyze it, and generate a report packed with action items and valuable insights.


Because not all AI tools are created equal, it’s crucial to have the right one as part of businesses’ processes. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, users have access to an end-to-end ERP solution that is customizable to fit specific, unique needs. Business Central’s reporting capabilities combined with the familiarity of Excel and connectivity of Power BI provide users with unbeatable insights.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into Business Central’s report features and how to effectively utilize Excel. Next, we’ll review how Power BI takes insights a step further by providing additional detailed reporting. And finally, we’ll discuss how JourneyTEAM provides users with dynamic, customizable dashboards that are extremely useful to organizations both large and small.

Business Central: Your All-in-One Business Management Solution


Dynamics 365 Business Central brings together a number of business processes and enables them to work together seamlessly while providing a complete view of operations. Features like operations, accounting, supply chain, sales, project management tools, and customer service are all included and each help to automate tasks and workflows. Business Central also utilizes a number of familiar Microsoft tools including, Excel, Word, and Outlook.

To capture the data within businesses, Business Central provides out-of-the-box reporting features, including Custom XML within Word, Microsoft Excel report templates, RDL, and more. However, to truly show the capabilities of Business Central, we’ll focus on three of its reporting features: account schedules, analysis views, and actionable insights.



Account Schedules


Financials are the core to any company; account schedules enable users to dive deep into this data, see what’s happening in real-time, and get actionable reports from it.

For example, after customizing the report layout, users can request balance sheets from a certain time period (typically a year-to-date format) and compare budget amounts from other quarters or even a full year.

This only scratches the surface of what the feature can do. Users can look even further into this data and get more detailed information. For example, users can drill into an income line and see all the transactions that make up a specific invoice.


Analysis Views


The real power of analysis views comes from using them in conjunction with other dimensions; however, they can be utilized alone. Depending on the information, users can create different views that enable them to drill further into data. For example, users who want to drill down to the lowest level of data within an income statement can use the day view to see data for each day within a specified time period. The generated report will show information for each of those days, providing users with an idea of their current business state.



Actionable Insights


Powered by Power BI, the Insights extension searches for important information within company data and “displays them as newspaper-like headlines in Role Centers.” When a new insight is posted, users can take a closer look into it simply by navigating to its source. For example, if a user needed additional information on a sales invoice that was posted a few weeks ago, they can simply select the report and the invoice is displayed.

Excel Integration


For executives and accountants, few things are as important as what’s happening within specific business accounts. They want to see exactly how they’re performing and may request frequent updates or reports for these accounts. Because Business Central integrated with Excel, monitoring live data is incredibly easy.

Essentially, the integration enables users to read, write, or update invoices/sales orders, perform mass imports or exports of data, and conduct data cleaning directly within Excel. Users also have the option of customizing a report within Business Central, ensuring the right information is displayed before it’s loaded into Excel.

So long as users continue to import data into Excel, gathering real, live data is incredibly straightforward. This saves users from having to sort through data to generate reports which help to streamline processes.



Power BI


With Power BI, users have an additional tool to add to their arsenal of data views. Power BI is a data visualization system that retrieves data directly from Business Central and creates meaningful reports based on the information. Essentially, the integration is similar to Excel, but much more powerful. Some capabilities include:

  • Viewing business data from Business Central as reports in Power BI

  • Embedding Power BI reports directly in parts Business Central pages

  • Creating customized dashboards and views of data


Users will also have access to the power query editor where data cleaning and refining can be done from a single window. This ensures users get the exact information they’re looking for within the report with few errors.

Data modeling can also be done directly within Power BI which shows users how multiple data sources connect with each other. Users can then use this information to create meaningful data visualizations to aid with business decisions or to gain deeper customer insights. The modeling feature also enables users to “build custom calculations on the existing tables and these columns can then be directly presented into Power BI visualizations.” From there, users can further analyze data and see how data is affected using different filters and options.



Track, Analyze, and Organize Information with Executive Dashboards from JourneyTEAM


The reporting features with Dynamics 365 Business Central are meant to be incredibly useful for a variety of professionals—from executives and managers to sales and marketing teams. At JourneyTEAM we provide Microsoft users with executive dashboards and reports that provide users with a dynamic view of data. With these dashboards, business leaders are provided with deeper insights and valuable information that helps businesses flourish. Contact a JourneyTEAM representative to learn more about our Business Central dashboards and additional service offerings.


Business Central | Power BI | Dynamics 365


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Why JourneyTEAM


JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we have extensive knowledge of each of Microsoft’s products including Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and can help you tailor the software to fit the exact needs of your organization. We have solutions for solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. JourneyTEAM specializes in the industries of Finance, Media & Communications, Capital Equipment, Manufacturing, Installation, and Service. Whether you’re looking for total project support or someone to help you along the way, JourneyTEAM will provide the exact level of support you need. Contact us today to get started. www.journeyteam.com



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