Published on: February 24, 2010
Sage just released Sage Accpac 5.6, so my focus in the next few blogs will be to explore the new features of the 5.6 release along with a discussion about how these features can be deployed to help our clients work smarter and faster.
A new application you should be aware of and which will be integrated free-of-charge with Accpac 5.6 is Sage Accpac Intelligence (SAI). SAI is a business intelligence tool which allows you to build data cubes from your Accpac data and then build reports from the data. The reports are accessed in Excel, but can also be deployed as a dashboard item within SageCRM. Here is a screen shot of the Dashboard report which now ships with Accpac 5.6.
SAI includes standard report templates for financial reports, sales, purchasing, and inventory and allows linking to a single Accpac database. In addition, only one Accpac user license is required for the SAI Report Manager to create and organize reports. There are additional modules and features which can be added to increase the functionality of SAI.
SAI has an easy-to-follow tutorial within the help menu. A report designer should be aware of the Accpac database table structure, as well as the tables which link together to store related records, before attempting to create any ad-hoc reports. A report designer must also have strong Excel skills, which includes an understanding pivot tables, sorting, filtering and numerous other Excel functions and related tasks.
SAI also has the ability to create cubes which can be used within the report creation process. The cube creation requires a data knowledgeable skill set. Cubes can pull data from other sources however these sources must be ODBC compliant. Cubes also must be refreshed on a continuous basis as the data in the linked application may change.
How can SAI make your company better?
SAI allows you to deploy a full set of real-time business reports across your organization, eliminating the time (and staff cost!) you would spend capturing data and creating spreadsheets. The SAI dashboard gives management a high-level summary of key metrics allowing them to monitor performance, spot negative trends and proactively react to changing circumstances. The intuitive report writing functionality in SAI means you can write reports to track and analyze virtually any transaction data originating from Accpac 5.6, effectively transforming raw data into a foundation for your company’s competitive advantage.
SAI should be deployed with each Accpac installation because of the number and variety of reports available to help you make smart business decisions. We still highly recommend that no matter what reporting tool being used (Sage Insight, Crystal Reports, DataSelf, Cognos, Brio and SAI), all report deployments should be based upon management’s stated reporting policies. These policies at a minimum should include where reports are stored, who has access to the different reports, the report naming convention, font sizes and colors, report title and parameter naming.
If you have any questions about SAI and how it might provide you with greater insight into your business, please don’t hesitate to call one of our consultants at 512-990-3994.