On-screen and printed reports: What’s the difference?
Sifting through a raft of printed reports with a lot of data can be slow, confusing and disordered. In many cases the data is needed ‘here and now’, so there is no time to construct or repurpose a printed report just to get data on a new parameter. When an ERP is implemented, many manual processes, including configuring and printing reports can be vastly reduced by using a quick and easy-to-use feature called Pivot tables.
What are pivot tables?
Pivot tables are a set of interactive on-screen reporting tools which allow the ERP operator to easily manipulate data by clicking or dragging and dropping the required parameters into a table and instantly seeing the results on-screen. Unlike Excel Pivot tables, this ERP functionality eliminates the need to export data, since everything you need is already within your ERP database. You also do not need to use complicated formulas for the value calculations; the only thing you need to do is to choose the method of calculation and the pivot table will do the rest for you. This is a great solution for users who do not have a qualification in economics or book-keeping, but who need to quickly analyze the company data without wasting time on writing formulas.
How does it work?
When you start working with Pivot tables, the only things you need to do are:
- Choose the preferred view (e.g. table, table heatmap, bar chart, line chart etc.). The view method will likely depend on the amount of data that is used within the table. A number of common ‘view types’ have been added for you to choose from.
- Choose the preferred table criteria (e.g. Partner, Owner, State etc.). For example, within CRM area you may like to know the ratio of the won versus lost Opportunities, or the number of Opportunities along with assigned salesperson etc.
- Choose the appropriate method of calculation (e.g. Count, Average, Maximum, Minimum, First, Last etc.).
Once you have chosen the appropriate parameters, they can easily be changed in an instant. By simply dragging-and-dropping, pivot tables can be re-configured to exactly the way you need. This will save you a lot of time and effort which you would normally have to spend on creating any number of new printed reports.
What are main purposes of Pivot tables?
Pivot tables quickly allow ERP operators to aggregate, filter, add, calculate, drag and drop the required data within ERP system. Since all relevant data resides within a single ERP database, you won’t require access to any other data systems. This functionality also comes in handy when dealing with large data sets. As an example, if you need to compare many different products such as product prices and product sales which is usually a very time-consuming process; by using Pivot tables an operator is able to quickly choose the custom product mix that they need for comparison.
The other advantage of Pivot tables is that the data is taken directly from the ERP system, therefore you will only get the most up-to-date data. If the Pivot table was created some time ago and perhaps added to a dashboard, it can be refreshed using the very latest data with a single click of a button.
What are the benefits of Pivot tables?
To sum up, we would like to indicate the following advantages of the Pivot table functionality:
Quick and easy access to the required data;
Accurate and easy to understand data visualization;
High level of graphical capability which significantly simplifies data visualization;
Simple drag-and-drop functionality, that makes the process of table creation extremely intuitive;
Up-to-date live data, taken directly from the ERP database;
Easily refreshed with a single click;
Elimination of re-keying or manual capturing of data;
Elimination of data exporting from other sources.
If you are still not using Pivot tables, you should start using them! Speed up your analytical processes and immediately act on the results.