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Infographic: 6 best practices of data visualization

Modeling, monitoring, and analyzing information are analytical skills. But when sharing those analysis, you have to act like a designer to get your point across. Visualizations should include memorable and compelling graphics. Data, when shown in the form of visualizations, assist you in building a more articulate and persuasive case. They help viewers understand and connect with data, through support for clear insights. Here is an infographic showing the 6 best practices of data visualization:

 

infographic-best practices of data visualization

 

1. Embrace Clarity

Avoid adding more formatting than is needed to achieve data clarity. Avoid clutter or elements that draw too much (or too little) focus. Label data points and put clear titles on charts and graphs.

2. Be Consistent

Keep design elements such as color and line weight uniform. Make certain the name and color representing a particular data point across a dashboard or related charts stays the same.

3. Support Readability

Use light and dark values to create contrast instead of relying on different colors. Use font types, font sizes, and text orientation that are easy to read. Choose shape fills and backgrounds that support numbers and text.

4. Achieve Balance

Simplify and make sure that what’s important is easy to see. Leave the right amount of “white space” between chart elements. Show the right number of data relationships per chart.

5. Get Input

Get feedback on your visualization, to see if your message is getting across. If your message didn’t come through, adjust your visualization or try a different approach.

6. Pursue Truth

Pick the type of chart that best represents the data. Start from zero on the y axis for graphs to avoid misinterpretation—unless you have a clear reason not to.
For more information about Power BI, contact our experts.

Infographic: 7 trends why you need to move your accounting software to cloud

Business landscape is changing at a fast pace. Technology has brought extraordinary changes in personal lives as well as businesses. With the increasing use of mobile devices and cloud-based tools, the way you interact with your vendors and customers has changed dramatically. Not only this, managing operations and business processes has evolved. These changes are developing new trends and are impacting the success of your business. To keep up with the pace, many comprehensive, affordable and powerful tools are now available easily. Accounting software is now being replaced by ERP software, which encompass the capabilities to manage operations other than accounting too.
Are you prepared to respond to these trends and turn them into a competitive advantage? Here are 7 game-changing trends which imply why you need to move your accounting software to cloud:

 

Infographic_7GameChangingTrends_CloudERP-e1481901940348

 

1. The mobile workforce
Your employees are on the move, but need to stay connected to the information they need. With cloud-based business applications, they can be “in the office” as soon as they turn on their device.
2. IT moves to the background
Business outcomes – instead of technology – should drive your decisions. Cloud-based ERP allows your business to focus on the future instead of getting bogged down by outdated technology.
3. The “Internet of Things” (IoT)
By collecting and analyzing the data from the things that surround us – from vending machines to medical devices – the Internet of Things (IoT) helps us identify patterns, track trends, and even predict behaviors.
4. Security across devices and the cloud
As your employees become more dependent on mobile devise, the risk for data theft increases, especially if the device is lost or stolen. Cloud computing offers organizations secure options to store and protect data in a mobile world.
5. Increasing complexity of compliance
Maintaining compliance in the face of ever-changing regulations, industry standards, and corporate quality initiatives s challenging. Flexible, cloud-based systems that can quickly adjust to new requirements reduce both the costs and risks to your business.
6. Digital natives move up the corporate ladder
Younger workers expect the business to capitalize on the data and technology assets that are available. Cloud-based ERP, ensures your business has the systems in place to support the next generation.
7. The age of data analysis
There is a world of data available, both inside and outside the organization, that can help your business thrive. Want to know in detail about how these trends are affecting businesses like yours, what they are doing to adopt and how you can make your business competitive amongst others? Download this eBook on 7 Game-changing ERP trends.
We can make your business ready for such changes. How? Call our experts.

Upgrade Dynamics NAV through PowerShell – 2

Our previous blog was the first part of how to upgrade Dynamics NAV through PowerShell. It gave details about code upgrade. This blog shows process of the next step – database upgrade. Following are the steps:

  • Go to WindowsPowerShellScripts -> Upgrade Folder of Target Version ( in which we would like to upgrade our database)

 

Windows Power Shell Scripts

 

  • Set the below parameter according to your requirement in Set-PartnerSettings File

 

set parameters Set-PartnerSettings File

 

  • Data upgrade process

 

data upgrade process

 

  • Execute the Example.ps1 Command and system will run the whole Data Upgrade Process.

 

run example.ps1 command

 

  • Data Upgrade Process Summary

 

data upgrade process summary

 

After Code Upgrade and Data Upgrade Process through PowerShell, the following processes are to be carried out manually:

  1. Roles and Permission Merging and Import to the New Upgraded Database
  2. Import Generic Charts
  3. Import Control Addin
  4. Update the Source Code Setup Table Record
  5. Update Access Control
Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of Code and Data Upgrade through PowerShell are that it is cost effective and time saving. The drawback of this process is that it is only applicable for Dynamics NAV 2013 and higher version.
For more details, contact our Dynamics NAV consultants.

Take supply chain management to the next level with Dynamics 365

Manufacturers have been using siloed and inconsistent information, as well as manual processes, to understand and manage their supply chain. For a long time, these systems were good enough to keep production going. But manufacturers are now understanding that transforming supply chain management is necessary. They are integrating their assets across their factories, gaining visibility into their supply chain, and acting on insights. This is helping them to address inefficiency, as well as increase customer satisfaction and margins.

Operational inefficiencies should not hinder your business

Supply chain management is a complicated process and requires the right solution to simplify and consolidate the information. Data from the sales process, suppliers, order fulfillment, customer service, etc. matter for a full understanding of the supply chain. The core tools for accomplishing this fall into three categories:

1.IoT-enabled visibility and services

Using a single IoT-friendly platform to integrate back and front office processes are the best way to lower production costs. IoT in manufacturing will help you to understand in real-time the amount of wear and tear on parts and adjust designs in response. These insights can help you identify simple inefficiencies sourcing parts from the same supplier rather than buying a similarly-performing part at a lower cost from another supplier.

2. Powerful analytics

Powerful analytics will transform your supply chain and make your people more productive. A truly intelligent system for supply chain management dynamically adjusts distribution, as well as production, to accelerate the speed of delivery. By using built-in analytics and machine learning, public data like weather conditions can be used for scheduling deliveries and forecasting. Analytics also lets you automatically identify the opportunities to consolidate or expedite shipments using AI.

3. Cloud-delivered data visualizations

Finally, you will require an ability to easily visualize and manage the information you collect and that too in real-time and mobile-delivered view. The requirement differs as per every decision maker in your company. They need information on-the-go and communicate with each other, from anywhere in the world. So, it’s not advisable to use different tools for each of them. When invested in cloud technology, you are in a position to adjust to whatever business challenges you may be facing.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the answer!

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a combination of ERP and CRM both and makes it easy to collaborate and even role-switch to engage customers or address supply chain issues.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365, you get the flexibility of deployment – either on the cloud or a hybrid model that includes both on-premise and cloud systems. This will drastically reduce implementation time, ensure consistent security and analytics capabilities across every location and for every team.
Dynamics 365 unites the front office and the back office with a single end-to-end system for managing every aspect of your business, all backed by industry-leading enterprise cloud. Choose what you need now and scale as per your business needs.
Not sure if you are ready to upgrade your supply chain management process? Get in touch with our experts.
This post was originally published by Microsoft on Microsoft Dynamics Blogs and has been updated with minor edits for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Upgrade Dynamics NAV through PowerShell – 1

This blog is the first part of how you can automatically upgrade Dynamics NAV through PowerShell.
With release of every new version of Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft offers enhancements and new features. For upgrading to Dynamics NAV 2016, you need to upgrade your code and database both to the new version. Usually manual upgrade process is tedious and takes much of your time. Microsoft introduces new concept, – “Automatic Upgrade through PowerShell”. Doing Upgrade process by Windows PowerShell will make your work very easier and also save lot of time.
There are mainly two steps in upgrade process:

  1. Code Upgrade
  2. Data Upgrade

During an upgrade to Dynamics NAV 2016, you must first upgrade the application code, and then you upgrade the data. By using Windows PowerShell, you can automate upgrade application code process and complete data upgrade process in a single click. You can also use the same scripts to test each step in your upgrade process before you upgrade production databases.
If you are maintaining multiple Dynamics NAV databases, for example you are supporting multiple customers with the same Dynamics NAV application, you can reduce the time of upgradation of each database by using Windows PowerShell scripts. In this case, you can upgrade the application locally, and then use scripts to roll out the upgrade of each database with reduced unavailability for each database. You can combine this automated upgrade with a migration to multi-tenancy if this makes maintenance easier for you.

To start the upgrade process, create four folders on your computer and name them as follows:

  • ORIGINAL : For the application objects from the baseline version, such as the original release of Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013.
  • MODIFIED : For the application objects from the modified version, such as the customer’s database.
  • TARGET : For the application objects from Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016.
  • RESULT : For the application objects that are the result of the application merge. It will also contain zero or more .CONFLICT files that describe conflicting code.

 

The following list describes the main steps of upgrading the application code:

 

1.  Import the module command
  • Open the Windows PowerShell ISE as administrator.
  • Before executing any command, import NAVModelTools Module through this command:
    Import-Module ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics NAV\100\RoleTailored Client
    R6\NavModelTools.ps1’
2.  Prepare the application object text files.
  • First, export all application objects from the original version. Do not export system tables. Name the file txt, and save it in the ORIGINAL folder.
  • For example, the Microsoft.Dynamics.Nav.Model.Tools.psd1 module includes a function, Export-NAVApplicationObject, that runs the ExportObjects command. This means that you can run a command such as the following:
    • Export-NAVApplicationObject –DatabaseServer MyServer –DatabaseName “Demo Database NAV (7-0)” –Path C:\Upgrade\ORIGINAL\OldBaseVersion.txt
    • Next, export all relevant application objects from the modified version. Do not export system tables. Name the file txt, and save it in the MODIFIED folder.
    • Finally, export all application objects from the new base version. Do not export system tables. Name the file txt, and save it in the TARGET folder.
3.  Merge versions

To create the application for the new database, you must merge these three sets of application objects. You can use the Merge-NAVApplicationObject cmdlet to merge the three sets of application objects.
There are three process performed by the system when automatic merging process executed through PowerShell: Reading Objects, Comparing Objects and Writing Objects.
Merging time might vary depending on the number of objects that you are merging and the number of differences found. The RESULT folder will contain a text file for each application object. The result of the merge is shown when the cmdlet completes, including a description of any application objects with conflicting code. These conflicts are stored in .CONFLICT files in the RESULT folder. You can import all objects in the RESULT folder into the new Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 database, or you can analyse the conflicts before you import the objects.
As per the image below, the automatic merging process through PowerShell is executed and after completing this process, system will generate the Summary related to Automatic Merging Process.
System also display how many percentage merging has been done.

 

Drytac US Summary

 

4.  Resolve conflicts

Depending on the application that you are upgrading, you can choose to analyze the conflicting code before you import the merged objects into the development environment. The conflicts are shown in the merged text files but are also identified in .CONFLICT files in the RESULT folder. Subfolders then contain copies of the source files from the versions that have conflicting code. You can analyze the conflicts in any tool, make the relevant changes, and then run the merge operation again.
Alternatively, you can import the merged files into the development environment, and resolve the conflicts there.

5.  Import and compile the merged application objects.

After completing the merge, import the new custom version into the new Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 database, and then compile all objects. Resolve compilation errors, if any, before you can continue. The text files with the merged application objects include successfully merged code, and code that is partially merged. You can import the partially merged objects into the Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 development environment and resolve the conflicts there. At this stage, you have a new database with a fully upgraded application.
For example, the Microsoft.Dynamics.Nav.Model.Tools.psd1 module includes a function, Import-NAVApplicationObject, that runs the ImportObjects command. This means that you can run a command such as the following:

  • Join-NAVApplicationObject –Source C:\Upgrade\RESULT\*.txt -Destination C:\Upgrade\all-merged.txt
  • Import-NAVApplicationObject –DatabaseServer MyServer –DatabaseName “My Upgraded App” –Path C:\Upgrade\all-merged.txt

In this example, you first join the many text files into a single file, which you then import into an existing, empty database. When you compile the objects, an error is thrown for each code conflict, and you can use the tools that are available in the development environment to resolve the conflicts.

6.  Export all objects

Now, export all objects to an objects.fob file to import them when performing the data upgrade. The export must include customized objects, upgraded reports, and all other Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2016 objects.
This completes the upgrade of the application code. Read our upcoming blog to learn how to upgrade the data in the database.
For more details, contact our Dynamics NAV consultants.

How Field Service can boost your business revenue?

Most organizations consider field service as a cost centre. They cost money to the company instead of making money. However, there are ways to evolve them to profit centres from cost centres. Here are some steps on how field service can boost your business revenue.

1. Outstanding service is the key

Know what your customers want. Faster response times, proactive service, real-time visibility, tailored solutions, less paperwork, and user-friendly interface are few of the things which customers expect. Keep your customers engaged with you to remind them why they chose you and communicate to prospects to inform them of how you surpass other competitors and how you are unique.

2. Know what makes customers tick

If your customers have had difficult time with your organization, they would think twice before having to do it again. Identify the loopholes and eliminate them from your customer’s journey. This will make their journey, from initial contract to service appointments, smooth. Also, even after the project is over, look for ways to delight them with value-add services and helpful interactions. It will bring you repeat business and referral business.

3. Understand that field techs are critical to success

Remember that your field techs can be your most effective sales and marketing channel. They are in direct contact with your customers and so they have a tremendous impact on the customer’s perception of your FSO. Train your field techs to be consultative, value-add partners and proactively helpful.

increase-field-productivity
4. Internal systems and processes matter

If the processes are carried out manually, they are very much prone to errors. When they are replaced with a robust technology foundation, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, you don’t have to rely on slow or erroneous steps to convey information, share data, and collaborate with team members. Implementing the right technology stack will increase internal alignment, productivity, and profits too.

5. Leverage technology for on-the-go service

The use of mobile devices has become widespread not only in our personal lives but also in businesses. Mobile technology when used in businesses, can bridge the gap between the home office and field techs and between field techs and your customer. This, therefore, keeps you ever ready and connected, with increased efficiency and a better customer experience.

6. Leverage the power of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Rather than reacting to customer requests, proactively offer your services before a customer calls to report an issue. IoT means devices are connected and can communicate without human intervention. So, the device can automatically inform FSOs of poor performance, which reduces downtime for your customer’s organization. This will improve your reputation in your customer’s eyes as an FSO with hands-on service.

7. Monitor data and uncover insights

Customers are increasingly expecting personalization. Adopting technology for your FSO’s activities, will help you to identify trends, customer likes and dislikes and cross-sell or upsell opportunities. Establish relation of this customer data with sales and profit margins to classify which customer groups and service offerings are most profitable and have greatest growth potential. Converting data into actionable insights leads to customer centric experiences and revenue growth.
It is thus possible to make your field service organization profitable. Keep the above-mentioned points in mind so you can get better ROI from your FSO too.
This post was originally published by Microsoft in Microsoft Dynamics Blogs and has been updated with minor edits for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Infographic: 10 reasons why companies use Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Choosing a CRM solution for your business is a vital decision. There are many points you need to keep in mind while selecting the best suitable CRM solution. But once you start using a CRM system, you’ll feel lost and will find it difficult to imagine your business functioning without it. There are many options available in the market but still Microsoft Dynamics CRM steals the show. Businesses who have adopted Dynamics CRM are realizing why it outweighs other CRM solutions.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM gives you control over your functions – from marketing to analytics. This infographic shows 10 reasons why companies use Microsoft Dynamics CRM and why you should use it too.

 

Reasons to use microsoft dynamics crm infographic

 

Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes with many more functionalities. If exploited to the fullest, a CRM system can become the most important asset for your business. Still doubtful? Here are the reasons to understand why your business needs a modern CRM system.

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