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Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

  • 1.  Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Oct 30, 2019 02:13 PM
    Edited by LaQuesha Goldsby Oct 30, 2019 02:32 PM

    We are upgrading from AX2009 to D365 and was wondering which reporting tools other D365 users are utilizing for management reporting and adhoc queries. We are considering the use of D365 management reporter, the D365 excel add in and possibly Atlas.

    Any pros or cons you have noticed with each reporting tool you are currently utilizing would be helpful also.

    Thanks in Advance!

    #FinanceandOperations #Reporting #Focus-D365UG/AXUG
    LaQuesha Goldsby
    Dallas TX

  • 2.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Oct 31, 2019 04:11 AM
     Management Reporter for financial reporting and for rest depending on requirements - you can use built-in advanced filters, Excel Add-in, Power BI or can always push the data to Azure DB and build SSRS  reports or plug-inPowerBI tool here. There are lot of possibilities, but please take some time and do your assessment for reporting  requirement and then decide the appropriate route for maximizing your time & effort input.
     Hope helps.

    If any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. Thanks

    Mohammad Arif
    Solution Architect
    Dentsu Aegis Network

  • 3.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Oct 31, 2019 08:03 AM
    We are using Management Reporter with D365 for month end financial reports.  We use Atlas for General Journal and Invoice Journal uploads which has proven to be very effective and a great time saver.  We also use Atlas for ad hoc reporting.  Overall, we like the Atlas tool and the latest version is much better than the some of the versions we started with last year.

    Dennis Thimling
    Jasper Engines
    Jasper IN

  • 4.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Oct 31, 2019 08:14 AM
    Management reporter is deprecated in D365 and support for access to Dynamic tables is limited based on my understanding in D365. 

    However D365 has improved the reporting capabilities and has embedded integration to Power BI. Custom reporting can still be done from a datawarehouse using SSRS or Power BI. 

    Hope this helps. Contact me with any questions 

    Regards, Srini Dadi
    IT Director / Stella & Chewy's 

    Sent from my iPhone
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  • 5.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Oct 31, 2019 10:38 AM
    We use Management Reporter for most financial reports, and are using Atlas but it's not working as well as expected, likely due to our huge data amount. We're a transaction-heavy company and Atlas takes a while to pull up records when the filters are too broad. We're also doing a bunch of PowerBI reporting.

    Kerstin Newman
    Business Analyst
    London ON

  • 6.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Oct 31, 2019 12:17 PM
    Still in D365, though called Financial Reporter/Reporting: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics365/fin-ops-core/dev-itpro/analytics/report-designer-interface?toc=/dynamics365/finance/toc.json

    Brent Hawthorne
    Sr Manager of Application Development
    Daisy Brand
    Dallas TX

  • 7.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Oct 31, 2019 12:18 PM
    Edited by Joe Christensen Oct 31, 2019 05:20 PM

    Here are responses from the implementation side of the house--feel free to reply back and I'll try to answer the best I can.

    Azure SQL DW / Analysis Services: For financial / management reporting, the deal you get out of running Azure SQL DW and Analysis Services is quite compelling.  It's not an out-sized build (4-6 weeks to a GL model in Azure), and you can query the Analysis Services tabular model just like cubes.  The best usage I've seen is that of Excel formulas pulling that tabular model data from Azure, especially when you can pull just one total value, given the surrounding filters in Excel (Year/Qtr/Month, Main Account, Financial Dim filters, etc).  That allows you to do a budget v actual analysis, with prior year comparisons and % variance, at a pretty granular level.

    Microsoft has this BI model on its roadmap--around Q1 or 2 next year, F&O's data will be replicated near real-time to Azure Data Lake.  DW and Analysis Services can pull right from there to serve up PowerBI, Machine Learning, etc, so you're ahead of the curve if you get out there early.

    MR/Fin Reporting  MR is the best tool for rapid financial statement development, but it doesn't extend beyond financials.  Adding things like InvoiceID, CustomerID or CustGroup, Prod Order, etc requires the Azure SQL DW/Analysis Services approach, or an ISV that does Fin Stmts + other fields.  I've seen the internal teams completely run this MR/Fin Stmt development, but it does take some initial on-boarding by an MR expert.

    PowerBI  PBI is right there with Atlas on ease of use and reach for the power user.  Both can reach quite far, but PBI has much farther reach on data modeling.  We use it to mock up our data model that eventually goes to DW / Analysis Services, but you can also use that mockup right away if they are live data feeds.  PBI can do just about any report, but it is best to use it as a dashboarding tool for analysis.  Cons for PBI are that it caps out at a row count that's pretty low for people trying to export voucher trans for an auditor, in which case the lines can be in the many millions +.  It also massively helps if you know some SQL, but with F&O's entity store, you can query with no code.

    F&O comments the road ahead is super interesting for BI/Analytics, because the Data Lake approach described above speaks natively to many Flow and Logic Apps integration scenarios that can feed the result of analytics right back into F&O.  The possibilities for feeding Machine Learning results on pricing for commodities like steel are enough to tip many into implementing that Azure structure.  Since the ongoing monthly cost is so manageable (12-15k annually for decent horsepower), it's a win.  Last comment on F&O is that the effort is still decently high to add fields to the Entities so you get the data you need, and especially for complex queries.  Having worked with SQL for 10+ years in Dynamics, it's a tough pill to swallow not having direct access.

    Do I have to choose???  Most companies are using an "all of the above" approach, employing financial reporting that ships with F&O, Atlas for some reporting and many uploads, and DIEF/DMF for bulk uploads.  Most of the time, Atlas and MR are in the hands of the internal team, and DIEF is predominantly a partner thing.

    Hope this helps!

    Joe Christensen
    Managing Partner
    Aqueducts Consulting
    Dallas, TX

  • 8.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Nov 01, 2019 02:33 PM
    Hi LaQuesha,

    Your question is a tricky one, as not only have options for reporting become more numerous with cloud-based computing and D365, but the tools themselves are constantly evolving (as enabled by the cloud), and the rules for accessing your data have changed (as required by the cloud).  Further, the meaning of "reporting" itself has been transformed as new technologies and business expectations for "reporting" have evolved.  Bottom line, cloud and SAS have changed the underlying assumptions for reporting, and new strategies for addressing how organizations leverage its enterprise data assets will need to be adapted.

    I strongly recommend that you assess your existing reporting capabilities and understand what your end state vision is for delivering reporting & analytics to your organization, and then develop a blueprint for getting there.  Your upgrade to D365 may not get you all the way to "end state," but it will be important that you deliver - as part of your upgrade - a proper foundation to support your end state vision for reporting and analytics.  For example, there are many ways to deliver on a specific reporting requirement during your upgrade.  So, it is important to architect the solution in a way that will not require you to "re-architect" it later.

    Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to your question as every company is different.  But, with a little work and help, you should be able to formulate a plan that works best for your organization.

    Gina Pabalan
    Independent Dynamics Advisor

    Gina Pabalan
    Independent Senior BI Advisor | Program Manager | Microsoft Dynamics

  • 9.  RE: Which Reporting Tools Do You Use?

    Posted Nov 06, 2019 12:23 PM
    Hi LaQuesha.

    You have plenty of options and plenty of good responses in this discussion. @Nick Sercer is leading a similar discussion on December 13th in the "R&B Friday's – Financial Reporting and Budgeting Open Discussion with the Experts " webinar. Details are here https://dcid365ugportal.cobaltsaas.com/Meetings/Registration/MeetingDetails.aspx?mid=24d61d47-74e5-4cb5-8608-44a2b5e3d88c

    @Derek Krebs is also teaching a financial reporting class for Academy on that same day if you are looking for hands-on training for D365FO's financial report writer (which is really the continuation of Management Reporter). The title of that class is "D365/AX Financial Reporter Basics Dec 2019 " and details are online at

    ​Many other people are in the same position in considering their report writing alternatives.

    Noah Moseley, MSX Group
    Academy Instructor for
    Management Reporter, D365FO Financial Report Writer

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