The Business Portal is a powerful Dynamics GP service that allows not-for-profits non-GP users access to important dashboards and other business metrics through their browsers. Within the Business Portal, the Executive Center is especially appealing to high-level executives. It provides “big picture” views of financial and sales data, including graphs & charts on receivables, customer sales, cash positions, and total revenue.
One of the selling points of the Business Portal is that it is less costly per user seat than a Microsoft Dynamics GP license. On the other hand, Portal users won’t have all the capabilities of the desktop version. That’s why Business Portal makes sense for managers and other executives such as board members or donors who won’t need all the data entry functions and reporting of Dynamics GP.
While the Business Portal bundled dashboards are quite convenient, the Portal can also be easily extended. This is done by adding new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). A KPI is a simple query that pulls out dollar amount fields from relevant records over a time period—week, month, quarter, or year.
To help guide you through KPI creation, the Business Portal provides a wizard that shows a list of entity fields and then lets you craft a formula through its Equation Editor.
Access to KPI creation is restricted to administrators, who can find this feature under “KPI Management” in the Settings area of Business Portal.
After the KPI is created, the admin will need to set up the actual display of the data series. While the KPI can be presented in tabular form, the bar chart option is usually the best choice for maximum effect.
Overall, you’ll want to carefully construct KPIs that show meaningful variations over the chosen time period. This requires an understanding of the data fields and the appropriate periods.
One more thing to keep in mind before you get started is that Business Portal requires Microsoft SharePoint Services.
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