Seven weeks ago I started working for Acumatica. During the past seven weeks, I have been considering whether or not to continue posting on this blog.
I have a lot of ideas for posts (some written down, some in my head), but I wanted to see how the first seven weeks would go as an Acumatica employee before deciding whether or not to continue blogging here.
Here is what my Evernote blog post ideas document looks like at the moment:
- Power BI Top 5 Customers by Revenue
- Creating a data source based on ARTran
- Connecting to Power BI and adding a monthly bucket column, hardcoding the revenue account filter
- Add monthly filter and drilldown to item
- Top 5 mobile
- Add an alert if top 5 are more than 50% of total
- Power Update Introduction
- Mainly needed if you want a simple way to “mashup” with on-prem data sources
- Tableau Public map visualization of sales by state connected to OData
- Power Query Intro in Power BI Desktop
- Add custom calculated column -> PT/PC
- Data shaping (more than just rows and columns) – IT tools vs new Business tool called Power Query
- Doug Johnson SQL View vs Power Query
- Link to Miguel Escobar training course
- Power Pivot Intro and link to Rob course
- Chandoo dashboard stuff
- Why ERP summary tables are obsolete
- Talk about the experience with a CFO where he was using a report based on summary tables and they didn’t have enough detail when he wanted to slice and dice
- Power BI lets you filter or pivot on anything you want. You don’t get handcuffed. You are free to ask whatever questions you want about your data.
- Talk about pivoting with Power Query, basically on-the-fly summary tables
- What lurks behind CSV?
- What is CSV and why does it exist?
- Rob Collie’s comment that most of his engagements are sourced from legacy CSV files
- ERP (French) and Excel (Chinese)
- Until now, you had to hire a translator named CSV
- Acumatica decided to go out and learn how to speak Chinese (OData)
- Acumatica Reporting – Where to Start?
- Graphic with Report Designer logo and arrows to “no options”
- Graphic with Excel logo and arrows to Power BI, Office 365, Power Update, Report Designer
- Excel is the best prototyping tool and many times good enough for the end user
- Acumatica and Microsoft are a winning combination
- I noted a while back that Acumatica is aligned with Microsoft while NetSuite is aligned with Oracle.
- Since Satya took over the reigns at Microsoft, they have sped ahead with their technology. So much so that NetSuite recently ditched Amazon for Microsoft Azure.
- Of course, it pays to go with Acumatica which allows you to deploy with SaaS or on Azure, Amazon, 3rd party hosting, or on-premise.
- Simple, low-powered devices that display location-relevant KPI metrics throughout an office:
- Steve Jobs design of Apple headquarters intentionally to help people run into each other and interact
- The importance of collaborative working space and displaying relevant information throughout a three dimensional environment, not just on a screen in a cubicle
- The danger of the all-in-one remote or the cell phone screen that does too many things
- The reliability of the digital stadium scoreboard being due to it’s fixed geographical location and that it only delivers one piece of information and delivers it well (without the interruption of commercials like on the jumbotron)
- The human brain’s ability to remember things based on their geographical context
- Binary vs Analog
- Human beings will always be analog
- Implementing ERP is more about the analog side of things than the binary side of things
- FRx and multiple data source reporting
- Remodeling vs building from scratch
- Building up vs tearing down
- There are two philosophies: fit your business to the ERP software or fit the ERP software to your business
- Pick a product that can meet your current needs or pick a product that can conform to your current and future needs
- Acumatica and the SSRS Rumor
- Bye bye paper
- Paper separates Gen X from Millennials
- Living Information vs Information Corpses
- Almost want to replace the word Report with the phrase “Information Delivery Vehicle” (IDV)
- Organic, biological, static, inorganic, DNA
- The unchangeable trust factor: why paper lives on
- Paper is illicit, like cash to a drug dealer
- I still use paper occasionally, not because I’m old but because I’m human. Human beings are analog, not digital, beings.
- Democrats vs Republicans and Domo vs Excel
- Are we destined for 50/50?
- Does this same debate apply to Hosted vs On-Premise
- Waterfall Income Statement
- A Pivot Table Income Statement
- My Story (Part 1)
- Started at Deloitte and Touche in audit. Clients always had trouble pulling information from their systems to give to us in a usable format.
- Serendipitously landed in ERP in 2005 where I learned SQL and how to pull whatever information I wanted out of the system. A dream come true!
- I eventually was introduced to the world of Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, and Data Discovery tools. So much better than Crystal reports!
- My Story (Part 2)
- From “focus on tools” to “focus on people”. The real Business Intelligence is people. Reports don’t make decisions, people make decisions.
- From working with reporting tools that were like “working with concrete” to those that were like “working with clay”
- From focusing on “how to” geeky technical nuances to philosophical musings which is how we got to where we are today with this website
- The importance of numbers
- The numbers themselves tell a story: Height, Weight, Age, Grade Point Average, Batting Average, Salary, Annual Revenue, Headcount, Outside Temperature. All of these numbers paint a picture and tell a story.
- Data viz is the cherry on top, not the ice cream sundae.
- The importance of data visualization
- The importance of infographics
- Trust – The foundation of enterprise reporting
- A number queried directly from the ERP system versus a number from the Excel spreadsheet on a VP’s laptop. The VP’s laptop will always win because there is a greater level of trust.
- Report Designer MICR
- Dynamically splitting the GL segment using Power Query in Excel
- Integrating Power BI tiles into Acumatica screens
- Building ERP-specific visualizations with D3 and the Power BI open framework
- Why Power BI makes sense for Mid-market ERP consulting firms
- Zero price barrier to entry for clients
- Allows you to have a conversation with EVERY SINGLE ONE of your clients, not just the big spenders
- Easy to prove massive value in a short amount of time
- Most clients are already reporting in Excel, the BI Trojan Horse (at least to some extent).
So, ya, have a lot of ideas for future blog posts.
However, after a lot of careful consideration, I have decided to hit the pause button.
Things are much busier at Acumatica than they were at my last job and I just don’t have the time or energy at the moment to continue blogging. I really want to, but I’m just not able to at this time.
When I started work at Acumatica, I also started going to the gym again (it’s been a while), in the morning before work, and I LOVE it. If I were to continue late night blogging, it would kill my morning gym time and I’m just not willing to give it up.
In order to hit the gym in the morning, I have to go to bed at a reasonable time (10ish to 10:30ish). Basically I get home, play with the kids for a little bit, help put them to bed (a long process), and then it’s time for me to go to bed.
So, that’s it. Things will go quiet here on the blog.
I might pick it up again at some point in the future, but we’ll have to wait and see.
It’s a shame because there are many, many exciting things going on with Power BI and I would have loved to tie them in with Acumatica and the world of ERP. I firmly believe that paper-based reports will continue to give way to reports on your laptop screen, on your phone, or on the tv monitor in the conference room. Power BI is in a great position to deliver these kinds of reports and Acumatica is in a great position to feed Power BI with the kind of ERP data it needs to be valuable.
Blogging was a very fun hobby for me and I have enjoyed it very much. Regarding hobbies, I have always liked Mark Twain’s explanation of a hobby in the book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer:
If he had been a great and wise philosopher, like the writer of this book, he would now have comprehended that Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do. And this would help him to understand why constructing artificial flowers or performing on a tread-mill is work, while rolling ten-pins or climbing Mont Blanc is only amusement. There are wealthy gentlemen in England who drive four-horse passenger-coaches twenty or thirty miles on a daily line, in the summer, because the privilege costs them considerable money; but if they were offered wages for the service, that would turn it into work and then they would resign.
If I were a wealthy gentleman in England, then I would probably continue blogging about Acumatica and Power BI.
But, I’m not.
I will focus instead on hitting the gym in the morning, keeping up with my new job responsibilities, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
Thanks to all of you who have stopped by over the last two years.
It’s been fun.