Welcome to the seventh issue of the Acumatica Reports Newsletter. This email goes out on the last day of every month.
I spent the entire month of July in Southern California with my wife and two kids visiting family. I work remotely so I was able to continue working from California without burning too much vacation time. It was a little challenging to start work at 5:30am instead of 8:30am every morning, but I got used to it.
This Past Month
This past month was all about Power BI for me. I even spun up another website atPowerBITutorial.com to collect email addresses from people who would be interested in a tutorial. For now I’m staying focused on TimRodman.com and will only build a Power BI tutorial if there is enough interest, but I am learning that the buzz around Power BI is very strong and the community that is forming around it is very large.
I didn’t think that Microsoft was going to launch Power BI until the Fall, but they surprised me and launched a week ago on July 24th. It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time. It’s also interesting to see the new agile development strategy that Microsoft is employing. It think that this strategy is going to be imitated by many software companies in the years to come.
If you are wondering how Microsoft Excel compares to the new Microsoft Power BI, then you have to checkout this recent post by Rob Collie (click here).
I also finished reading the book Data Visualization For Dummies on my new Kindle and really liked it. The main thing that I took away from the book was that user acceptance is the most important thing when it comes to dashboards. Companies spend tens, even hundreds of thousands of dollars on data warehouses and fancy dashboard software, but many people still revert back to their spreadsheets. Why? Because the end users weren’t involved enough in the process. You can’t measure a dashboard by how nice it looks or by how much information it contains. “How much is it actually being used?” should be the main question. Of course, there are a lot of factors involved with this, but focussing on user acceptance is the goal of the whole thing.
The main author of Data Visualization For Dummies is Miko Yuk. In the dedication section at the end of the book she writes, “To my best friend Ryan Goodman for his unparalleled support, like-minded passion, and a high tolerance for crazy”. Miko and Ryan even just started a podcast together (click here). I’ve seen some of Ryan Goodman’s blog posts in the past and noticed that he lives in San Diego. So, I reached out to him and we were able to grab lunch when I was in San Diego this month visiting my parents and sister. My two key takeaways from lunch:
- Most visualizations are done on ERP data. Big Data gets all the publicity because it’s more “sexy” and simpler to understand, but ERP data feeds most visualizations in the real world. This opinion agrees with what I learned from a Tableau expert who sat next to me on a recent plane flight. He told me that Tableau was actually started by people at Pixar who wanted a better way to view Accounting information. You can’t get any closer to ERP than Accounting.
- Visualizations are very important, but they don’t take much time to build. What does take time is understanding the underlying data, combining it together, and adding the underlying calculations. This is the real skill and this is what Rob Collie has been preaching for years over at PowerPivotPro.com. And this is why Excel and Power BI skills are so important.
This Month’s Blog Posts
I prematurely ended my two year journey through the Out of the Box reports (click here) and now am exclusively focused on the Acumatica / Excel / Power BI trifecta.
There were two blog posts this month::
- Acumatica Most Popular in VAR 100 – For those who don’t know what the VAR 100 is, it is the most authoritative annual publication on the top 100 Mid Market ERP consulting companies. Acumatica got a big shout out in this year’s report.
- Excel Online Web App and Acumatica – If you want to see how you can take your OData-enabled Excel reports and display them within Acumatica, you’ll want to check out the video on the bottom of this post.
This month 5 new people subscribed to the newsletter, bringing the total number of subscribers to 69.
We didn’t reach 1,000 visitors this month like I was hoping for in last month’snewsletter, but we’re getting closer. There were 888 as of 11:15pm today.
Until Next Month…
Thanks for reading. And check your inbox for another newsletter issue on Monday, August 31st.