Understanding Business Performance Planning in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance

Posted on: January 22, 2024 | By: Fred Liu | Microsoft Dynamics AX/365, Microsoft Dynamics Manufacturing

Business Performance Planning in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance will help companies expand and evolve. Strategic planning is an important tool for translating goals into actionable steps. Yet, this process can be intricate and time-consuming due to disconnected systems, overwhelming data volumes, and manual operations. These factors often result in inaccuracies, delays, and elevated total cost of ownership (TCO), hindering businesses at crucial times when seizing opportunities is key. A major challenge in this context is the lack of clear insight into data relationships and anomalies.

To facilitate a more efficient and precise planning process, a solution must offer streamlined data aggregation, an intuitive and collaborative toolkit, and the capability to effectively convert plans into actions.

Empowering Enterprises with Business Performance Planning

Business performance planning steps in to bridge this gap, offering a comprehensive solution for financial and operational planning and analytics. This approach fosters a connected enterprise experience and leverages the familiar, productive tools of Microsoft Power BI and Excel. Utilizing these platforms, organizations can engage in effective planning, create ‘what-if’ scenarios, and eliminate manual processes through the integration of data flows and Microsoft Power Platform, all aimed at achieving peak efficiency.

The feature set of business performance planning is built around two core concepts:

  1. Data Modeling for Planning: This involves shaping the necessary data for planning purposes.
  2. Data Application: Acting upon the gathered data.

Within the business performance planning app, users can create dimensions and cubes, import factual data into these cubes, and manage access to both dimensions and cubes. Additionally, with tools like the canvas application, Power BI, and Excel, users can adjust dimension data to formulate new master data.

Actionable Insights with Power BI and Dataverse

In Power BI, planning-specific visuals allow users to interact with dimensions and cubes effectively. These visuals facilitate various functions, such as copying actuals into a preliminary plan, generating multiple plan versions, and utilizing the write-back feature from Power BI to Dataverse for the most current data visibility. They also enable a collaborative planning experience, allowing users to input comments directly into the plan. As a native Dataverse solution, business performance planning integrates seamlessly with Power Automate and other Microsoft Power Platform features for enhanced notifications, workflows, custom fields, and more.

An upcoming Excel add-in will further expand capabilities, offering additional methods to update dimension data and input planning-related information.

Understanding Key Concepts and Terms

  • Cube: A collection of dimension and fact data, crucial for modeling and analytical purposes.
  • Dimensions: These are descriptors defining the facts, such as people, products, places, and time. A dimension might contain various columns (like date, month, year) to aid in the hierarchical analysis of transactions.
  • Facts: These are numeric values subject to aggregation and analysis, forming the core reason for defining a cube. Examples include sales invoices, production costs, salaries, and wages.

In essence, as businesses navigate the complexities of growth and change, embracing efficient planning tools like business performance planning becomes a cornerstone for success. It not only simplifies the planning process but also empowers organizations with actionable insights, driving them towards their strategic objectives.

Next Steps:

If you want to learn more about business performance planning in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance, contact us here to learn how we can help you grow your business. You can also email us at info@loganconsulting.com or call (312) 345-8817.

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