Business Intelligence in 2021

Utilising your investment in Sage Enterprise Intelligence for Sage X3

    by Paolo Arcangelo
     Updated 18th May 2021

The last 12 months have been a real test of endurance for businesses and one thing that it’s proven to many business leaders is that insight into what’s happening right now with customers, suppliers and your marketplace is no longer just a nice to have. The companies that have been able to access the knowledge and customer insight as it happens are the ones who have been able to flex, change, innovate and find a way forward in the most challenging of times.

As Sage X3 Services Director at Datel I work closely with the business owners, CEOs, MDs and boards of directors of an array of businesses that have invested in Sage X3 as their core management system. Alongside Sage X3, nearly every one of our customers have also adopted Sage Enterprise Intelligence (SEI), a business intelligence platform to bring insight and analytics to decision makers. However, I see time and time again that many of you that adopted the technology at initial implementation of Sage X3 put in place the basic reporting functions and do not harness the full power available to you within SEI.

Business Intelligence in 2021 is more than just reporting and analytics. With the age of big data, Industry 4.0, data visualisation and cloud technology, the applications to support decision making have evolved and deliver more and more insight to you. Sage Enterprise Intelligence is no exception and as a Sage X3 user, you have access to the latest in business intelligence technology, already in place within your business, and with minimal investment and effort to get it up and running.

What is available is a set of tools to support identifying trends and the ability to pull together the islands of information held across your operations to enrich your decision making. I caught up with Gareth Marks, Director of Business Development at SEI author Tangerine Software to understand what SEI can bring Sage X3 users today.

Here are the top business intelligence trends of 2021 to take a look at and make sure you are utilising within your SEI solution:


1. One central data hub for all data insight

Serving as a central hub for ALL data sources (not just Sage X3 data), the Universal Data Models make it easy to consolidate and access large amounts of data and turn that data into actionable insights for smarter business decisions. Universal Data Models for finance, sales, inventory and CRM provide hundreds of KPIs that adhere to reporting standards.

Whether you use the predefined dashboards and reports, or choose to create your own, with the Universal Data Models, you’re equipped with everything you need to analyse your enterprise’s activities, performance, and profitability. The Universal Data Models require minimal set-up and can help boost your company’s performance from the day you start working with Sage Enterprise Intelligence (SEI).

This power means you can pull multiple business ERP systems, silos of data and business applications all to one central hub alongside your Sage X3 data for a rich and full picture of your business or businesses.


2. Timely distribution of intelligence

SEI's distribution module comes with a suite of collaboration tools to help you share the right information between team members, business partners and suppliers.  Once your report is created, you can add team members to your distribution list and send to each member in the language of their choice. You can also decide what information each member will be able to access from this report. With automatic distribution you get access to advanced features such as conditional alerts, translations, data security, reporting pack, and more.

Distribute multiple reports in a single reporting pack that includes a cover page and a table of contents. For example, if you want to share several reports with your CFO, rather than sending them each report separately, you can send all the reports in one email.


3. Access via your preferred application

SEI is available through a user-friendly web and mobile application and the much loved Excel add-in. SEI was built with the goal to empower all employees within an organization, technical and non-technical, and to remove the barrier of relying on IT to provide daily users with the reports they need to do their jobs. Here’s a sample of some of the key outputs in SEI:

  • Worksheets - Manipulate your enterprise data with easy-to-use features such as filters, pivots, ranks, KPIs, and much more.

  • Charts - Analyse your data in the most efficient and meaningful way with over 100 types of visualisations.

  • Dashboards - Get the big picture with multiple view types from multiple data sources that all work together seamlessly.

  • Reports - Flexible web reporting with advanced calculations, customisation, and consolidation options.

  • Excel add-in - The analytical capabilities of Excel combined with the power of SEI’s data models - accessible in real-time. 


4. Sales forecasts and budgets made easy

To properly analyse your sales, you'll want to compare actual sales with the sales objectives that have been set. The Sales Forecast module has been created to help you perform this task more easily.

With SEI you can manually modify or add data to help you manage budgets, forecasts and other business areas, where quick data entry is needed. 


5. A whole host of other enhancements

  • Deferring updates for quick manipulation of views - Typically, when making any changes to a group, a pivot or a dimension in a worksheet, the data will be refreshed with every change. This can cause delays when it’s not necessary to update the data each time. By selecting to defer updates, you can build and change the layout of your worksheet as you like. Once you have made all your changes, you can remove the defer update option and your data will be refreshed.

  • Adding hyperlinks and images - To add more details to any worksheet, you can include images of products and hyperlinks to web pages. This can help especially when non-descriptive product codes are used in your reports.

  • Historical aging and reporting - Most of the time, when you run your A/R aging report it’s to see the report as of the current moment. With the historical aging report, you can see what the A/R aging report looked like in the past, whether it’s one week or one year ago.

How to unlock the power of these top business intelligence tools with SEI and Datel

Each of these top business intelligence trends are available in the latest version of Sage Enterprise Intelligence - version 9 - and with a small amount of effort and investment to get you up and running, existing Sage X3 and SEI users can have access to the latest reporting, analytics and insight tools. 

To ensure you can understand what is happening with your customer base and supply chain when you need to make key business decisions, the functionality of version 9 is provided free of charge to ensure upgrading is low cost and easy to achieve.

To take a look at the features available and to hear more about business intelligence in 2021, you can watch an on-demand demo that I hosted alongside Gareth Marks from Tangerine Software, author of SEI. Watch the demo here. 


Alternatively, book a strategy session with me where we can assess how your team uses SEI today and what v9 can bring:

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