When deciding to implement an ERP Reporting Framework, one of the key priority concerns is to assure that the technology architecture and facilities are aligned with the business process requirement, and the way that the users work and rely on data and reporting information. Traditional and widely used ERP solutions such as SAP, Oracle/ERP, MFG/PRO and Dynamics AX (Axapta) rely on core data warehouse approaches used as a repository for delivery of data to analytical, business applications, and report frameworks. DART was designed by ERP business people for ERP business people.
As users demand more reporting and information analytics, the ERP data repository is engaged to service these requests for data. In most cases, the data repository, or data warehouse for ERP, gets implemented first, and includes initial basic user requirements and needs for reporting. Frequently, the implementation of an integrated ERP environment is an extended project, and users' reporting requirements change often during the duration of this effort. Trying to produce a continually changing business case for the data warehouse requirements to meet these dynamic reporting needs, is extremely difficult. Managing enterprise service agreements for data and access is an on-going challenge for the ERP enterprise. DART was designed for the challenge of enterprise change, and the flexibility of reporting.
Therefore, when designing and building an ERP reporting framework, it is important to look at individual business users as well as the organization as a whole, and assess what Information Technology can do about "helping the business". When deciding to implement a reporting framework for ERP, the key consideration is to consider the residual value that such a framework will provide to the organization along its strategic roadmap. This approach will assure that the business user community and "principal consumer of reports" will feel that the organizational investment is enfranchising them to the overall solution and not just plugging them in. The users will feel that the data warehouse/repository is fulfilling its value as the vehicle to deliver data to their operational reports. DART was planned and designed as a "strategic" solution for the distributed ERP business user.
In evaluating an ERP Reporting Framework solution, some of the business alignment benefits of a consolidated reporting framework such as DART are:
- Data Quality
Management An ERP reporting framework
and platform should proactively reconcile
data quality problems. Data quality problems
will occur frequently, every diverse reporting
source, and XL spreadsheet are resolving them
at their own level. When the need to consolidate
the data is required, an ERP report framework
that "transforms" data across diverse
and numerous source boundaries, and provides
the appropriate alert mechanism is essential.
DART has exceptional "data transformation and connectivity tools"
- Data Naming Conventions
The reporting framework should encourage the
use of consistent terms and definitions across
the enterprise. Data definitions such as "customer"
should be used in the exact same way across
each reporting source and ERP application.
The ERP reporting platform should prompt for
"inconsistent" data field usage,
and help the user to reconcile these discrepancies
quickly. DART user editing tools are exceptional,
and can provide alerts for identifying data
- Friendly to Use
The framework should be easy to use. The ERP reporting
framework should be "human engineered", so that all users
enjoy using the framework, and actively promote it to others
in the organization who are not currently using it. It should
model the way that a user works and thinks about building a
report regarding their business. DART works like a human being,
and the way that humans work within the ERP business process.
- Enterprise Data Training
The ERP reporting framework encourages ongoing data knowledge
and sharing. Data knowledge training for the organization is
easier to achieve, if it is managed in one central place in the
organization. Ongoing data training and updating makes and keeps
the reporting users more efficient. DART makes it simple for users to
access data and share information.
- Reduce Dependency on IT Resources
With on-going involvement from the business community, the ERP
reporting platform should be less dependent on IT personnel to
develop and maintain reports. Each company will have its own policy
regarding IT involvement and user freedom to develop their own
reports. The ERP reporting platform should be flexible to service
both organizations effectively. DART was designed to conserve IT
resources, and help business users to become more efficient.
- Reporting Platform Toolbox
The ERP reporting framework supports
a "rules" and query building toolkit
environment, as well as quick redesign or
population of data in a report. This is a
critical component for business users, and
facilitates their self-sufficiency in report
design, building, updating and publishing.
DART has great template based design and
pull down scripting menus.
- Changing Business and Data Management
Business application systems will constantly change,
and the manufacturing business will drive the need for
new data elements constantly. A well designed ERP reporting
framework can make the implementation and migration of new
application systems, routines, and data much less challenging.
DART was designed to absorb new data elements and organizational
data sources very easily. DART connects and transforms data from
any ERP application quickly.