Business Intelligence Basic Functions GuideFollow
Welcome to the BI Basic Functions Guide. Here you can quickly learn how to perform simple tasks using BI: Foundation and BI: Vision to help you understand your business better.
Basic terminology we'll use in this guide:
Context: BI will break down data types into major contexts, Sales, Inventory, Purchases, Production and Customers.
Measure: Each context contains a range of measures that you can track. For example, the Sales context features the measures, Revenue and Gross Profit.
Dimension: Different BI components will break measures down by a range of dimensions. For example, the Revenue measure can be displayed in a chart per the Sales Person dimension.
Cross-Filter: You can choose to filter BI Vision by cross filtering to select a sub-set of data. For example, you may wish to filter your Revenue by Sales Person chart to only sales for two Product Groups to three Customer Types.
A note about date range
With most measures, you can select the date range of the dataset. With BI: Vision you are also able to select a custom date range. Some measures are only concerned with the current data, such as Inventory measures and do not feature a date range selector.
Want to measure two different filters against each other?
In BI: Vision you will select a measure and cross-filters, and these will be applied to each dimension on the page. If you would like to select two different filters and compare them side by side, you can configure this using the Custom Dashboard on the front page of Unleashed. This feature allows you to clone a component and add measures and dimensions per-panel, allow each side-by-side comparisons.
Example: Using Custom Dashboards, driven by BI: Vision components, I can clone the Gross Profit widget and compare month-to-date to quarter-to-date figures.
Some basics of BI to get you started
If you have permission to BI you will see Business Intelligence on the side menu.
Our Business Intelligence system is broken into two main tabbed views, Foundation (free) and Vision (Pay-to-Use). The Sales context features an extra tab, Vision Plus, where you are able to add sales targets and track the performance of your company against those targets.
Look out for the tooltip icon (i) available for most KPIs on the top right-hand corner for more information on the KPI and values displayed.
Printing the page.
You are able to easily "print" the BI pages (Purchases, Inventory, Production(assemblies), Sales, and Customers) to a PDF or PNG file by using the Screenshot feature which is available, just click on the more options kebab menu and select Screenshot.
Select a date range at the top right of the page and you will see the page display results based on your selection.
- Last Month = Previous completed Month
- Last Quarter = Previous completed Financial quarter
- Last Year = Previous completed Financial year (derived from Financial Year End on the Company Settings page.)
PLEASE NOTE: Select a From and To date. When using the custom date range the system will always compare the range you entered with the same date range just for the previous year, eg. select 01/08/2022 to 10/10/2022 will compare this period with 01/08/2021 to 10/10/2021.
Navigating through the BI pages is easy, you can use the side menu bar to select a context. Then when a context has been selected the default page will display BI Foundation for that context. Navigate to Vision (pay-to-use module) by selecting the Vision tab or clicking on the “Explore more >” link available on most KPI tiles.
KPI Values in BI are rounded up so we do not display any decimal spaces, comparing BI with Unleashed Reports will, therefore, have different values.
Show number of Records (BI Vision only):
On dimensions, we have a More Options menu. The top 25 records per dimension will display by default. There also is a Top 100 easy selection button available.
NOTE: All dimensions are limited to only show the top 100 records. A list of all records are available when you use the export all to CSV function.
You are also able to change this to show top X for the current session, just click in the field, enter the number, and select the Apply Settings button. The dimension will now show you the list of the top X records.
Selecting [SHOW ALL] from the options will display all the records for the dimension, this potentially could be a lot of records.
To reset the view, select "SHOW TOP 25" on the dimension or just click on the "Reset View" button to reset the view on all dimensions to "SHOW TOP 25", the default if there are more than 25 records to display.
Search on dimensions and Multi-select/deselect results (BI Vision only):
You are able to search on dimensions and multi-select/deselect records in BI Vision.
Click on the "More Options" kebab menu on the top right-hand side of a dimension.
Click on the field next to the magnifying glass and start typing your search criteria. After the first 2-3 letters, matching results will display with checkboxes to select some or all results. Make your selection and click on the Apply Filters button to filter and retrieve the results.
This will add the selected cross-filters to the top of the page, with the KPI values and dimensions updated with your selection.
You can also click on the expand arrow next to the search field to expand the list of options available on the dimension to select from.
On this view, you can multi-select / deselect up to 10 items. If you selected more than 10 items you will receive a warning message
Exclude one or more values.
Click on "Exclude Selected", then select from the lits the ones (Max 10) you want to exclude from your results and hit "Apply Filters". This will apply the filters, excluding those selected.
Click on the "Reset Page" button to reset the page and clear all filters.
TOP TIP: It is best practice to always clear all filters or selections before applying your next selection. To ensure all filters are cleared, just navigate to any other BI page/tab and back should clear your filters on that page.
Customize your BI Vision page layout
As part of your BI Vision subscription users are able to customize the layout of BI Vision pages. At the top right-hand side of a BI Vision page, you will see a drop-down field showing [UNLEASHED DEFAULT]
Selecting this field you will see a [+ NEW CUSTOM LAYOUT] option.
By selecting this option you will enter the Edit mode and will see a few extra options at the top of the page. Give your layout a Name (has a maximum of 20 characters) and click on Create to get started.
Now you can customize the Vision page layout, just click on the Edit option next to the layout name.
What are these options for?
- Default: This will make the custom layout your default for the page.
- Components: If you removed/hidden components you can add them back by selecting this option.
- Clear: will remove all KPI's and Dimensions from the page (Except for one KPI).
- Reset: will reset the page to the Unleashed Default layout
- Create: this will create a custom layout. (This will turn to Save once you created a custom layout.)
- Delete: only available for saved customized layouts.
- Exit: will close the edit mode
In Edit mode click on the X visible on each component or click on the Clear option to remove all of them in one go.
TIP: When adding components back to your layout, always first add KPIs as they control the content of the dimensions.
In Edit mode click on the heading of KPIs or Dimensions to select and move the tile.
To resize tiles drag the hot corner at the bottom right-hand side of each tile. NOTE: There is a limit on the minimum size for these components.
- All users with permission will be able to save 3 custom layouts.
- We are going to allow users to change the chart types they prefer to see for each dimension.
Export to CSV and other file types:
Timeline charts and dimensions can be exported to different file types which includes CSV and PDF. Click on the "More Options" menu on the top right-hand side of any dimension and select the [Export] option and select the type of file (Available on Sales and Customer BI Vision pages). The file will be downloaded to your PC ready to analyze or share further.
For the Timeline charts where we compare two periods, the exported data will be 2 sets of data.
The prior period and the current period. The 1st column will show the dates of the current period, the 2nd will have the value of the prior period, and the last column the values of the current period.
Note: Exporting special characters such as Japanese and Chinese to CSV does not open properly in Excel.
Excel does not automatically use UTF-8 when opening CSV files. To resolve this issue, please do the following after exporting a CSV file:
On a Windows machine:
- Open Excel, click "File > New".
- Click "Data" tab.
- For older versions of Excel:
- Click the "From Text" option. Select the CSV you file want to import.
- Excel will display "Text Import Wizard".
- In step-1 of this wizard:
- Select the "Delimited" radio button.
- In "File origin" field - select "65001 : Unicode (UTF-8)".
- Click "Next >" button.
- In step-2 of this wizard: Select the "Comma" checkbox.
- Click the "Finish" button.
- In the dialog window that appears - click the "OK" button.
- For newer versions of Excel:
- Click "From Text/CSV" option. Select the CSV you file want to import.
- In the next box select: In "File origin" field - select "65001 : Unicode (UTF-8)".
- Click the "Load" button.
Excel will display your CSV file - including non-English characters - properly.
On a Mac:
If you are using Excel 2016 or later, then the above, method 2, will also work on Mac. For older versions, you can select File - Import, and then once you select your CSV you will be able to choose the encoding to use.
Some BI Tutorial and Training videos:
Zooming in on graphs:
The majority of charts can be zoomed into, to do this is easy, just click and hold in the graph, then drag left or right to highlight the area you want to Zoom into.
The zoom-in will happen instantly and a [Reset zoom] button will display. When you click the reset zoom button this will reset to the default view.
Toggle chart legend on or off
At the bottom of most graphs lookout for the legend which you can click to hide or show specific series.
Apply and save filters
To select a value to filter on, click in the chart and select the bar you wish to filter on. You can also use the search and select from the kebab/3-dot more options icon available on all dimensions.
All the dimensions and KPI tiles will update with the values of the selected filter.
Selecting "On Account" as a filter on Customer Type, the chart will only display the "On Account" selected value on the Custom Type dimension.
The selected account type now has been added as a filter to the top of the page and will display above the KPI tiles. To clear the filter click on the X next to the selected value or click on the Reset Filters button. The number of filters you can apply is only limited to the number of dimensions to select from.
Selecting more values from other dimensions enables you to cross filter all dimensions to get to specific answers such as:
- What was my Revenue from all my “On Account” customers, for the Date Range, in a specific State/Region, and who was my top Salesperson for this selection?
- Who was my top or lowest-performing Salesperson based on Sales Revenue (or any other KPI) for a selected Product Group per State/Region
- What Products sold the most units for a selected Region and period?
- What was my Sales Revenue, Gross Profit, Number of Sales Orders, and Average Revenue per Order for a Customer who is buying On Account for a specific Product Group in the Period selected?
The figure below shows the filters selected. This shows the values of the Sales KPIs for an On Account Customer, for a selected Product Group, and a selected Product.
The selections and filters applied will be added to the URL (web address) and you can Bookmark (Save) this page for sharing with other users in your organisation who also have access to BI Vision or to have quick access to your favorite filters when you login to your Unleashed account.
Example: I want to quickly view Year to Date sales revenue for a specified product and customer type every time I login to Unleashed without navigating to BI Vision sales, making my selections, and cross filters.
Access the BI Vision Sales page, select "YEAR TO DATE" as the date filter, select Customer Type = On Account, Product Group = Furniture, and Product = Single bed. This selection now will be visible in the web address line of your web browser.
Clicked on the Star to bookmark this page.
TIP: You could create folders for each context (Purchases, Inventory, Production, Sales, and Customers) in your web browser to group these bookmarked pages or if you have multiple Unleashed accounts you can create bookmark folders and subfolders for each account.
Now you can easily navigate back to this page and your selection. Login to Unleashed, go to bookmarks and select this bookmark - the latest YTD sales revenue for this product will be displayed.
BI Vision enables you to drill down into dimensions, cross filter on dimensions, and will provide you with insights to understand and manage your business better.