OLAP cubes are one of the key components of business intelligence (BI). Users can access cubes to quickly create reports and see key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify trends, spot anomalies, and fix problems― without technical expertise or a deep knowledge of database structures. This is an invaluable benefit for any company as it helps you gain necessary insights needed to make better, more informed business decisions (see: profitable and efficient).
If your organization uses Microsoft Dynamics AX, you may have wondered about the differences between using standard AX OLAP cubes and a third-party BI platform like Jet Enterprise.
It’s important to know that while the current OLAP cubes standard in Dynamics AX 2012 deliver new functionality that addresses some difficulties in former AX versions, a corporate BI solution based solely on standard AX OLAP cubes can present a number of limitations. The cubes in AX 2012 can pose challenges when needing to report and analyze from specialty or custom fields, especially from systems outside of AX. This is problematic when you have, or need, AX add-on solutions or external databases for your industry or historical reporting.
In conjunction with this, several obstacles can present themselves with a standard AX OLAP cube BI approach:
- The amount of key data that is missing due to the lack of customizations available.
- The complexity and technical resources required in building out the BI platform into something users can easily report from.
- The amount of time required for incremental updates.
- The inability to create the measures or metrics needed to write reports or dashboards from the data you want to see.
- The insufficient security available for standard security roles.
Luckily, there are BI solutions available such as Jet Enterprise for Microsoft Dynamics AX, that solve all of these issues so that you can make critical decisions with accurate data, no matter where it lives: AX, Oracle, MySQL, legacy systems, or Excel. Your data might live in numerous locations, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a faster and easier way to get it!
Read the latest whitepaper, Comparing AX Cubes to Jet Enterprise for Corporate Analytics, for more details on your AX BI solution options and best approaches.