Financial Business Intelligence

Businesses capture a tremendous amount of data during daily activities. This data, which reflects such things as the organisation's sales figures, purchases, operational expenses, employee salaries, and budgets, represents valuable information, or business intelligence (BI), for decision makers. Business Central contains many features to help you gather, analyse, and share your company data.

The Dimensions functionality plays an important role in business intelligence. A dimension is data that you can add to an entry as a parameter. As such, you can use it to group entries that have similar characteristics, such as customers, regions, products, and salesperson, and easily retrieve these groups for analysis. Among other purposes, you use dimensions when defining analysis views and creating financial reports. Learn more at Work with Dimensions.


As a quick way to analyse transactional data, you can filter totals in the chart of accounts and all entries in Entries pages by dimensions. Look for the Set Dimension Filter action.

The following table describes a sequence of tasks, with links to the articles that describe them.

To See
View actual amounts compared to budgeted amounts for all accounts and for several periods. Analyze Actual Amounts Versus Budgeted Amounts
Create new financial reports to define financial statements for reporting or to display as charts. Prepare Financial Reports with Financial Data and Account Categories
Analyse your financial performance by setting up key performance indicators (KPIs) based on financial reports, which you then publish as web services. The published financial reports KPIs can be viewed on a web site or imported to Microsoft Excel using OData web services. Set Up and Publish KPI Web Services Based on Financial Reports
Set up views to analyse data using dimensions. Analyse Data by Dimensions
Create new analysis reports for sales, purchases, and inventory, and set up analysis templates. Create Analysis Reports
Enable global financial reporting to international accounting organisations using the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) standard. Create Reports with XBRL
Change the database access intent on reports, pages of the API type, and queries to reduce load and improve performance. Manage Database Access Intent

See also

Use Business Central as a Power BI Data Source
Closing Financial Periods
Importing Data from Other Finance Systems
Business Intelligence and Reporting Overview
Work with Business Central

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