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Quickbooks Custom Dashboards using QQube and Certified Providers

Custom Dashboards for QuickBooks

The transition from columns and rows to data tiles and visualization

The age of mobility, cloud computing and social media have led the analytics industry towards making snippets of information available on mobile devices, and away from the traditional columns and rows reporting that is so familiar to the baby boom generations.

Let's face it, a pivot table containing several hundred thousands rows of information, is not very practical on a cell phone. 

Conversely, dashboards are great for graphical representations of data, but showing pretty pictures doesn't necessarily prompt you to take action. The idea is to create visualizations which allow you to quickly glean information and influence your decision making process.

 

What options are available for visualization?

  • Excel.  Excel has rudimentary graphing capabilities, and pivot table graphing capabilities, and is dependent up on the data showing in the actual spreadsheet.
  • Excel PowerPivot. PowerPivot has the capability of handling and analyzing even millions of rows of data, giving it a huge advantage over regular Excel when dealing with large data sets. Since it is still Excel, you have the same graphing capabilities as regular Excel.
  • Crystal Reports. Although the "Crystal umbrella" used to include specific dashboarding tools with "what if" scenarios, it now relegates visualization to its Crystal Reports product - which is incredible for pin point layout reporting, but not so much for graphs and charts.
  • Tableau.  Recently acquired by SalesForce, Tableau has been the king of visualization tools, but it is very expensive - especially for QuickBooks users - and is poor at data modeling, which allows you to attach your QuickBooks data with other data.  If you have already invested in Tableau, then we have protected that investment with dozens of starter examples and shells for you - or a custom report writer - to get started.
  • Microsoft Power BI. Microsoft has invested heavily in this offering for the last 5 years, such that it is conquering all existing companies who have had visualization tools.  The 600 pound gorilla woke up, and now has an offering that can be tailored to any size business. Furthermore, they offer a scrollable widget that contains columns and rows - which QQube fits on a cell phone.  So you can have a readable Profit and Loss, intermixed among other analytics on any mobile device.

 

What can a QQube Certified Solution Provider do for me that QQube can't do on its own?

QQube eliminates the need for reverse engineering, and dealing with tables and relationships - which is about 80% of any report or visualization project. But tools like Power BI and Tableau - which are needed for the last 20% - are not as easy to use as Microsoft and Salesforce would have you believe.

Since everybody uses QuickBooks differently, and everybody looks at their data differently, it is fair to say that no matter what examples we provide out-of-the-box (we provide over 220 individual metrics in Power BI alone), will never be 100% complete and satisfactory to the end-user.  Even if the metric IS available, a customer may not like the colors, or placement, or font, or any part of the default formatting..

Further, Power BI uses a language called DAX (which originated from Excel PowerPivot) to create calculated columns, and it can be rather daunting, if you don't work with it every day.  QQube provides several hundred of these to help the average user; but again customers will always have differing needs than what we can provide.

 

What should I do before contacting a Solution Provider? 

The number one thing you should do, is to layout your request metric by metric.  It would be very helpful for you to look at the examples that QQube provides out-of-the-box, so you can have a frame of reference in your communications or meetings. Sending an example of each - no matter how rough - before any meeting would be a smart move.

The Solution Provider will go over your requests, metric by metric, to determine how the information ties to QuickBooks - before any quotes - or even ball park quotes, are given.

Pictures and agreements will eliminate scope creep.

 

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Custom Dashboards for QuickBooks

Practical visual solutions on any device