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Excel Steps to the Fore in Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013

by Vjekoslav Babic
NAV Consultant, Microsoft Services, Microsoft

[Editor's Note: Join the author, Vjeko Babic, on Wednesday, June 20 at NAV Day of Decisions Spring 2012.]

Like it or not, having accurate data is the single most important reason why businesses implement ERP. Yes, we are all talking process improvement, productivity increase, increasing throughput, reducing inventory levels, or whatever other key goal you may have in mind, but in the end what makes all this possible is having accurate and timely data. If your ERP does not enable a solid reporting strategy, then nothing else that you do makes much sense.

When it comes to reporting in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, especially with the impending arrival of NAV 2013, the traditional approach of building custom views of the data inside the application is starting to look obsolete in many ways - from budgeting a project to training users to managing the long term maintenance of the solution.  With access to improvements in data sources, and desktop reporting tools, the future of reporting and analytics for NAV solutions has stepped forward: it is Microsoft Excel. 

Dynamics NAV is moving to a world where data models are open, flexible, simple, and easy to understand; where the simplest reports can give you answers to most complicated questions. Let's examine the traditional reporting options and how Microsoft has re-engineered both NAV and Excel to offer a more attractive value proposition.

Reporting, a traditional view

With Dynamics NAV, the word report typically brings up one of the following ideas:

  • A report object, which a programmer develops according to your specification. It shows you a predefined set of data across a ...

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About Vjekoslav Babic

Vjekoslav Babić is an independent Microsoft Dynamics NAV consultant, trainer, author and blogger, with 10 years of experience in NAV and 16 years of experience in IT.

As a solutions architect and a project manager with a leading Microsoft Dynamics President's Club service provider company, as a Microsoft Dynamics NAV consultant with Microsoft Services, and as an independent consultant, he has been working on Microsoft Dynamics NAV implementations ranging from tiny one-man-bands to international mega-corporations, delivering services and trainings all over the world.

In 2008, Vjekoslav co-authored the acclaimed book "Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009". Vjekoslav runs an active blog about NAV implementation, project management and development best practices, acts as a columnist and editorial advisory board member at, and as a columnist in a number of other web or printed periodicals in Croatia and worldwide. Vjekoslav is also a frequent speaker at Microsoft or Microsoft Dynamics conferences.

Since spring 2010, Vjekoslav has been awarded the prestigious Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for Microsoft Dynamics NAV.