Data Warehousing for Retail with Microsoft Dynamics AX

Considering how fast-paced the business culture is today, maybe particularly for retail companies, data is vital. Since data drives corporate decision-making, retail organizations plan and monitor performance to stay on course with their customers, vendors, staffing, store locations, and so on – and data warehousing can deliver the exact solution to support your Business Intelligence (BI) analytics. As with any software that is new to you, you likely have plenty of questions, and we have answers. In this article, we’ll answer the most frequent questions regarding commercial data warehouse solutions that you can use with Microsoft Dynamics AX for your retail corporation.

Defining the solution. It might be best to better understand the concept of a data warehouse first: a multi-dimensional database. To elaborate, a data warehouse could also be explained as a virtual storage space or a server-staged database, either on its own server or a shared one. As a point of comparison, an external hard drive offers you a physical space to store diverse types of files and programs while today’s data warehouses provide you a digital place to house multiple operational and transactional data types. In addition, if you want to visualize this concept, think about three-dimensionalizing an Excel spreadsheet and organizing your transactional and operational data in aggregated, streamlined, and friendly technology. Today’s commercial data warehouse solutions are managed with a technical database management program, like Microsoft SQL Server Visual Studio, or something like the BI360 Data Warehouse Manager, a solution-specific tool for Solver’s data warehouse that is easy to use and positioned within the BI360 Suite.

Implementing the warehouse. Regarding installation and automation, a commercial data warehouse usually comes “out of the box,” which simply means an easy implementation. You’ll next have to replicate your company information from Dynamics AX and any other data sources you want to include. A consultant who has expertise in extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) of your data will install your warehouse. The consultant will then automate the ETL process from your database(s). Our recommendation is to go with a data warehouse that has a pre-configured, built-in integration to the Dynamics AX Cloud or on-site installation if you want to have a seamless solution. Next, a consultant who specializes in simplifying and expediting your BI analytics will educate your team to pull data from the warehouse for financial statements, budgets, and dashboards you depend on to make informed decisions about your retail company’s plans for the future. After your data warehouse is set up and your staff is trained, business end users at all levels of the organization can use the solution without involving the IT team.

To continue learning more about data warehouse solutions for retail companies using Microsoft Dynamics AX, read the rest of this article here.

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