Jet Basics is a free reporting tool available with Microsoft Dynamics. Offered as an extension included with Dynamics NAV since 2011 and Dynamics GP since 2016, Jet Basics gives users a simple way to create basic reports and business queries inside of Excel.
While it’s a great way to get your feet wet with integrating Dynamics NAV or GP reporting directly in Excel, and become familiar with insightsoftware’s Jet products, it’s imperative to understand that Jet Basics is still designed to be an introductory version. That means it doesn’t necessarily accommodate—nor does it aim to—the full operational reporting or analytics needs of an organization.
Accurate, accessible, and consistent data is the intention for every business looking to stay competitive and streamline processes. But what can be most damaging to that goal is trying to make Jet Basics work for reporting scenarios it isn’t built for. For instance, Jet Basics is not developed to accommodate multiple companies, multiple dimensions, automated distribution, transactional analysis, project accounting, analytical accounting, and other reporting complexities specific to Dynamics NAV and Dynamics GP.
At insightsoftware, we want our customers to be reporting and analytics trailblazers. Our solutions are designed for increased reporting efficiency, employee productivity, and profitability. So if you’re struggling to make Jet Basics work for your reporting needs, or you’re trying to decide which Jet product to start with, let’s address some of the common difficulties Jet Basics users encounter and find a solution.
Common Obstacles New Users Experience with Jet Basics
It’s worth keeping in mind that a common snag with free products in general is that users tend to invest too much time on something that really isn’t designed to work a specific way. We try to mold it to meet our purpose, often through unstable workarounds, or we try to make it fit our old processes when what we really need is a newer, more modern approach. Remember, all “freemium” products are designed for platform familiarity, initial adoption, and advocacy, not as a full solution for the problems a company solves.
While there is no limit to the number of users in Jet Basics, there are a number of limitations when it comes to report formatting, drill-down capabilities, automation, and use with Office 365. It is also not designed to manage complex data. To accommodate for these areas, many new Jet Basics customers look for quick workaround fixes to fill their needs.
The most common workaround involves exporting a table of data into Excel via Jet Basics, then format the data using VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, and often times (to our horror), “Find & Replace” or “Copy & Paste.” These manual processes aren’t just incredibly time-consuming, they most often result in data errors and inconsistencies that impact accurate reporting and decision making. The very thing insightsoftware is designed to fix!
After helping numerous customers who have used these clunky methods to create their financial reports, users admitted that they weren’t able to get the information they needed and spent a great amount of time getting to nowhere by ultimately reverting to the old ways of copying and pasting.
What many Jet Basics users don’t realize is that there’s a faster, easier to fix these problems and obstacles: using our premium products.
When to Invest in insightsoftware’s Premium Jet Products
Let’s face it: sometimes the shoe doesn’t fit.
By the time most people realize that our premium solutions can resolve all of the reporting, data management, automation, and analytics limitations encountered with Jet Basics, they have already spent the time, resources, and effort into setting up these pain-staking processes and complex stopgaps. The truth is, there are scenarios where you should consider a paid insightsoftware product right from the get-go. Doing so will provide you with a stronger foundation for your reporting processes and save you a significant amount of time, money, and resources overall. That is what we are here to help you do.
Here are three scenarios and examples where you should consider upgrading to a paid insightsoftware Jet product (and which ones to upgrade to):
1. You need report formatting flexibility, reporting automation, and Office 365 integration to report across multiple companies.
The solution? Upgrade to Jet Reports.
With Jet Reports, you can:
- Easily automate and schedule real-time reports
- Build and format reports with a user-friendly drag-and-drop tool
- Quickly update any report in Excel with a single mouse click
- Get full integration with Office 365 Excel Online and the Office 365 infrastructure (i.e. Outlook & Teams)
2. You have detailed reporting requirements that calls for self-service reporting and analytics, drill-down capabilities, and data governance.
The solution? Upgrade to Jet Analytics.
With Jet Analytics, you can:
- Build reports and dashboards in Excel and Power BI without technical expertise
- Gain valuable insight into your data with pre-built cubes, a data warehouse, and an extensive library of dashboard and report templates
- Manage, organize, share, and run your reports from anywhere with the Jet Hub web portal
- Consolidate data from multiple systems and customize five times faster with data warehouse automation
3. You have more than one company, are working with numerous sources of data (Dynamics ERP, CRM, legacy systems, etc.), report from multiple currencies and multiple dimensions, and need to streamline/integrate the fiscal planning process.
The solution? Upgrade to Jet Analytics with Jet Budgets
Using these products, you can:
- Quickly build advanced, multi-dimensional reports without table format or PivotTable layout restrictions
- Easily consolidate data from multiple data sources; both Dynamics and non-Dynamics are fully supported
- Gain complete data management and collaboration for consistent and accurate reporting and budgeting
- Access and consolidate data from multiple business databases
Compare insightsoftware Jet Solutions
Reporting should never be one of your most time-consuming tasks. With insightsoftware’s premium Jet solutions, which are available as a seamless upgrade, you can eliminate the manual report creation and workaround management you may find from Jet Basics. To help you evaluate what product is the right fit for your business, take a look at what each has to offer side by side.