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NetSuite Users: Build Powerful Dashboards with Your Data in Excel and Power BI

Maximize Business Values with CloudExtend Excel Analytics

For over 30 years, Microsoft Excel has been the tool of choice for statisticians worldwide, and not just because of its capacity to allow users to navigate analysis of databases with thousands of records with user-friendly commands. Excel allows powerful add-ins like CloudExtend Excel Analytics for NetSuite to enhance built-in features.

Even with tools like Microsoft Excel and Power BI so readily available, you may wonder why most executives, according to a recent McKinsey study, spend 40% of their time making decisions and believe much of that time is wasted trying to get the right information.

The answer is: There’s a lot of data. Figuring out how to architect an effective dashboard or report that helps drive the right metrics, increases transparency and provides near real-time visibility into viable data for decision making has been a daunting task for many organizations.

Never before has leveraging data been more important than now. “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, data and analytics has never been more critical to helping individuals and organizations make decisions. Faced with growing interdependencies, even more stakeholders, dynamically changing factors, and growing data sources, humans need better quality data science and analytics to make decisions,” according to Gartner. Many organizations were forced to shift more quickly to data cultures and data-driven decision models to build powerful revenue engines with dashboards and reports.

The Problem: Your Data Is Stuck in Your ERP

ERP systems such as NetSuite are wonderful tools that allow users to run their entire business in the cloud. NetSuite has a feature called ‘saved searches’ that allows users to query their data from the user interface. Most Netsuite users want to be able to take this a step further and analyze their data using Power BI or Excel pivot tables, slicers, charts, and more.

The Solution: 1-Click Data Refresh With CloudExtend

Until now getting data from NetSuite into Excel has meant that users need to manually run a search, export to CSV, and then copy/paste that data into Excel for analysis. CloudExtend has solved this with their new CloudExtend Excel Analytics for NetSuite application.

With CloudExtend, users can bring one or more NetSuite saved searches into Excel where they can then leverage their own Excel expertise to analyze that data with pivot tables, charts, etc. Then, when they want to see the most recent data from NetSuite they only need to click one button to refresh all the searches in the workbook. No more copy/paste! Users can even put those saved searches on a schedule and have it updated with 0 clicks.

Reasons to consider taking Excel to the next level with Power Query or Power BI:

CloudExtend Excel Analytics enables users to keep a master spreadsheet up to date by running multiple searches on demand or on a schedule. Users can then leverage Power Query to build a relational data model. This allows them to consolidate and transform their data into a more sophisticated analysis in Excel or Power BI, all from a single Microsoft account.

We’ve created a video featuring Chris Corcoran, General Manager of CloudExtend as he gives a thorough walkthrough of how to use Power Query with your NetSuite data.

Here are some reasons to consider Power Query:

  1. There is a need to link multiple data sources (or NetSuite saved searches) together.
  2. You need to transform data before it gets loaded.
  3. You need users to be able to readily analyze data without editing the source file
  4. You need to add persistent measures or columns that will remain even when your original data source is refreshed and an Excel table is re-created by CloudExtend.
  5. Power Pivot allows you to go beyond the limitations of an Excel file and you can have greater than 1 million rows.
  6. When you want to combine multiple files together. For example, combine files that each contain monthly sales data.

Connecting NetSuite to Microsoft Power BI or Excel with CloudExtend Excel Analytics

Microsoft Excel and Power BI are two separate tools that may be used together or separately, depending on your dashboard needs. Truth be known, many of the applications that Power BI can perform, Excel is capable of performing.

Here is a chart to preview the flow of data from Oracle Netsuite into CloudExtend Excel Analytics, then to Excel Workbook, then into Power Query, then to Microsoft Excel or Power BI.

CloudExtend Excel Analytics in Action

A few things to consider when using Excel as your data source for Power Query and Power BI

  1. Your workbook must be created in Excel 2007 and later (CloudExtend, however, requires a Microsoft 365 subscription)
  2. Your workbook must be saved as an xlsx or .xlsm file.
  3. File size must be under 1 GB.
  4. If your workbook has simple ranges of data, you must format this data as tables (CloudExtend does this for you automatically)
  5. Workbooks with data models, such as those created by Power Query, are supported by Power BI.
  6. Data model properties supported by Power BI: Currency, Date, Whole Number, Decimal Number, Text and True/False. (Note: marking your data as specific types will improve Power BI experience).

Getting Your Excel Data Into Power BI Demystified

CloudExtend simplifies the process of getting your NetSuite data into Excel. But what about getting your Excel data in Power Query or Power BI? We struggled ourselves, especially when it came to connecting to Excel workbooks stored on SharePoint and OneDrive. Not to worry though, we’ve created an article that walks users through how to get Excel files into Power Query and Power BI from OneDrive and SharePoint sites.

View Article

Now is the time to move toward data-driven solutions

There’s no time like now, to start moving your organization towards data-driven solutions in order to stay competitive. According to a recent Harvard Business Review Survey, mainstream companies have steadily invested in Big Data and AI initiatives in efforts to become more data-driven: 91.9% of firms report that the pace of investment in these projects is accelerating, and 62.0% of firms report data and AI investments of greater than $50 million.

If you use NetSuite you can implement CloudExtend Excel Analytics in less than a minute and view your NetSuite data as you never have before. Click here to start your free trial.

Learn More

WATCH:CloudExtend Excel Analytics 101: Dashboard Edition
READ: Demystifying Connecting to Excel files on SharePoint and OneDrive
READ: How to Solve 6 Common Challenges for Netsuite Users by Combining Power Query and CloudExtend Excel Analytics
WATCH: Create Reports with CloudExtend Excel Analytics for NetSuite 2 minute overview
WATCH: Leverage CloudExtend, Excel, and Power Query to Build a NetSuite Data Model