Business Intelligence or Reporting?

We get requests every day from companies that tell us they can’t get the business intelligence information they need from their reporting tool or reporting application.  Many blame the reporting tool for not being able to produce the data required, when what’s really needed, is a change in paradigm.  You can’t squeeze Business Intelligence from a reporting application, it’s as simple as that.

Most reporting tools used today produce snapshots of data organized by month, year, etc.  They are usually not capable of manipulating data to provide trending, and real time analysis.  Report applications provide the data for the reader to conduct the analysis – which we know is time consuming, doesn’t always produce one version of the truth, and can miss key assumptions – resulting in invalid or inaccurate results.

Business is complex – if we could get the data we needed from reporting applications, we wouldn’t need BI solutions.  But to be fair, reporting applications are just as important as BI solutions.  Users need access to data to do their jobs effectively, but to expect a reporting tool to provide detailed analysis and trending is expecting a result these solutions were never meant to provide.

BI solutions provide the framework, engine and agreed-upon-formulas for the required analysis and trends needed to effectively manage a business.  These formulas access data from many different data sources, extracting and pressing historical and current data into formulas and presenting it to users in a manner that is meaningful, such as graphics, charts, etc.

It’s easy to confuse reporting with BI – we think of a report as a magic spreadsheet that should provide us with the answers we need.  Many times, simple spreadsheets will do this, however many businesses we’ve worked with have made key business decisions based on “data” that either wasn’t produced accurately, or more often than not, produced assumptions that weren’t based on real time analysis and trending.

BI doesn’t have to be a significant investment in time, money and resources – companies should think of BI solutions as a way to improve productivity, enabling employees to focus on managing the business instead of assuming or analyzing data that doesn’t provide a true reflection of the state of the business.

Check out our new BI brochure as well as our videos and whitepapers on BI Solutions at

CRM 2011–Connection Role Category

The new Connections feature that was added in CRM 2011 has proved quite useful and has replaced a custom Relationship Entity in a solution that I had built. I needed to create some new business Connection Role Categories  for a solution I was building for a client and had to do some searching around to find where to maintain them. Turns out that it is simple, they are contained in a global option set “Category”. Its very easy when you know where to look, just go to Settings>Customizations>Components>Option Sets and update the “Category” option set, it’s the only system option set  by default.


MaxQ Achieves Microsoft Gold Business Intelligence Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network


MaxQ Technologies Achieves a Microsoft Gold Business Intelligence Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network

MaxQ Earns Distinction through Demonstrated Technology Success and Customer Commitment

DANBURY, CT – July 14, 2011 – MaxQ Technologies Inc. (MaxQ), a provider of Business Intelligence Solutions, announced today that it has achieved a Gold Business Intelligence Competency in the Microsoft Partner Network, demonstrating its ability to meet Microsoft customers’ evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment.

To earn a Microsoft Gold Competency, organizations must complete a rigorous set of tests to prove their level of technology expertise, have a specific number of Microsoft Certified Professionals on staff, submit customer references and demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction by participating in an annual survey.

This accomplishment marks the fifth in a series of Microsoft competencies MaxQ Technologies attained in 2011.  Earlier this year, MaxQ Technologies also earned a Gold Competency for Independent Software Vendor, and Silver Competencies for ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Web Development.

Celebrating their 25th year of providing clients and Microsoft Partners with Business Intelligence,Supply Chain, and Financial Solutions, MaxQ continues to provide customers with cost effective solutions designed to enhance visibility and streamline business processes.

 “A Gold Business Intelligence Competency differentiates us from the competition and establishes us as market leaders, further demonstrating our commitment to serving the needs of customers relying on Microsoft-based solutions,” said John Pavain, President of MaxQ Technologies.  “MaxQ is now a member of a select group of partners that have achieved Gold Competency Standards for BI – and a member of an even smaller community that has been able to achieve five competencies since Microsoft’s launch of the program in 2010.  This achievement is a testament to MaxQ’s expertise, and to our commitment to provide technology expertise in response to today’s business needs.”

“The Microsoft Partner Network is designed to empower solution providers to succeed in today’s business environment. By achieving the prestigious Gold competency, participating companies are provided with a rich set of benefits, including increased customer visibility through branding and accessibility, training and support,” said Jon Roskill, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “We are proud to put forth a program that provides the right resources to  help a company develop the expertise customers demand in today’s competitive market and also provides the community and infrastructure that can connect them to one another, lowering costs for all parties.”

The Microsoft Gold Competency signifies to the market that a company has demonstrated the highest level of skill and achievement within a given technology specialization. All 28 Microsoft competencies are designed to help differentiate a partner’s specific technology capabilities, helping customers find solution providers quickly and easily. Each competency has a unique set of requirements and benefits, formulated to accurately represent the specific skills and services that partners bring to the industry.

About MaxQ Technologies, Inc. (MaxQ)

MaxQ specializes in providing the Manufacturing, Distribution, and Professional Services industries with leading edge capabilities for Business Intelligence, Supply Chain Management, Financial Operations and Project Accounting solutions. A recognized leader for more than 20 years, MaxQ has a team of dedicated resellers that provides local support for national implementations in most states across the USA. With more than 1,000 customer locations in North America, Europe, South America, and Australia each client relies on our deep industry expertise to run their daily operations and optimize their businesses’ overall performance.

More information about MaxQ products and services can be found at


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Office: 203-748-0481