Sharperlight Solution Modules to Enhance your BI Strategy

The Sharperlight solution suite contains a variety of different module options. Sharperlight provides reporting solutions for the whole organization, not just the finance team. End-user friendly, Sharperlight lets you quickly create and edit reports, without an expert consultant or IT team.

The variety of modules available help users to extract quality insights from their data, such as through dashboards and Excel integration. However, the number of modules included within the software solution may feel overwhelming, to begin with. Our guide explains what each module does, and how your organisation can use them in the mission to use data intelligently.

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Query Builder

The Sharperlight Query Builder provides a common user interface across the whole software. It is easy to create queries across multiple sites, companies, and systems through the drag and drop UI function. Drilldown and preview functions are also available at every step of the process.

Users gain flexibility through the rich filtering functions and user expression language in query creation.

Datamodels also directly link with the Query Builder. As a result, the Query Builder can extend with Custom Tables and Fields. These behave like other Query Builder elements, creating a consistent user experience.

Microsoft Excel Add-in

The Sharperlight Excel Add-in module combines data analysis and manipulation functionality.

The Excel Add-in is an XLL file that seamlessly integrates Sharperlight with Excel. The Query Builder can create intelligent formulas within a spreadsheet workbook as a result. The data values consequently refresh directly from a Datamodel and its underlying application database.

Cell and table formulas natively bind to your data dynamically. This also includes automatic recalculations and lookup processes for referenced cells. Furthermore, the Add-in supports Sharperlight’s Data Writeback function for secure data updates (if users meet established security settings).

Page Based Reporting

Page Based Reporting is a module that provides reports in a variety of ready-to-share formats. Examples of formats include PDF, Excel, Word, HTML, and TIFF formats. Teams can therefore easily share reports with key stakeholders.

Each page can also include sub-reports, sub-queries, forms (such as invoices), charts, images, maps, and dashboards.

Custom functions are coded in C# or VB.NET, allowing in-house customisation as required. This option can also be provided by your solution partner. For example, BDI offers a range of reporting templates for customisation to suit our customers’ needs.

Sharperlight Explorer Module

The Sharperlight Explorer module is a standalone data explorer and analysis toolset. This module also includes Drilldown and Drill Through data navigation as standard.

Explorer can be accessed from within either Sharperlight XL or from the desktop. The same provider which loads Explorer also delivers Drilldown links. The tool also allows random ‘slice and dice’ analysis for detailed understandings of data.

Dashboard

A dashboard features multiple tiled portals, or widgets, which provide a visual overview of key performance metrics within an organisation.

Every dashboard within the Sharperlight Web Channel has a unique URL. This allows for easy embedment of live data within an existing web browser interface. Rather than requiring Flash (now discontinued) or Silverlight, Sharperlight dashboards are created and maintained within HTML5. Cross-platform compatibility is thus maximised across desktop, laptop, and mobile devices regardless of operating systems.

Publisher

Through the Publisher function, create a full library of queries shared with other users within your team. These queries, designed in Query Builder and made available on the Sharperlight Web Channel, can incorporate custom titles, versioning, descriptions, and history. Further protection is also provided through full user group access control.

Sub-reports for dashboards or tabbed webpages extend report layouts. Supported output formats include Tables, Pivot Tables, Charts, ATOM, and RSS feeds.

Functionality is provided for Caching by days, hours, or minutes.

Web Channel

The Sharperlight Web Channel is a secure web interface for accessing and viewing published queries. When using this module, users can share published content online. Web Channel also allows filtering and refreshing functions for queries and reports.

Users have 24/7 access to up-to-date reports. These reports feature full Drilldown and Drill Through capabilities.

For offline usage, published content can be saved to CSV, HTML, and Word formats.

Datamodel studio

This Sharperlight module is a development environment. Through the Datamodel studio, users can construct and maintain their organisation’s Datamodels.

Every installation of Sharperlight includes this module. First-time users through to technical authors can easily use this tool to find their feet when using Sharperlight.

A Datamodel is an abstraction layer. It is used to hold query logic and present a unified query layer to the end-user. Datamodel Studio provides a scalable framework for building a reporting layer, which can later grow into a comprehensive reporting platform. Datamodels are quick to develop and can provide immediate business value to an organisation.

Conclusion

The available Sharperlight solutions modules provide comprehensive solutions for data reporting. Export Publisher features enable the easy sharing of information between teams and stakeholders. Document sharing functions and the Excel Add-in facilitate cross-platform communication. Sharperlight’s business intelligence solutions are a popular and trusted option for many organisations.

If you think Sharperlight is a good fit for your organisation, or you would like to know more, please get in touch. Our team can show you a demo and talk through your business needs to find the best business intelligence tool for your needs. BDI’s business experts are happy to work with your organisation to train staff in how to use the software, and provide support when needed.

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