Software development and related services company DVT has developed a series of Power BI templates and dashboards for Pastel Accounting, available for sale directly from DVT for all Pastel users in South Africa and abroad.
The new templates include predesigned dashboards that transform Pastel-generated line-item reports into “dynamic, intuitive visual representations of real-time business-intelligent data,” according to DVT’s data and analytics operational head, Futhi Luthango.
“Pastel has become standard issue for a large majority of South African businesses – including ourselves – but its reporting capabilities are quite basic, so it’s not always easy to look at a report and quickly see what is happening in your business in terms of what the key trends look like and how well or poorly different parts of your business are performing,” says Luthango.
“As a Microsoft-certified Gold Partner, we have long known about and used the tools in Power BI, Microsoft’s data visualisation platform. We have used it to create custom Pastel dashboards for our own executives to give them data-rich, interactive and easily accessible dashboards that give insights into the business,” he says.
“For instance, we have visual interactive accounts receivable dashboards, where you can slice the information using various parameters like business unit, region, sales person, top 10, and so on, all driven by Pastel data.
“We have built similar dashboards for key revenue and expense items we want to track closely in the business as well as other key measurements. Power BI allows us to present this information in a way that is quick and easy to understand and accessible on your desktop or smart mobile device, so we’re not just selling something we don’t use, but literally eating our own dog food.”
Power BI is a data visualisation tool that connects to dozens of data sources to pull contextual and intelligent information in near real time. It is part of the Microsoft Office 365 portfolio, and is thus available through an inexpensive subscription model. It is also cloud-based, so can be accessed anywhere, anytime, using almost any device.
“We’re looking to introduce a similar subscription-based model for our Pastel dashboards,” says Luthango. “That way clients can just turn on Power BI, select the templates and dashboards they need, and off they go.”
DVT also offers a bespoke custom development option for clients looking for more specific Power BI visualisations, particularly if they want to combine information from financial systems and other sources. Moreover, DVT will develop a proof of concept for every client based on their specific data, free of charge, using either custom or predefined templates, or both.
With specialist Power BI consultants and data analysts across three regional offices in South Africa and an office in London, U.K., DVT offers significant industry experience in data analytics and visualisation.
“Our goal is to empower our clients to interact with their data and gain insights that will assist them in data-driven decision making,” says Luthango. “Our Power BI with Pastel offering is a formidable combination of tools that helps us achieve just that.”