<b>Software Review:</b> Sage Intelligent Reporting for Line 50. By John Stokdyk and David Carter

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With the release of Sage Intelligent Reporting for Line 50, the Newcastle-based accounting software house has brought sophisticated analytical tools to a much wider market. David Carter and John Stokdyk look inside Sage's spreadsheet-based box of management reporting tricks.


Over the past couple of releases, Sage has significantly beefed up the reporting facilities in Line 50. First were enhancements to make the Sage Report Designer more accessible to users. Then came version 12 and Integrated Excel Reporting, which lets users connect Excel to the Line 50 database so they can analyse and present the accounts as they please.

As if that wasn't enough, Sage has now introduced Sage Intelligent Reporting. With the 2004 acquisition of IntelligentApps, Sage gained the expe...

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28th Apr 2006 08:12

Sage Intelligent Reporting Aditional Points
Thank you for providing a good introduction to Sage Business Intelligence and we will certainly take on your comments on things that need improving as the product matures.

In a roadshow around the UK this week showing Sage Intelligent Reporting to accountants and partners in Perth, Newcastle, Manchester and Winnersh, I picked up some good feedback which highlights some important aspects not covered in the review..

Firstly, the scalability which we address through the core Intelligent Reporting front end engine within Excel is a more important issue in the SME market than we first thought. One Line 50 user had transactions with 10,000 customers involving 2,000 products over the past five years. This did not draw gasps from our partners, but nods of the head and comments such as, “We have similar customers ourselves”.

Trying to get an analysis of the best customer/product combinations over a 12 month period, sorted on year to date would not possible to do in Excel, one partner told me. "It would take days and ultimately crash Excel”. I was able to show how our product uniquely handles millions of rows in Excel in seconds.

Secondly, as you suggest in the review, the product does so much so quickly that we sometimes take it for granted and immediately want more, missing the real business benefits in the process. At one workshop, a lady asked if I could put one of her Sage backups through Intelligent Reporting.

She knew the data, so she could take a view if the product was working as she would think it would. Her company had 5 years worth of data, so she wanted to see any trends that she had not previously been able to view.

She also wanted to see if I could prove my ambitious claim that I could tell her things about her customers that she didn't know - without knowing them or anything about Line 50.

We build three cubes, Financials, Nominals and Suppliers in 28 seconds. Financials had five years of data. She then asked me to drill to nominals and show an analysis of revenue by salesperson by year. Instantly, I noticed that every salesperon’s revenue had increased year on year, but one had decreased year on year for the past four years.She said whilst she was personally shocked, she and the business had never suspected this was the case.

So the conclusion from this was that Sage Intelligent Reporting went from zero information into a working application that delivered added value information in less than 2 minutes. That’s a return on investment at a speed I have never ever personally witnessed during my 20 years in the BI business.

Paul Martin,

Sage Business Intelligence Division

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04th Oct 2010 17:01

It's still useless

 If you wish to add specific reports you still need to go into Report writer.

Many of the existing "standard" reports require extensive formating in Excel before they become readable.

Sage is one of the worst reporting program I have ever experienced.

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