Zoho Analytics and Power BI for Dear Inventory

Connect Dear Systems to Zoho Analytics, Microsoft Power BI and other data warehouse tools for advanced reporting

 

dashboard example 

This is a Zoho Dashboard using Dear data. It is also possible to combine Xero data, sales history from your old system, 3PL and freight data, Shopify, Google Analtyics, your internal systems and even spreadsheet data

 

 

  • GrowthPath's Analytics Connector provides Dear master data tables, Dear transactional tables, and a set of special tables which combine data for advanced reporting.
  • The Connector is based on GrowthPath's Dear cache and copes with high data loads. This technology also allows frequent data refreshes.
  • It supports multiple Dear instances in multiple base currencies, consolidating to base currency using average monthly exrates
  • Your data is housed by the GrowthPath Application Server, a dedicated client server (no co-tenanting of your data).
  • Self-hosting: We deploy to AWS via Digital Ocean, but you can also host the GrowthPath Application Server in your own AWS, Azure or Google cloud hosting.
  • Built-in data integrity checks and server monitoring of the connector and cache layers.
  • Use advanced data transformation layers to clean up historical data
  • Combine Dear data with Xero, QBO, Google Analytics, Shopify analytics, or with data from your freight software (we already have Shippit data feeds).
  • Can serve as a form of backup for Dear Inventory data (with significant limitations, but at least equal to any other solution)

Sales Lifecycle Per Order

 

Review the table schema from a test server

 View the table schema: GrowthPath Dear Analytics Table Schema

 

data model

Close-up of part of the data model

 

 

The Connector was originally designed for sending data to Zoho Analytics. It now makes the same tables available in a client-dedicated cloud database where it can be used by Power BI or any other analytics tools that can access Postgresql data. Postgresql feed for Power BI is in Beta.

Videos of the Analytics Connector working with Zoho Analytics here: Part 1 and Part 2

 

The Zoho Analytics connector is mature, and capable of high volume sites. GrowthPath has built a robust API connector with excellent retry capability (this is open-sourced). The Connector also has automatic integrity checking. It uses rolling update techniques and can refresh even on an hourly schedule.

The GrowthPath connector can work with multiple Dear instances in different base currencies, converting results to a common reporting currency.

The Dear API load is minimised by the use of our advanced Dear cache, part of the GrowthPath Application Server. The GrowthPath Application Server can also share its Dear API load over multiple Dear API connections, to get much higher rate limits, if required. GrowthPath has clients doing hundreds of orders per day.

Currently the Analytics Connector prepares more than 25 tables. They are not just a copy of Dear's master data and transactional data, but they include tables which combine data for insights which go beyond Dear's reporting. For instance, on overview per order of what's been shipped, invoiced, is in fulfilment, credited and returned.

Data transformation and clean up: The Connector allows for a client-specific transformation layer, which allows historical data to be corrected and adjusted on the fly. For instance, you may describe an important color as Gray in one Dear system, and Grey in another: we can standardise that before the data goes into the Analytics tool.

data model full

Larger extract of the data model

 

Zoho Analytics for advanced reporting

Zoho Analytics is a fairly advanced data warehouse and reporting tool, 100% cloud-based. You can make powerful reports, charts and dashboards. In one place, you can combine Xero data, Dear transnational  data, legacy data, Google analytics data, Shopify data, your own data feeds .... in an easy to use, browser-based tool, and it's not very expensive. If you have not used advanced reporting, it's a great place to start.

'Advanced reporting' means 

  • Reporting which focuses on the high level and allows a user to filter and drill down to immediately highlight interesting details
  • A tool where a user can construct new reports to meet one-off requirements (example: preparing to meet a buyer)
  • Use of visualisation
  • A focus on business-drivers
  • A tool that helps a skilled user explore relationships in transactional data to discover important trends
  • A tool which combines data from different sources, including legacy data, POS data, website analytics, CRM insights.

The reporting tools in Dear meet some of these requirements, but they have little visualisation, are not very flexible, are limited to data in Dear and a user-licence is required per user.

You can get a feel for Zoho's capabilities with this 6 minute video

https://analytics.zoho.com/workspace/sample 

Pricing

Using the GrowthPath Analytics Connector requires an annual subscription to the GrowthPath Application Server. This varies depending on the size of the server required. Typically, it is $1200 AUD.

You also need to provide a Zoho Analytics subscription (https://www.zoho.com/analytics/pricing.html). If you want five users, you can budget less than $100 AUD a month, or about 70 USD. Zoho is good value.

The connector is currently sold as a one-time fee. $4000 AUD for the connector alone. If you want a customised ETL layer (to clean up historical Dear data), load and integration of data from legacy systems or consulting around choosing KPIs and configuring dashboards and reports, GrowthPath will provide a fixed-price services project. Typically, clients pay AUD $4000 for onboarding.

Currently, we provide the Postgresql connector, for PowerBI and other analytics tools, at the same charge as the Zoho connector.

If you want multiple Dear instances, there is a one-time charge of $1000 AUD extra.

 

Power BI and other analytics tools

Currently in soft launch. A small number of slots are available for clients interested in an early/preview version.

Microsoft's Power BI Desktop is a reporting tool running in Windows. It doesn't have its own store of data, although it stores extracts of data based on reports created.

To use fresh data, it needs a connection to a database acting as a data warehouse. You can connect it to the dedicated analytics database provided by the GrowthPath connector, which runs on Postgresql, a supported database.

The tables have relationships defined so PowerBI can help the report creator link data from the transactional tables to the master data tables.

If you have another analytics or datawarehouse tool, you can extract the data from the same database. Even into Excel.

This avoids having to write a custom integration into Dear's API. The Growthpath connection uses an advanced and robust connection to Dear, which is much more advanced and tested than a one-off integration made by an analytics vendor.

The other big advantage is that the GrowthPath connector offers a solution to multiple Dear databases in different currencies, we have advanced synthesised tables for reporting which goes beyond Dear, we have automatic data integrity checking and we have a data transformation layer.

This is in Beta testing, which means we are selling the service but to a limited number of customers. If you are interested, please contact GrowthPath.