As Managing Director of eOne Solutions it is very rare that I have time to log into Dynamics GP. But what if I want to see data from within our GP system all of the time? The answer is SmartView External. 
First, SmartView is an application that is completely separate to GP, and sits as a windows application I launch from my Windows 8 desktop. Each morning I drag SmartView onto my second monitor and open email on my main monitor. It looks this. 
I think like many CEO’s/Managing Directors I am a little obsessed with our sales numbers and like to keep a very close eye on how things are going on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. I am interested in more than just the total $ number – I like to know exactly what is selling and who is buying it. 
So at 8:00am, I select my Daily Sales list in SmartView. It looks like this below – where there are usually 3-4 small payments from international resellers who have renewed their Extender or SmartList Builder in the early hours of the morning. 
As the day progresses I come back from time to time to check out how the Credit Card website payments are going. Ninety percent of our sales are coming via our website and are integrated directly into GP via SmartConnect. So in SmartView I am looking only at SOP transactions, created today, where the ‘on account amount’ is zero. That means the transaction has been fully paid via Credit Card. My List tends to grow and look like this. 
Each time it refreshes I am first looking at the total at the bottom of the report. As long as the number is going up I am content. Sometimes it jumps by $200 representing a renewal – or sometimes it takes a big jump. I smile. The nice thing about seeing this data is I can tie certain sales back in my mind to a demo, to a reseller visit, or a conversation I have had in the weeks prior. 
Later in the day the list hopefully reaches the full screen and I can no longer see all the transactions. That’s when I know it’s been a good day. My favorite thing in a day is when I have to scroll down! The important thing to me is speed – I am usually very busy. Each refresh takes less than a second, so I am never just waiting on data.
Some days, I want more than just to see how the day, the week or month is tracking.  Let’s say its 3 pm and I already have to scroll down – then I might think – what are we selling today? I simply drag and drop the item column up to the header and I get a report that looks like the following. This is grouped by product. So as per below I can see that there were 9 Extender Renewals, 2 Extender Saas Payments, and a nice Extender/SmartConnect Bundle. 
While I love all our products equally, (like any good parent) I always like to keep a close eye on our SmartConnect Sales. So I then use the drop down filter to look just a SmartConnct sales.
The Result now looks like this.
You’ll notice that I also have lists prepared for “This Month’s Sales”, and this “Year to Date Sales”.
I use these to give me a snapshot of how the month is tracking and how things are looking by year. When I get a call from a reseller telling me ‘we need a discount on this deal, and we do SOOO much business with you’ – I use these lists to know exactly what a customer has spent with me in the last day, week, month and year. When someone tells me ‘they sell SLB with every deal they do’ – I can check and tell if they are exaggerating or that they actually do not do many GP deals!
Weirdly I never export any of this data to Excel – because I can do exactly what I need to on a daily operational level right there in SmartView.

When it comes to month end analysis I use my Excel Report Builder based reports which leverage all the power of pivot tables, Excel Dashboards, etc. However I will cover this in another article. 

All in all I’m not sure how I ever survived a day in the office without SmartView. 

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