New Business Central feature alert!
Never short of a few jaw-dropping new features, Business Central has centred much of the changes in the latest release on public feedback. One of the newest changes, the ability to analyse, group and pivot data on lists, means that they’ve added the ability to control on which list pages the analysis mode is enabled, added the ability to share an analysis mode tab with a co-worker, increased the data set size to above 100,000 rows and added persistence for the user’s choice of analysis mode on list pages, so that their preferences are remembered from their last visit.
This has made it even more simple and intuitive when it comes to managing data in your system.
End users and data analysts can analyse data from lists directly in the client without the need to open the page in Excel or run a report.
The ability to analyse data directly in lists raises the bar for what you can do without having to switch applications, while still allowing customers and partners to do more in report objects, Excel, Power BI, or other data analysis applications.
Analysis mode is a new way of interacting with data on lists. Instead of running reports using different options and filters, you can simply add multiple tabs that represent different tasks or views on the data. Examples could be “My customers,” “Follow-up items,” “Recently added vendors,” “Sales statistics,” or any other view you want.
When you’re ready to analyse data on a list page (where you might have filtered data using a view or filter pane), simply switch to analysis mode:
Analysis mode opens the data in a new experience that’s optimised for data analysis. When a page is in analysis mode, it’s split into two areas:
- The main data area (including a Tabs pane)
- The field modifier area
Use the data area to interact with the data. For columns that are summable, you can easily get descriptive statistics on a set of fields by marking them.
The bottom of the data area shows the total row count on the column.
Use the field modifier area to control the data to show and its format. On the menu, you choose the fields to show or hide.
You can group data by dragging fields to the Grouping part of the Columns menu. This lets you explore data grouped by one or more fields to the left of the data area.
Grouping works great in pivot mode. To enable pivot mode, turn on the Pivot Mode toggle switch and then drag fields that are to be summed to the Values part.
In pivot mode, you can define groups that show up in the column part of the data area. Do this by dragging fields to the Column Labels part of the Columns menu.
Column grouping works best if the grouping field only contains a few values.
Use the Additional Filters menu of the field modifier area to apply more filters to the dataset. In this part of an analysis, you might want to focus on a specific customer or period of time.
The data area gives you rich control of the layout of columns.
- Drag columns to where they make the most sense in your analysis.
- Pin a column to the left or right side of the column part.
- Define data filters directly on the column definition instead of going to the field modifier area. You can still peek in on details about related data and for each line, and open the card to learn more about a given entity.
Business Central can save multiple column setups and filters. The next time you switch to analysis mode you can dive straight in to analysing data. On the Tabs pane, you can rename or remove a tab.
The Tabs pane also lets you add new tabs.
Using tabs allows you to save different setups that you frequently use to analyse a dataset. For example, you might have tabs for analysing data with pivot mode, and other tabs that filter to a subset of rows. Some tabs might show a detailed view with many columns, and others only display a few key columns.
Note: These tabs are saved for your use only.
How much data can I analyse?
On a list page, as a starting point you can set filters to limit the data. Maybe you want to analyse a certain group of customers, or maybe you want data from the current year only. You can also choose a page view to perform this action. You don’t have to do this prefiltering step, but going to analysis mode will load all data into your browser, so it might be needed for larger datasets (currently above 100,000 rows).
In the 2023 release wave 2, we allow users to analyse more data than 100,000 rows.
How do I get started with analysis mode?
The feature is turned on by default. Your administrator can turn it off using the Feature Management page by disabling Analysis mode.