Business Intelligence and Dynamics CRM

Business Intelligence and Dynamics CRM

There has been a lot of talk lately about business intelligence (BI), especially around the CRM space.  It seems like every vendor is showing fantastic charts and metrics and claiming that you, too, can get in on the BI train.  What does this actually mean for you?

First of all, BI (business intelligence) requires data.  If you don’t have data, then you don’t get intelligence.  If you don’t have good data, then you don’t get good intelligence.  These statements are important to keep in mind when you are viewing impressive charts and graphs.

Second, what is important to someone else is not necessarily important to you.  Every business is different.  Every business has different requirements for what they need to see in order to make decisions.  If you don’t know what metrics you need to make good decisions, then you need to figure that out before you start any BI project.

Let me introduce you to Power BI.  Power BI is a visualization tool from Microsoft that allows you to take your data and visualize it in a way that means something to you.  It takes my two points listed above and puts them to work.  It takes your data and displays it, so that you can make decisions.

Take a look at this:

All this data came from a CRM database, and it provides insight that someone can use to make decisions.  In this case, the focus is on revenue and opportunities.  If I were to click on the blue WI square in the middle, it will filter the entire rest of the page to focus just on Wisconsin.

This is valuable information; however, it is only as good as: (1) the quality of the data, and (2) the relevance of the data, i.e., is it appropriate for making decisions?

If the average deal size does not provide anything more than an interesting statistic, then it should be removed and possibly replaced with information that is more helpful, such as who your largest customer is by revenue.

It is easy to get swept away by colorful charts.  Working with a company that takes the time to understand what you need is more important than getting pages of colorful charts.  TopLine Results takes the time to listen to what you need and helps you with the two key points.

How can you collect good data? This is a key service of our CRM consulting business.

What information do you need in order to make decisions?  This is an outcome of our process consulting business.

We also provide those pretty colorful charts!

Give or a call (1-800-880-1960) or shoot us an email ( so that we can help you gather and report good data and relevant data, so that you will have the business intelligence metrics you need to run and grow your business.

About the Author
Dan Boehm is our senior developer and lead engineer for CRM implementation projects. With more than ten years of Microsoft .NET and CRM experience, Dan specializes in complex CRM development and migration projects with an emphasis on creative solutions which meet and surpass client expectations.

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