Going Gaga Over Data: Business Intelligence (BI) from Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the Key to Doing Your Job and Running Your Business

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According to this New York Time’s article, we are in the “Age of Big Data.” People are so “gaga” about data and reports that they’re even calling it a new type of economic asset, such as currency or gold.

In light of this article, it seems best for us to talk a bit about business intelligence (BI) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Many of our clients ask for more and more reports, when in reality what they want is more business intelligence. In our opinion, business intelligence comes in three flavors:

  1. The information you need to do your job.
  2. The information you need to do your job with team members or in a group.
  3. The information you need to run your organization right.

Not many people really know what business intelligence means. In short, business intelligence is being able to take what you do and graphically put it into uniform information that you can act upon, as an organization or personally. What form and format you choose to manage this data is completely up to you.

Out-of-the-box business intelligence functionality built into Microsoft Dynamics® CRM 2011 makes ‘The Age of Big Data’ more attainable. Visualization is really what people are after these days in regard to BI, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 can give it to them. For example, just by turning a table of numbers into a graph or chart, it can GIVE USERS AND MANAGERS a whole new perspective that will ultimately benefit your company. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words; or in this case, a graph is worth a thousand numbers. Previous to Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, there were no native charting capabilities within the system. Now there are native charting and dashboard capabilities of anything you wish. They’re also interactive, which will talk more about below. Examples of Visualization tools are:

  1. Dashboards. You can create multiple dashboards that update every time you open up Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Anything you want to see and that is relevant to your role, you can create. Even better, you can drill down on information and create other charts from the one you’re currently working in. For example, you can create a funnel to show your current leads, click on it and it pulls up a pie chart showing how much revenue is assigned to each lead. This type of insight automatically makes you more productive and profitable as you can focus on the high potential opportunities.
  2. Inline Analytics. The inline analytics available in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 makes it a more interactive experience. For example, you can have a bar graph right within your dashboard view and click on a section to show more detail. It’s an interactive way to work with your data, making you more knowledgeable at any given time. Drill down capabilities not only presents the information you need, but also makes it possible to investigate further, getting to the bottom of things quickly.
  3. Reporting Wizards. Like I said above, people seem to want more and more reports, but really BI is what they’re after. Reporting wizards in CRM make it possible for people to gather the information they need in the format they want. Anyone can create reports and generate a nice output relevant for their role in the organization.

So don’t let the ‘Age of Big Data’ push you over the edge. There’s a way to combat the overload of sales, marketing and customer service data and that’s with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. You can put your CRM data to good use by easily creating informative BI for your business. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and BI, please contact us at jennifers@tmgroupinc.com or 888.482.2864.


By The TM Group, Michigan  Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics SL and SharePoint

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