Let Your Data Tell a Story: CRM Using Microsoft Power BI

CRM is the key to a successful business. Data visualization takes your customer relationships to another level. Extend your CRM solutions to create a bigger, more sustainable customer pool with Microsoft Power BI. This software application visualizes your corporate information and allows your data to tell a very important story.

 

The information age has digitized most businesses today, which means your corporate data speaks about a company more than any top executive. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 suite of applications allow you to maximize your customer relations using your data!

 

If you’re interested in maintaining excellent customer relationships, read more. JourneyTEAM has given you tips and tricks on how your data can tell a story with Microsoft Power BI.

The Principles of Storytelling

Storytelling has been the way humans have communicated since the stone age. Now, it’s time for your data to tell a story. Below are the principles for a good story:

  • Quick and Simple: Present long, complex data in a short and easy-to-understand fashion so the audience can make the most out of what you show.
  • Inspire Change: The data you present should connect with the audience so that they’re inspired to change their work/life in a way that benefits your business (CRM 101)!
  • Make an impact: Ensure that the storytelling leaves a mark on the audience. An unforgettable experience is what manufactures recurring customers.

Microsoft Power BI JourneyTEAMmates

Elements of a Good Story

For your data to tell a story effectively, it has to abide by four key elements: stage setting, target audience, planning, and allowing deeper explorations.

 

Stage Setting

Good CRM starts with context. Stage setting gives your audience a context on the data they’re viewing. Without your audience knowing what they’re seeing, your story loses all meaning.

 

The best way to set the stage for your data visualization is the dashboard. Here are some tips to an excellent Power BI dashboard:

  • Organize the dashboard effectively and maintain good spacing
  • Use clear headings and titles for all graphics and data
  • Maintain concise and impactful labels
  • Use few colors to reduce distractions, and highlight only key metrics

 

Target Audience

A different audience means a different story. It is important to tailor your visualizations based on who your audience is, where they come from, what data they care about, etc.

 

A good practice is to create different pages for different audiences. You can also provide page links on the dashboard. Know your audience well, and show only the data they care about. This will maximize the story’s impact.

 

Plan

To ensure you give enough attention to all aspects of your story, plan what you’re going to present beforehand.

 

A great way to do this is through storyboards. With storyboards you can create boards for each page. You decide what colors and information the slide will have. You can also manage links and any other aspect of the page.

 

Ensure that you focus on the important stories and data only. Create separate pages to organize your data well. Don’t clutter a page! Presenting too much information at once ironically leads to a lack of information in the audience.

 

Explorations

Allow your audience to explore your visualizations. Create pages, links, and drill-throughs that engage the audience and demand their attention.

  • Use filters to allow users to find the data and reports they need. Drill-throughs are useful so that customers can learn more about specific pieces of information!
  • Make the dashboard the home for the most important stories. It should be an executive summary that says a little bit about everything. Then use drill-throughs to allow users to dig into the specifics.

 

The Perfect Dashboard

The dashboard is the heart of your visualization. The better the dashboard, the better the response.

  • Personalize the dashboard based on your audience. Make it informative yet simple, and elaborative yet quick!
  • A dashboard needs to say a little about everything. Ensure you display all the critical stories on the dashboard and use drill-throughs to allow users to dig deeper.
  • Put the important information on the top, and the most critical information on the top left. It’s where the eyes go first!
  • Use the right charts to represent your data, maintain color consistency, and highlight only key metrics!

 

Note: Power BI offers several variations of graphs and charts. Make sure you choose the ones accurate for the type of information you present!

 

Making the Most of Visualization

70% of your mental faculty is used in visualization. Most of that is iconic memory, things that you see and instantly forget.

 

When your audience views your visualizations, you must make the most out of cognitive science to ensure the information goes from iconic memory to long-term memory.

 

What to avoid:

  • Too many bright colors
  • Thick, colorful borders
  • Lack of highlighting
  • Excessive Grids
  • Needlessly precise numbers

 

How to capture your story in the long-term memory:

  • Create call-to-actions
  • Use data patterns that are easy to view and process (see Gestalt’s principles)
  • Use textual or audio cues alongside the visualization to engage multiple sensory inputs
  • Maintain color consistency
  • Maintain good spacing
  • It’s okay to round off numbers that are full of digits

 

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JourneyTEAM was recently awarded Microsoft US Partner of the Year for Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement (Media & Communications) and the Microsoft Eagle Crystal trophy as a top 5 partner for Dynamics 365 Business Central software implementations. Our team has a proven track record with successful Microsoft technology implementations. Consolidating your communication, collaboration, and productivity platform with Microsoft will provide the best support possible for your sales, marketing, and other teams, wherever they work. Let us show you how. Contact JourneyTEAM today!

 

 


Dave Bollard Chief Marketing Officer | JourneyTEAM MicrosoftArticle by: Dave Bollard - Chief Marketing Officer  | 801-436-6636

JourneyTEAM is an award-winning consulting firm with proven technology and measurable results. They take Microsoft products; Dynamics 365, SharePoint intranet, Office 365, Azure, CRM, GP, NAV, SL, AX, and modify them to work for you. The team has expert level, Microsoft Gold certified consultants that dive deep into the dynamics of your organization and solve complex issues. They have solutions for sales, marketing, productivity, collaboration, analytics, accounting, security and more. www.journeyteam.com

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