Since Power BI has been introduced, the world of big-data analytics has been within the reach of many small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB’s). Analyzing your customer data starts with having a structured database, like with Dynamics 365 Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Having your data in a shared, centralized database enables users to enter data consistently, in a structured way, that computers can easily process. Having many relationships between the data points makes it possible to find associations that wouldn’t have been obvious otherwise. These kinds of analytics can lead to better decisions.
Power BI visualizations help bring your data to life. With hundreds of types of visualizations to choose from, you can add tiles to your dashboard that make your data jump out and speak to you. From the simplest Key Performance Indicators to animated fishbowls, you can use your imagination to present the story your data is telling you.
Out with the Old
SyncraTec has experience building Power BI Dashboards that have streamlined data reporting to our clients end-customers. Before Power BI, the old process was to export data from CRM views at the end-of-the-month, for each particular client, and manually process the Excel spreadsheets to show that client how many cases were successfully processed in the prior month. The crosstab charts conveyed the necessary information, but it was a manual process, and essentially just another month-end chore.
Data Replication to Azure SQL Database
The new reporting process starts with replicating all the CRM data to a stand-alone Azure SQL database. The replication can be accomplished with the Data Export Service that is part of the CRM system. Once the data is in the Azure SQL database, we can develop our client-specific dashboards. Each dashboard reports against a filtered view to limit the dataset on a client-by-client basis. Finally, we setup each client with a low-cost subscription to Power BI and provide them with a username, password, that enables them to check on the status of their cases 24×7. We have maintenance procedures in the Azure SQL database that enable the database to automatically scale-up overnight to handle the necessary processing to refresh the dashboard datasets.
Find the Hidden Correlations
The nice thing about Power BI is that you can find correlations in your data that you may not have been expecting. Power BI utilizes sophisticated algorithms to discover potentially-interesting insights. For example, you may identify one or two members of a dimension as outliers with much larger values than other respective members. You could potentially discover significant changes in trends in a time series of data. Or you could detect cases where multiple measures show a correlation between each other when plotted against a dimension in the dataset.
Learn more: Types of Insights Supported by Power BI