Could-Based Business Intelligence Solution

Power BI and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE — the Dynamic Duo You Need to Meet

Power BI is Microsoft’s cloud-based business intelligence solution. Learn here how Power BI extends the functionality of Microsoft D365 CE.

Could-Based Business Intelligence Solution

Table of Content

    Move over Ben and Jennifer, we’d like to introduce a dynamic duo like no other. It’s Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE paired with Microsoft Power BI. Seriously, we often talk about the advantages of being part of the Microsoft family — specifically the ability to leverage complementary products that boost functionality and add real value. In this case, the value is in combining actionable data from multiple applications into reports and dashboards your marketing, sales, and customer support teams can use to generate more opportunities, close more deals, and provide better service. Here’s a quick overview of Power BI followed by a few of the perks of its relationship with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE.

    Powerful, affordable, and easy to use

    Power BI is Microsoft’s cloud-based, self-service business intelligence solution. It allows you to consolidate and analyze data from different sources, combining them into reports and dashboards that illustrate and illuminate what’s happening with your business.

    Power BI is an ideal cloud-based business intelligence solution for small and mid-size businesses since it’s nimble, powerful, affordable, and easy to use. If you’re familiar with Excel, then the BI learning curve is a snap. You can easily and quickly create your own reports by dragging and dropping the fields you want to explore.

    High-level benefits of incorporating Power BI include:

    • Leverage pre-built dashboards, reports, and data models to get up and running quickly
    • As simple as point-and-click to create customized dashboards and reports
    • Includes a mobile app providing anywhere access to reports, graphs, and charts

    Extend the Power with the Ideal Cloud-Based Business Intelligence Solution

    Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications, like Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE, empower your organization’s marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE delivers valuable data in the form of reports, KPIs and dashboards. But what it can’t do alone is incorporate other business data critical to optimizing team performance and providing a superior customer experience. That’s where Power BI comes in.

    Power BI extends the functionality of Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE, allowing you to include data from other disparate applications in customized reports and dashboards. Through this cloud-based business intelligence solution, you are able to unlock that data and bringing it together in one place provides deep, operational insights and allows your sales, marketing, and service teams to make better, more strategic decisions. Power BI also makes it easy to share the reports you’ve created throughout your organization.

    Use Power BI to connect to (almost) any data source and consolidate the data within Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE. Many of our clients are also running Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and are tapping into inventory and other operational data held in that application. However, the different datasets you can include in your Power BI analytics do not have to be Microsoft applications — you could include NetSuite, QuickBooks, or Google Analytics, data for example. Considering switching from Salesforce? You can tap into Salesforce data with Power BI to provide historical data while moving forward with Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE.

    Here’s just a partial list of some of the data sets our clients are tapping into using Power BI.

    • ERP applications
    • Company website
    • Ecommerce tools
    • Excel sheets
    • SharePoint
    • Power Apps
    • Access databases
    • Azure Services
    • Azure blob storage
    • Azure Data Lake
    • Azure DevOps
    • Azure IOT
    • Adobe Services
    • Salesforce
    • Click Dimensions
    • HubSpot
    • Dropbox
    • Google Calendar
    • LinkedIn
    • Teams
    • Smartsheet
    • Survey tools
    • Yammer
    • YouTube
    • DocuSign
    • HelloSign
    • SQL databases
    • Oracle databases

    Go From What to Why

    While typical CRM reports are great at delivering answers to “what” questions, they typically don’t have the broader context to answer the “why” questions. That’s where the power of Power BI comes into play. By combining data from other sources across your organization, it delivers a more complete performance picture, uncovering data relationships that fuel your ability to understand why things are happening and react accordingly.

    Cloud-based business intelligence solution dashboard

    For example, the cloud-based business intelligence solution lets you quickly create dashboards and start monitoring your teams’ opportunities, results, and overall efficiency. You can also monitor key metrics like win rates, number of wins, revenue, discounts, and YTD revenue maps. Elevate the dashboards by looping in survey data that helps you correlate customer satisfaction scores with revenue trends. Use custom filters to search data by date range and compare metrics over time. The Power BI dashboards are refreshed with up-to-date data automatically and give you an at-a-glance view of the insights anytime you need it.

    Some of the sales and marketing metrics you can monitor using Power BI and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE include:

    • Revenue: Find your best-case scenario
    • Factored revenue: Develop a more realistic projection, based on opportunity stage
    • Opportunity count: Compare across the sales team
    • Geography: Which regions are strongest and weakest?
    • Funnel: Where in the pipeline are your opportunities?
    • Channel effectiveness: Compare direct and indirect sales performance
    • Opportunity revenue trend: Which direction is revenue headed?

     

    Final Thoughts

    Growing, dynamic businesses like yours make use of many software applications to manage your diverse operations and workflows. The challenge in that approach, though, is that the data can becomes locked and siloed.

    Power BI can help you overcome that challenge by unlocking the silos and allowing you to bring together disparate data in cohesive, meaningful, and strategic ways. Power BI is an excellent companion to Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE — one that helps your sales, marketing, and service teams gain a broader perspective and visibility into the data that ultimately impacts your bottom line.

    Still interested? Learn more about all the features for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CE and Power BI.

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