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Customer Insights for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Customer Insights for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Hitachi Solutions > Blog > 2019 > 08 > Customer Insights for Microsoft Dynamics 365

What is Customer Insights for Microsoft Dynamics 365?

At the heart of every organisation’s digital transformation journey is building a deep and thorough understanding of customers by centralising key metrics, applying data science techniques and infusing Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven insights. This becomes the single source of truth for customer data within an organisation. In short, Customer Insights has the following features:

  • It provides actionable insights on customer data, no matter what area of your business this data resides in. This includes sales, service desk, asset maintenance, account retention and many others.
  • It connects to multiple disparate data sources to provide a single source of truth for your customer data, including bespoke connections to in-house data sources.
  • It triggers workflows and actions based on Customer Insights triggers using Microsoft Flow and Logic Apps.
  • It embeds Customer Insights reporting directly into your organisation via reports and dashboards, so the latest insights are at the fingertips of those that need them.
  • It segments your customer base on known predicted customer journeys.

Customer Insights can help identify paths to improving customer satisfaction, identify potential sales targets or track any other metric an organisation wishes to, that fits within the Customer Insights framework.

You can connect many different data sources to Customer Insights such as D365 CE, LinkedIn, Salesforce and much more – including custom connectors to bespoke data sources.

Customer Insights is a rapidly growing area within the Microsoft ecosystem as innovative new features continue to be added regularly based on customer feedback.

How does Customer Insights work?

At the highest level, Customer Insights separates your data into 2 main categories:

  • Profiles – This represents a business resource, such as an Account, Contact or Product.
  • Interactions – These are the activities and communications logged against the profile.

Once you’ve chosen your data source(s), you will need to define which entities define profiles, and which are interactions – this data is updated every 15 minutes. You’ll then need to set-up your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with which to measure your success.

Finally, once Customer Insights has analysed your data against your defined metrics, you can set-up visualisations using tools like PowerBI to face these insights up in an easy to understand format so your business can make the right decisions.

How can Customer Insights for Dynamics 365 help my business?

Predicting a business outcome has historically required expensive and complex custom-built machine learning and AI solutions. Customer Insights removes this complexity while still leveraging these same technologies, allowing users of any skill level to apply AI to a wide range of business outcomes.

Customer Insights provides a comprehensive 360-view of the customer and these insights can be embedded contextually right into the business processes and applications in use by your users such as D365 CE, Power Apps and Power BI. For example, based on triggers from Customer Insights you can kick-off workflows to carry-out certain tasks in Microsoft Flow or Logic Apps, alert users of a new potential target for sales or identify high-value sales areas or new sales areas based on the insights provided.

  • Predictive Scoring - This enables your users to apply AI to your data to predict a range of business outcomes such as which opportunities should I focus on and which cases should I escalate? Utilizing predictive scoring can enhance your business by:
    • Business users can predict any business outcome
    • Automatically discover best predictive signals
    • Continuous scoring of incoming data
    • Determine the interpretable predictive factor
  • Market Segmentation - As your customers/prospects, cases or assets move through their lifecycle, segmenting them into the right stages, determining the right messaging and timing becomes important. Leverage the AI and machine-learning capabilities of Customer Insights to drive the right segmentation for your data.
  • Predictive Matching - Data from multiple sources often leverages different fields to uniquely identify records. What your eCommerce solution calls a customer and what your CRM system calls a customer can often be different. Utilize advanced algorithms to match data from multiple data fields into a single profile, providing a matching percentage or confidence interval for each match.  Gaining a stronger 360-degree view of your customer data.

An interesting use-case for Customer Insights could be when it is used in conjunction with Connected Field Service, by leveraging the capabilities of both frameworks you could potentially predict device failures before they occur – limiting the impact on your business.

By leveraging the AI capabilities of Customer Insights, you can predict customer intent, so you can address potential issues before they are raised or reach-out to the customer with targeted offers before they have even picked up the phone.

Current Limitations?

Customer Insights is a very new tool, so it is expected to have some limitations in its current iteration. These are as follows:

  • Azure Subscription - To leverage Customer Insights, an Azure subscription is required.
  • Set-Up and Configuration - Due to the nature of the tool, Customer Insights can take some time to set-up and a substantial degree of knowledge about the underlying data and its sources is required.
  • Data Sources - At the time of writing, Customer Insights only supports Dynamics 365 data sources, CSV files stored in Azure blob storage and Hub Data REST APIs. This is possibly the biggest limitation Customer Insights currently has, especially as it purports to support data from all your existing systems. Based on Microsoft’s current strategy though, I think we can expect to see vastly more sources supported soon.
  • KPI Processing - Tracking KPIs is one of the main selling points of Customer Insights and it does handle this well. However, it should be noted that processing data against KPIs will only work for new data, not historical. This may change in future versions but for the time-being is certainly a limitation.

What Does Customer Insights Cost?

At the time of writing, Customer Insights can be added to your organisation for £1131.10 ($1500) per tenant, per month. The license includes 100,000 profiles. Full pricing for licenses click here

 

Can I Try Customer Insights?

Yes, Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is currently available in Public Preview, this preview can be requested here.

Speak to our experts today.

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Jack Nutkins

Jack Nutkins works for Hitachi Solutions (UK) as a Technical Consultant in the Customer Engagement (Dynamics 365) delivery team for Hitachi Solutions. He is an experienced Dynamics CRM specialist with over 8 years’ CRM experience where he joined the Hitachi family in 2019. Jack has integrated Dynamics CRM with multiple other platforms during his career and is always looking for new and improved ways organisations can streamline and automate business processes by leveraging the Azure platform and related technologies.

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Author Spotlight

Jack Nutkins

Jack Nutkins works for Hitachi Solutions (UK) as a Technical Consultant in the Customer Engagement (Dynamics 365) delivery team for Hitachi Solutions. He is an experienced Dynamics CRM specialist with over 8 years’ CRM experience where he joined the Hitachi family in 2019. Jack has integrated Dynamics CRM with multiple other platforms during his career and is always looking for new and improved ways organisations can streamline and automate business processes by leveraging the Azure platform and related technologies.

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