Is all your CRM data sitting in MS Dynamics? It could be costing you
Do you know where your customer data is stored? In all likelihood, it’s probably in your Dynamics 365 CRM platform because that’s the way it was set up and no one thought to change it. But Dynamics wasn’t built to store huge amounts of data, it was built to manage your customer interactions. For many Dynamics users, this means that you may be paying more than you should.
Leaving your data in Dynamics has both financial and operational implications. Microsoft recently increased its pricing for storage to gently nudge users to reassess how and where they store their data. This aims to improve performance, but it will also make it easier for MS to introduce more features, without impacting the data. We think now is a great opportunity to look at your options for where you could and should be keeping your data.
What should you do right now?
- Integrate Dynamics with a Modern Data Warehouse or data lake to store and manage the bulk of your data. These technologies are more accessible and simpler to use than ever before.
- Keep only your active records in Dynamics – this will help with performance. (A Modern Data Warehouse will help you do this.)
- Implement a Master Data Management (MDM) programme. Clean your data. Delete and dedupe wherever possible. You could be taking up valuable storage space with duplicate, incorrect or corrupt data.
- Use a data vault model, such as Microsoft’s Data Factory. Establish data governance and data quality processes to ensure data is accurate and consistent, and importantly GDPR compliant.
- Consider how you’re currently using data and how that will change in the future. Should your storage solution be a hub where it can direct data to where it needs to be?
It’s not just the financial benefits…
Apart from the financial benefit, adopting a data management programme will help you utilise your data more efficiently and effectively. With data stored in a modern data warehouse or data lake, you can integrate data from other internal and external sources – think web forms, payment processes and credit checks. It will act as a hub so it’s easy to maintain an audit history.
It’s also worth remembering that some features offered by MS in the future may only be available to customers who have used ‘best practice’ data storage technologies. Such as modern data warehouses. By moving your data across, you’re gaining the flexibility to use other Azure applications or Dynamics modules where data is pulled from a single source.
Moving your data offers the perfect opportunity to introduce initiatives like data governance and data quality programmes – essential housekeeping for all data.
What happens when data migration goes wrong? We’ve recently seen some very large-scale failures that should act as a warning for any company planning to move data. Only last year TSB customers were locked out of their accounts due to the unsuccessful migration of customer data. The ramifications are still being felt.
Modern Data Warehouses (MDW) have been around for years, but they have not always been very accessible. In the past, data warehouses tended to be highly technical and only seen as an operational tool. Because of this, you usually needed a data scientist or someone with technical skills to develop, implement and then manage it.
Understanding your customer’s needs and how they want to communicate with you is key to a successful marketing campaign. But, with huge volumes of data from multiple sources flooding your organisation every day, making sense of it can be a challenge. This is where Modern Data Warehouses (MDW) can help in marketing.