How SMBs use Dynamics 365 reporting to improve productivity

Reporting Header

Timely, accurate reporting is the bedrock of good decision-making, and it gives everyone visibility into what’s going on in the in business. Effective reporting saves time. It brings together all your data, and it lets you make the right decisions at the right time. But that may be easier said than done...

If your organisation struggles with reporting, you’re not alone. Whether it’s the time it takes to run reports or the siloed nature of your data, challenges spring up at every step.

In a study into business information (BI), over 10,000 senior decision-makers talked about their challenges. With 38.5% of the vote, the top issue was delivering self-service reporting across their business. 27% highlighted the challenge of reporting and analysis across multiple systems while just over 15% cited the need to unlock data buried in their systems. 

To fix these and other reporting challenges, many businesses turn to Microsoft Dynamics 365 to improve their reporting and productivity.

Save time and increase reporting accuracy

One of the easiest ways to improve productivity is to improve the handling of routine processes. If you centralise the management of these workflows and apply some processing rules, staff are better able to reach positive outcomes.

It’s exactly what DDC Dolphin did. When we first started working with the business, the company had data stored in lots of different places. One of its frustrations was the time it took to create reports. 

By implementing Dynamics 365, the company was able to bring all its data into one place. This has centralised the management of its site visits and service requests, transforming the quality of its reporting.

“Reporting is a million times better than before, and we can always dig deeper for more insights,” explains Alan Hyde, DDC Dolphin’s Operations Director. “We’re also using Power BI which is creating further reporting efficiencies as we were previously stretching Excel to the limit.”

You can also read about how Incomm were able to save around 30 hours a week using Dynamics 365 reporting, here.

Improve decision-making

It’s good to rely on your instinct at times. But when you’re making decisions for your business? Not so much. You need solid data and evidence behind you. With patchy reports and a lack of detail, guesswork will creep in. How can you overcome a lack of detail in your decision-making? 

Look at Source Telecom. It was burdened with manual, time-consuming reporting processes. Its invoice reporting was done on spreadsheets, creating potential for errors and inconsistencies. 

“Our sales team is targeted on how many appointments are fulfilled. With opportunity and appointment data now held in Microsoft Dynamics we can quickly report on this,” says Laura Fowler, Business Account Manager. “This is just one of the ways that CRM data is now driving decisions in the business.”

With Dynamics 365, Source Telecom can report on marketing campaigns and how responsive contacts are. Most importantly, it is able to accurately report on the profit it’s making. "With all our main data now available in Dynamics we are much better informed,” adds Laura.

You can also read about how Dorset Mental Health Forum improved the quality and reliability of its reporting, here.

Create a single source of truth

When your data is siloed, you struggle to get the full picture. Compiling your data from separate sources – your transactional databases, ERM suites, email marketing systems – is a mammoth task. Not only does it take ages, but you run the risk of missing data out. 

Dynamics 365 unifies this data and connects separate systems creating a single source of truth which you can confidently base reports on.

THSP reaped the benefits of this. It needed to improve its processes and achieve greater reporting insight. THSP also wanted to create better BI with organisation-wide reports. But its data wasn’t in the right place to do so. The company firstly worked with Preact to deploy Dynamics which established ‘one truth’ for the company. 

Upon implementing, Dynamics the company is able to measure progress across its key performance indicators and have this linked directly with its Integrated Management System. These metrics quickly provided clearer visibility into its current order book and prospective future orders to make a real difference to the efficiency of its resource scheduling.”

You can also read about how Fourfront Group improved its reporting, here.

Work anywhere, at any time

Reports shouldn’t be restrained by location. Everyone should be able to access the metrics and numbers that matter wherever they work. With Dynamics 365, teams can access data and run reports from any device, and any location. It unified interface gives them a consistent experience with the capabilities for embedded Power BI visualisations. This result is real-time analysis, regardless of where your people are. 

How to boost your productivity with Dynamics 365 

You’ve seen how Dynamics 365 can improve your reporting. Now it’s time to see what it can do for your data, your processes and your teams. 

Read our e-book, Five Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity with Dynamics 365.