Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 Office apps combine to enrich customer relationships, increase productivity and improve communication.

Through the Power Platform and Common Data Service spanning Office apps and Microsoft Dynamics 365, organisations are able to unify processes and data through familiar apps to drive efficiency and better serve customers. The result is cost-effective, flexible solutions that make businesses more competitive and customer-centric.

Dynamics 365 is part of the Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) collaboration and productivity tools that provides a single sign-on experience to access any application using the same system user identities and credentials in an Active Directory network.

How Does Outlook connect with Dynamics?

The Dynamics 365 App for Outlook allows users to:

  • Link email messages, meetings, and appointments to any record in Dynamics 365 in a single click
  • Customer Engagement pane next to a selected Outlook email message shows relationship detail for each person associated with an Outlook email including recent cases, upcoming activities, active opportunities and other actions tracked in Dynamics 365
  • Perform native Outlook actions on CRM data
  • Create Dynamics 365 records and actions directly from any email
  • Embedded intelligence promotes actionable insights from tracked emails
  • Bulk import Outlook contacts into Dynamics 365
  • Track received emails on matching Dynamics records

Find out more about the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook.

Demonstrating the Dynamics 365 App for Outlook

Examples of how to use Dynamics 365 functions and access CRM information in Outlook using the D365 app to attach emails, and schedule appointments or tasks.

Video Transcript

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Hello, a short video explaining how Dynamics 365 integrates with Outlook. It's quite common that you might want to work…

Hello, a short video explaining how Dynamics 365 integrates with Outlook.

It's quite common that you might want to work within the database but be in Outlook managing your emails and things like that.

I’m going to show you how we can do that via the Outlook App, whether that's on a mobile device, if we're doing it on a browser, and also how it looks on a desktop client.

It’s quite common we get asked, ‘Is the experience very different?’, and there are a few things that's slightly different which we can cover.

A good starting point really is the Outlook web app, if I click on an email, by default you won't see the thing on the right-hand side to start with. As soon as you plug it in, you can see if you click on the more actions, there's a little Dynamics 365 tab down here. Click on this and then it basically links this email that you’re looking at in your inbox to something in the database. In this scenario, it's gone away it's found Penny's email address, it's found who she is it's telling us that it’s Penny, she's a contact, she's a CEO, there's a few phone numbers, she works for this organisation, she's currently got an open opportunity.

In terms of what appears over here on the right-hand side, this is fully configurable. If you wanted to see more information around this, you could. If you need to click into the account here to see information around the account you can and it loads up all the information from the account as well. If you need to go back you can.

Then of course there's a couple other things that you can do as well, which you can native in Dynamics…

You've got the Universal Search up here. You can search for anything in Dynamics like that, you can see it's returning it results for accounts, there's contacts in there, with the word ‘test’ in there somewhere. We've obviously then got activities, and we've got cases as well so it works just the same way Universal Search works, other than that you just need to click Next over here to get to the next screen. On a bigger screen you tend to see all four columns in one place.

We've then got the hamburger which enables you to see the different entities tables that you've put into the Outlook app basically. By default it's only dashboards in here but you can put whichever entities you want in here. Custom entities as well if that's what you need to put in here.

Then you can see if I click on accounts, you get a little arrow next to it, it shows you the recently viewed items that you've looked at under that entity. These are the three recently viewed accounts I've been on. Again, you can click into each of these to see more information around that. If you click on the accounts table itself, whichever entity you click into, it’s same as Dynamics. It presents you with the little drop down and then you can flick between the different views that you might have, so I might need to look at the key accounts view. Whichever ones you want to pin, you can pin them in here. It’s the function as you’d get in Dynamics.

When you're on here, you can see you've got the recently viewed items. Here's all your favourites, that you’ve pinned and all your recently used as well so there's a key project or something you're working on, you can pin that and then you can get to it from within here.

Then the last thing, you can do from here is there quick create. If you click on the plus here you can say again quickly create and then you can enable the entities that you need to create. I might quickly want to create a case, I could click on case, I could fill in some details, again you customise what this form looks like - as the click create case form - and then you click ‘Save and close’ and that would create your record in the system.

By default, when you click into any one of these areas from an email you've got the dynamics tab over here. You might want to pin this as well, you can click on the pin so that now stays there on the right-hand side. When I click into something else it's there at all times, basically it's pinning it to this view. Then you can see because it's tracking the email address like that in real time, as soon as I click on another email, Leanne doesn't exist. You can see Leanne Lewis is an unknown recipient because it's gone away and it's saying we don't recognise the email address.

At this point, you get the ability to go add as a contact, lead or an account. Just to show you if I flick over here to my desktop version of Outlook, it's exactly same mailbox there's Penny, there's all the details again, if I unpin this…

To get to this [Dynamics panel] you don't click on the ‘more actions’, the only difference being here is that Dynamics sits in your ribbon. So you click on here, and you've got the same option here to pin it and all the same functionality that you just saw.

Let continue in the desktop, so if I click on Leanne, I have an option to create a record. If I just say ‘create as a lead’ for now, what it will do is it will pull through her first name, her last name and her email address from the sender's record. You then put in your topic, so this might be new inquiry and then you might want to just copy some information maybe from other fields.

Click save and close, and by doing so what this will do is it will create the lead record to start with and then once it's done this it would say successfully tracked. What that means as you can see then on your Outlook, it says tracked to Dynamics. The little icon is saying tracked, once it's tracked obviously you have the ability to untracked it, and all that means is you just unlink the email from your database.

From here you've got the ability to go, okay actually I'd like to view that record. So instead of having to go and find it your database [in a separate window] and go into it, you can go and view this Dynamics over here on the right-hand side [in Outlook].

This will load up and take you into that individual record. Here all the details that you've filled in for the lead, and then of course on the middle section here. Because that email is now tracked on your timeline, you get to see the email correspondence for this individual.

That's how we track the emails. If we just go back over here again, it doesn't matter whether you're in the Outlook Web App, or whether you're in desktop, you can see it goes across its across applications.

If you click on the word ‘tracked to dynamics’ [from an Outlook email], it will show you all of your emails in your inbox that have been tracked. It's just like using the search feature of Outlook…

That's how track works. This looks at the email address and then it decides to copy that email from your inbox and put it into the database for everybody else, who's got the right permissions, to see.

There's often times where you need to say, okay the context of this email might be about a project, it might be about an opportunity, it might be about a recent case. This is where you can then use the set regard an option. Over here we've tracked it so this always exists against the email address against Leanne’s record.

When we click on ‘set regarding’, you then get to pick what you want in the system that it is regarding. By clicking on here, it will show all your recently reviewed records. I want to say this is regarding the Amazon account so I could quite easily pick that. If I don't, I could search for anything in the system such as the name of an opportunity. For example, I might say case to do with this delivery that's happening this week. Again, it's something that's already in the database. It could be this opportunity that Leanne might be referring to.

From here, I now go and click again ‘view in Dynamics’, it’ll take you from your Outlook straight into your database and it would take you into that table. In this scenario, we're looking at opportunities and on this individual opportunity you can see we've got that email. So that email is now in Dynamics so we are basically telling the email where we need it to be filed. That could be on any one of these tables that you have down here on the left hand side [entities in Dynamics site map].

From the database if you needed to, you could quite easily open this record and you could write your reply. You could reply from here from within Dynamics…

Equally if you are in your Outlook, you could just write your reply like you would normally. Send your reply off and then any subsequent replies and emails from Leanne would feed straight into the database.

If the email subject line changes then you would need to just click and set regarding again.

Also, it's very common that you may need to set ‘change regarding’. For example, someone emails about support query case, you fix the problem but six months later they email you again off the same email chain about different issue.

At that point, unless you change it [change regarding], it will go in the same Dynamics record that you've initially set it to go. You've got the ability to click change regarding so I can say, okay I don't want it to go against that opportunity now, I want it to go against this account.

Then you reply to this and then any subsequent replies will go wherever you tell it.

That's the email tracking capability. Then of course, we can over to our say appointments. Let's pick something tomorrow so 1pm to 2pm, click more options…

Of course, if just click Save and it only ends up in your Outlook. Nobody else sees that if you don't want them to. You've got the ability if I say now this might be ‘Account Manager Visit’, something like that over here…

Let me just let's pick Leanne Lewis, you've got the ability here as well to click Dynamics 365 [in the new appointment Outlook window]. As soon as we do, it’s a very similar concept to how the emails work it will find the person. Or, we can say this should be ‘set regarding’ so I might say this is about the Preact. It will be tracked to the Preact account and then all the times and dates that you specify with all the other details.

If you want to do a Teams meeting as well, this will integrate. There's another video we've got on that how Dynamics integrates with Teams...

Effectively it will say ‘Track pending’ and then of course you send the invite out. This will then go off, send the invite to Leanne, we then come back across here to our Dynamics. Under activities we can see in here that appointment then comes across ‘Account Manager visit for Preact’ and appointment.

It's not as in real-time as it may take about a minute to come across and sync. It then comes in here and when we look at the individual person or lead as well, so this is with Leanne, you're getting to build up a bit of a picture. There's the initial email and that there's that appointment scheduled in with somebody as well on this timeline. Again, once you complete it you can complete it from here, you can go in and add your notes and then say ok I've now done that, and then that will feed straight into Dynamics.

You quite easily have gone in here [new appointment record in Dynamics] and created a new appointment for a record then it goes the other way. It then ends up in your calendar in Outlook providing you've got your personal preferences turned on to say that's what you want to happen.

So appointments go to your calendar and Outlook emails come in against the Dynamics timeline. Under the activities table here, you can look at all of your team's activities and everyone else's activities and then of course any of those tasks and phone calls emails everything else that you're pushing into Dynamics, you can see in here. If you wanted to look at the emails that you've received, you can click on this view – there’s already a predefined view for that in Dynamics.

I've received 18 emails that pushed in from Outlook, so those ones that you saw are included here.

You've got tasks and phone calls as well here. If I was to go in here and create a task or a phone call [in Outlook], this would then end up in my task list. So if you had tasks down here you'd see like this phone call for new inquiry and it's tracked to Dynamics it works in the same way. So [Dynamics] tasks come across into your Outlook tasks area, appointments go into your [Outlook] calendar and obviously your Outlook inbox will end up as an email message within the Dynamics database.

I hope that's been useful if you've got any questions around this whatsoever please feel free to get in touch….

How Does Microsoft Teams work with Dynamics 365?

Pin individual Dynamics 365 records to Team Channels to increase team collaboration across accounts, deals and projects.

Access records by adding a Microsoft Dynamics 365 tab into a Teams channel to collaborate at scale on a single Dynamics 365 record (such as a sales opportunity) or a list view of multiple records. Easily find information and access records on the go using the Dynamics 365 bot for Microsoft Teams.

March 2021 Update - New Microsoft Teams & Dynamics 365 Integrations Announced

Demonstrating Microsoft Teams & Dynamics 365 Integration

Including: 🔗Link Dynamics records to use Teams chat and collaboration features 📌Pin Dynamics 365 views to Teams channels 🤖 Use the Dynamics 365 search bot to find information within the Teams interface.

Video Transcript

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In today's video we're going to show you how to use Dynamics 365 within Microsoft Teams. First thing to note within Dyna…

In today's video we're going to show you how to use Dynamics 365 within Microsoft Teams. First thing to note within Dynamics 365 is once we've got the integration set up and turned on, you can see we get the collaborate option in the Dynamics ribbon.

If I'm on an account record I can click on here this will then say ok let's get started it will then ask you which team within your Teams you'd like to obviously set this against. You can see I've got the option of clicking into sales team here. I've got the option of creating a brand new team so if I just pick sales team for now and click Next that's now gonna go and link this record as a tab within this team.

You can see then when it loads what it does it will show you within that team which channels you want to pin this against. So, just show you what that would look like from Teams.

There's our sales team and within that we've got a couple of these different channels. You get the same options over here, you're just basically saying which channel you want to pin it to, or if you want to create a brand new one then you can.

This might well be a project and then you click create a new channel. Then you name your channel the name of the project, for example and all the project managers then can collaborate within this channel.

For now, I'm just going to put key accounts here click next.

Add team members, add me in and add anybody else you want to at that point as well. Then we can add this in. You can see it's then going to go and create this connection to this channel.

Then we can see, do you want to open the web version? Do you want to open the version on your machine? I'm just going to open the web version for now…

Click on here, and then you can see within Teams within this channel you get this record that you've just come from pinned in here.

We've now got this up here pinned. A couple of things we can then do against, this you can see over here on the right side we can then start conversation. Like I said if this is a project or

A key account or something like that, whatever you want to look for, it might be that you have certain people that then we need to start collaborating over here and having conversations around this account for example.

I could then just add a message in here and send this is in here, I might add a file, so I can click attach. I could upload a file in here as well let's just pick something. That then goes against here the same way Teams works normally anyway. Let's stick that in there but equally now this will sit in the files tab up here. On posts, you then start seeing every single post has ever happened against this.

The other thing you can do is over here, click go to website [icon in top right corner of Teams] so this will open up another tab on your machine. This will take you into your Dynamics database, and straight onto this record.

Over here on the key accounts [Teams list] one more thing we can then do is click on the add a tab option. We can then pick Dynamics from all these connections and apps that are available.

As soon as we do this we've got a few more options as well. We can pick individual accounts if we need. You can see filter by and then you can pick the entity in here. You might want to pick a

View, so you can click view selection. If I say pick account, one of my views in here is called ‘key accounts’ this is every single account that might have had a total spend of over a certain amount. I pick this and click Save. Then, like we've got the the account record at the top here we now have this list so you can see key accounts now is a system view that's been pulled from the Dynamics database into Teams.

The same thing applies, you can then have your chat option on the right hand side, add your files in and you can go and view this. Quickly from here you can go into one of these records and you're almost working now within a Dynamics 365 window but within Teams.

If you're sharing your screen everything else and you're talking over here collaboratively [chat panel] you're working on this record we've pinned this. You can do that as many times as you like up here. You could pin all your open opportunities in Team, view all your projects or whatever you need. You can have different tabs across here. These tabs might relate to the different Teams channels, you can have as many channels as you like.

We can also get to the Dynamics app as well within the Team Channel. I will just put Dynamics in here and it allows you to open the tab.

Once I've pinned Dynamics and you've been using it, you can see it show up in here [Team navigation menu].

When we click onto the Dynamics app in Teams, it opens up this chat channel. You can go through and work with it over here as a pinned app.

Equally, once you've been in here it might be quite useful to use these recently views to pin chats to the top. Then you can see the Dynamics option in here.

A couple of things that you can do in here [Dynamics settings in Team], you can click on settings and then you can change the instance. If you've got production sandbox or you've got different instances you need to flick between, you can change that in here.

If you click on my dashboard this will then just show you and render your Dynamics dashboards within Teams as well. This is me looking at all of my dashboards that I would typically see when I'm in the database. I can then view those in here as well if I need to. The other option which is really useful is this chat bot feature [within the Dynamics app] that gives you these little pointers…

Search, show, change environment, change the app, so I could type something like ‘search John’. It will search Dynamics to tell me. This is very similar to how you use universal search in Dynamics.

There are 30 records with the value ‘John’ in there. Some for contacts, two leads, four accounts, two opportunities, if I click on the accounts, you can then see down here, it will show me those four accounts. I can click into one of these. The bot will just give us a little insight into this, so we can see some preview details around this account. The spend, the owner, all this type of detail. If we want to see the contacts the work at this organisation, click on the button here. If you want to see how many opportunities they've got, there is another promoted button you can click.

It just shows you preview of those records down here. Equally, you can click on ‘open in’ Dynamics 365 and it do the same thing we saw earlier when it’ll pop out a separate tab in your browser window and takes you to that individual record.

Other Dynamics things that you can search for in Teams could be to enter ‘my open leads’.

It will then pull up a list of all of these views and leads open this week and last week, everything else like that. It might very well be that you want to say, ‘show me all opportunities that are due to close close in this month’, or something like that. It’ll to go away and talk to the bot and then the bot returns these results.

There's all my opportunities that are going to be closed in based on my open opportunities

View in Dynamics 365. There's 130 opportunities closing this month. Then I can go into these click into each one of these. I can preview these records in the Teams channel, or click to open in

Dynamics. It’s telling me that one is linked to this account and then I've got the option of going straight into that and then working that opportunity in Dynamics. When I close the tab, I'm back where I was in Teams.

That's most of the features that we've been using and our clients have been using in Teams when they’ve connected Dynamics 365. Please feel free to get in touch if you want to know more.

Excel Online + Dynamics 365

When there is a need to update multiple records, rather than editing these individually, bulk edits can be quickly applied by opening a Dynamics 365 list view as an Excel Online work sheet. Once complete, the updated entries are saved in Dynamics 365.

If your preference is to report data within Excel, Dynamics 365 links to your unique reports templates with dynamic updates automatically occurring when changes are made.

Power BI + Dynamics 365

Embed interactive Power BI visualisations within Dynamics 365 dashboards to discover new insights and blend with other data for comprehensive analysis in a single interface.

  • Transform CRM data into stunning visuals and share with colleagues.
  • Configure graphics and charts to identify trends and create custom dashboards.
  • Import datasets from Dynamics 365 and other sources using pre-built content packs.

Demonstrating Power BI

Demonstrating how Power BI connects with Microsoft Dynamics 365 to transform business reporting through powerful visualisations and data insights. In this recorded webinar, see what's new, and find out how Power BI will help you boost productivity and experience your CRM data in new ways. 📊 📈 💡

Video Transcript

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Power BI is an incredibly useful tool that is part of Microsoft’s stack which allows you to pull in data from various ar…

Power BI is an incredibly useful tool that is part of Microsoft’s stack which allows you to pull in data from various areas to create complex reporting for your business needs.

Some of those areas might include items like Dynamics, Excel sheets, Google Analytics or SQL databases. Some of the typical requirements of a visualization might include seeing which products that you're selling the most, at which location and by which user.

I’m going to run through some dashboards and then look at some of the different visualizations that are available to us. How to embed these dashboards into Dynamics, as well as do some very basic report creation in second half.

In front of us we've got a Power BI dashboard. This is made up of two different data sources. At the top we've got a sales one and at the bottom we're looking at service. This is used primarily as a kind of managerial tool to have a snapshot of information so a user can very quickly go in see exactly what they need to see, and then go into different bits. If they need to see more information, they can click on a visualization like this one and now takes me to the underlying data, or the underlying report.

In this report, we're talking about sales so you've got your actual sales versus estimated sales. At moment we've got a filter on so this looks at the actual sales across the different years. We've got 2018 and 2019 data here. If I click on 2018, it'll filter out two filter visualizations so the highest value accounts so Account-40 is the highest for 2018.

If I go to into 2019, the Account-60 is the highest. You'll also notice that at the end of the visualization for the actual sales, we've got a forecast.

Forecasting is quite a useful tool, Power BI goes back to look at your pre-existing data and then extrapolates it out and goes into the future to predicts what you're going to be using it for based on various factors.

So here if the data finishes in December 2019, looking at January it thinks that the forecast is going to be about £530k, with an upper band of £670k and lower band of £380k.

Some of other bits you can do in here is you can specify a specific sales user. Here we have our sales users at the bottom. We've got people like Fiona Foster, Peter Parsons and Steve Smith so if we click on Fiona it will filter out the rest of the data based on the opportunities that are associated with Fiona. Likewise, if you go into Peter it changes again and then if you want to see Peters 2019 data you can filter that as well.

If you go onto one of the other pages, we've got things like lead velocity so this is how long it's going to take for a lead to basically go through your entire sales process from creation to qualification and then the creation of the opportunity to the win of the opportunity.

For people like Mark up here, it takes them on average 26 days to qualify a lead but then only four days to convert that qualified lead into a won opportunity. Whereas someone like Terry it is the other way round. It will take them only nine days to qualify the lead but on average 57 days to complete the opportunity as won.

Again, we've got filters at the bottom so we can see the 2018 or the 2019 data. If you take that off data across all times. So, I’ll go back into 2019 and at the bottom we've done the same thing to show the lead velocity by business source this time. This is where the leads coming from so if it’s from LinkedIn eBay or partner referral you can see how long it's going to take to qualify the lead, then win the opportunity.

On the right hand side we've got a comparison between your estimated closed date versus the actual closed date by user and then by business source. You can see that Mark here tends to close down opportunities around 12 days quicker than he estimated he was going to.

On the next page here we have got one of the most interesting visualizations. On the right side is our key influencers metric. This is a fairly new visualization available to Power BI and it can do some pretty advanced data analysis based on the data that you're pulling in.

For now, we want to see what influences opportunities to be won. So basically looking at all the different factors that we've added to this visualization, which ones are causing opportunities to be won more often. We've added in things like ‘Does this account have a dedicated Account Manager?’, ‘Are there multiple service providers for this Account?’, we’ve added in the different business sources or lead sources, as well as the time to qualify leads.

If we click we can see that if there is a dedicated account manager you are 1.8 times more likely to win an opportunity than not. With the no it's only about 40% are won.

Likewise, if you click on multiple services provider as ‘yes’, there's a much higher chance of winning if you've got multiple services. For this you can put in things like ‘Who's the sales person?’, ‘How long they've been a customer’, ‘How many other opportunities have you won’, loads of different factors and allows you to really understand which metrics are causing your opportunities to be won or lost.

Then on the left hand side we've got your business source rate. The different ways the leads are coming in and how likely you are to win.

For an existing customer here, we've got an 82% likelihood of winning versus an 18% chance of losing. Things like partner referral it's about 50/50 and some of the other ones are a little bit higher or lower depending on the source.

Here you've got filters at the top so again I can see the 2018 data and then if we run the analysis for those, it gives you slightly different, or you've got the 2019 data again. We can run the analysis and again it’s slightly different.

You can also do this by sales person. If you look at the users we were talking about earlier if you go to someone like Mark Markham, you see for existing customers he's 91% won, versus 9% lost. If there is a dedicated Account Manager then 1.3 times more likely to win than if there isn’t a dedicated Account Manager.

Finally, we’ve got sales territories. We will look at all of the opportunities that have been won on a map on the right-hand side.

If I want to see if the opportunity was created in say 2019, it’ll filter it down so we can see which opportunities have been won at which location. Then you've got on the left hand side some fish swimming around in a tank. If I hover your mouse over you can see that Mark Markham has done £1.1 million worth of sales whereas Chris Collins has done £1.7 million. Naturally because we're talking about a sales team these fish have to be sharks!

That’s a couple of different visualizations you've got.

If we head back into the dashboard that's the sales one and then for service if we click on that it will take you into the service dashboard. Again, very similar but this one's more focused about service and cases. So ‘average case age’, ‘what's your oldest case?’, ‘where are the cases?’, ‘How many do you have open at the moment’.

Say here, you've got target of having less than 200 cases they've only got 160 and open a moment which is perfect. Also, top account usage so you can see which accounts are using your services more than others and again you can split that up by user again so we look at Fiona or again Mark who has those. If I go to say ‘cases over time’, one of the common metrics we find is that we have customers who want to see ‘how many cases did we have open at a specific point in time?’.

In Dynamics 365 it doesn't allow you to do that because you talk about live data. What we need to do is go back in time take a snapshot at that time and say we have got X amount of cases open at that time. One of the things that we can do for you is we can look at the cases that were created and the cases that were closed, do some wizardry, in essence, and then give you a number. Here we've got October 2019, there were 400 cases open with this system. On the bottom you've got a distribution of when the case was logged in terms of time and day of the month.

At the end you've got another fairly similar one to the sales but this one's talking about ‘where are the cases?’ and ‘What are the priorities?’ so we can just look at the p2 cases, you've got three investigating and you 2 in UAT, 2 waiting for details and then around the country.

Those are some of the visualisations you can see in Power BI.

If we move on to Dynamics we've got our demo tenant here. You might want to have your users keep going into Dynamics for all of their information including that of reporting. For that what we can do is we can use dashboard functionality to embed the Power BI dashboards within Dynamics. That's fairly straightforward. You can do new, then you've got a Power BI dashboard. You can select the one. I've already created one so here we've got the demo dashboard which will be the same dashboard you saw in Power BI but here it's all in Dynamics nice and easy to see.

Say if I want to go in and see more information on it, I can click it opens up into slightly larger page. Then again if I go to open Power BI report that will open the report within your Dynamics instance. So we have some users that never need to go anywhere else apart from Dynamics.

One of the other things you can do with a dashboard is you can have a combined dashboard. This is where you have Dynamics data like lists or charts alongside Power BI visualizations. If you do have data that's from different sources, or you have a dashboard requirement of a visualization that's too complex for Dynamics you can build in Power BI and then put it into Dynamics. Then have it on the same dashboard with the other tiles.

Moving on from that I thought I'd run through some of the ways that Preact can assist your business in building these reports and then we'll talk a bit more about creating some of the visualizations.

Preact can help in one of three ways. We can either provide you with training on how to build a report yourself, or we can do a scope where we can run through the requirements with you and then we build a report for you. Or, just somewhere in between where we can do the scope, run through the report, build a simplistic data set, as well as some basic visualizations, and then provide you training on how to take that data set and those organizations and then enhance them further for your specific needs.

If we're talking about the report we just looked. One of the visualizations was a line chart or sales over time. To produce this we've opened up a Power BI desktop and we've got the data set on the right-hand side and our visualizations in this section.

For this we'll need a line chart. I’ll click on that it’ll open up a blank and basic line chart where we've then got areas on the right-hand side for us to fill in data. We need axis, values and a legend. For this if we're talking about opportunities over time if I drop down the opportunities table I look at the value of the opportunity which will be the value of this visualization.

Then for the axis we'll be looking at the actual close date, so we've pulled that across. You can then see it has mapped this over time for you. At the moment this is looking at all of the all the opportunities but we may want to filter this down so we only see the won opportunities. For this you can see we've got a filters section. Within here if I drag and drop the status in I can then filter these by only looking at the won opportunities for that time period.

You can see it's filtered out anything that wasn't won that has irrelevant data in those fields. Now you can see values for 2012, 2013, 2014, 15 16, 17 but maybe you want a bit more granularity to your data. Maybe you want to see it by month, or by day, so you've got some controls up in the left-hand side where we've got a expand all down one level in the hierarchy, expand just one level entirely. A hierarchy in this instance is talking about year, quarter, month, day which we see on the right hand side.

If I expand all down one level in this it will then go to the different quarters of those years so 2013 quarter one, quarter two quarter three… A lot of the times this isn't particularly necessary for reporting so if you just want to see it by months we can go across to here we can get rid of the quarter get rid of the day, do the same thing again and then you can see that for the specific month of July 2014 the value was 525k and then it peaks and troughs as you go through the years.

You might add a few more analytics to this so on the right hand side we've got a little analytics tab here on here. I might want to see a trend line so if I just add in a trend there you can see trending of time going upwards in a positive direction.

As I mentioned one of the other interesting features is allowing a forecast. If I go down to the forecast on the right-hand side here add a new one and then say I want to forecast for the next three months we can select ‘three months’ and apply. It will then look at the previous data and then extrapolate out the next three-months worth.

With that there's a confidence interval. The more confident the model is the wider this is going to be. So if I drop that down to 75% you will see that the upper and lowers shrink drastically. So it thinks that for the next one in 2020 it's going to be a forecast of 360k with an upper and a lower band as expected.

You might not want to see all of this data in one go so you might want to add one of the filters. These are known as slices in Power BI and if you click on that to open up as a visualization I can then add a slicer in as say the ‘actual closed date’ so I pull that in this will be a bit between slicer effectively so you can set the before and the end date. It's very granular on a day-by-day basis which isn't particularly easy for a user to select the date range they want. If I just drop this down into using the date hierarchy it switches into years. Say I only want to see 2016 to 2019 data, it's as easy as that.

If I make that a little bit smaller now and then on here if I shrink this down. One of the other visualizations we had up there was the ‘lead source effectiveness’ so whether they've won opportunities or lost opportunities…

For that we used a 100% bar chart so if I click on that it opens it up and again you've got this field picker access legend value, that kind of thing. For this one we'll be looking at the count of the opportunities so for that I’m just going to pull in he opportunity ID as the value. The axis is going to be the lead source, so I’ll pull that down here. For the different colors we're going to want the status of it effectively. So if we go back into opportunities we can then pull in the status.

You can see here we have got lost and won opportunities.

At the moment, this isn't particularly readable and lost is currently a green which isn't synonymous with a negative aspect so if we go back onto the formatter and then look at the data colours we can change these. So lost can go into a red and then won can go back into green.

You might also want to see the actual values of it. If you click on data labels, it’ll then show you the labels. These are quite small at the moment in a way that some people might not be able to read this so you can just go in to up the text size a little bit you got to do that on the x and the y-axis just to ensure that everyone can read this as required.

Another of the other very useful things about Power BI is you're not limited to the visualizations that are shown in here. There is a really useful AppSource where you can go in and there's a vast array of completely free visualisation to download. One of them which is quite useful is the infographic designer. I’ll import this into the report and then we've got it down here. If I added a new page quickly and now I'll do the same visualization as I did the first time, we'll just make this as big as possible. Then I want to see a ‘sales over time’ so time I'm going to click and drag in and then it'll automatically resolve into value over time, and this would be a bar chart.

But a bar chart can be a little bit boring to look at so you can spice ease up a little bit by changing the logos of them effectively. In here we have a designer and I want to change the shape I can change the shape to be either a star which if I keep the ratio and multiple units stars or if it's something specific like a house, we can add it in the house. Again they're stretched a little bit so if I click on multiple units you can then show the multiple units. These aren't limited to just items that are part of Power BI, I could if I wanted to insert an image and upload it so if I upload this Preact logo and then I want to use and switch onto multiple units.

You can then use your company logos or even for salespeople you can put the faces in! Tthere's a lot of flexibility to customize the report to be for your business. That is a whirlwind tour of Power BI and I'm gonna open the floor to any questions…

Sharepoint + Dynamics 365

Use the document management capabilities of SharePoint within Microsoft Dynamics 365 to better collaborate users and even share documents externally.

  • Create document libraries in Microsoft Dynamics 365 to share documents from a central location that is easily accessible to authorised users
  • Add document management capabilities to Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities & other CRM entities
  • Store quotes, proposals, project plans, applications, spreadsheets and other documents that are specific to a record in one place
  • Track document changes and retain version control
  • Check-in / Check-out document functionality

Word + Dynamics 365

Merge Dynamics 365 field data into Word templates to instantly populate sales quotes and any other documentation at the click of a button.

Customer Insights

Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is a new app designed to help businesses retain customers and build loyalty through data insights.

This brings in transactional, observational and behaviour data from multiple sources using prebuilt connectors which include Sharepoint lists, Active Directory, Exchange Online and Azure tables.

Data is unified in comprehensive customer profiles by mapping records into the Common Data Service with AI applied to match and merge data. Contextual customer insights and tailored customer profile cards can then be infused into business applications to help sales, service and marketing teams drive personalised engagements across channels.

Business analysts will be able to create customer segments based on a combination of common attributes and interactions associated with unified profiles. Segments can be used to better understand customers based on common characteristics and help target each group. For example, this could be through a marketing campaign to customers who are most likely to purchase again.

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