For many organizations, data analytics is becoming the greatest priority today, and rightly so. While there’s a whole lot of data being generated within a company, only a tiny fraction of it is usable for analysis. According to a Forrester report, about 60-73% of the valuable data goes unused.
Understanding the value of data and how to leverage it within your business is key to making data-driven decisions. When used effectively, data can help companies transform strategically, thus driving business success. For instance, it can help enhance cross-team collaboration, identify the right learning needs and improve employee efficiency, increase customer satisfaction, and even improve your brand image.
Becoming data-driven requires complete visibility into your company’s data. You will also need to consider factors, such as setting up data governance and maintaining data security. That’s where business analytics solutions can help.
At To-Increase, we’ve been helping customers in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 world embrace digital transformation through a wide range of solutions for about 17 years now. And we know that becoming data-driven is easier said than done—especially in the Dynamics 365 ecosystem. Our customers encounter several challenges when implementing analytics in the Dynamics environment. In this article, we will cover all those common challenges.
Top 5 challenges with analytics implementation in Dynamics 365
Let’s look at the top 5 common challenges faced by organizations in the Dynamics 365 ecosystem:
1. Dependence on niche skills
One of the critical roadblocks to implementing analytics in Dynamics 365 is the dependency on special talent. This challenge stems from two reasons: (1) Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is neither simple nor easy, and (2) complex data entities, a construct in the Dynamics ecosystem, which is highly non-configurable. You would require special resources within the team that can configure data entities so that you can start working on analytics to organize and de-normalize your data.
For example, you will need technical resources to create code-specific constructs and data entities to initiate analytics. You would also need seasoned ERP experts to guide you with the true analytical needs of your business—such as finance, cost optimization, or sales—along with the kind of logic or tables you’d need to tap into your ERP.
2. Costs & Performance
With the amount of data that continues to grow today, the quality and cost of analytics implementation is an obvious challenge. Within D365, you may also need to consider the cost of data preparation and extraction.
As a customer, partner, or anybody using analytics, it is essential that you watch out for your invoices and bills associated with analytics to ensure you’re paying only for what you choose and avoid any unplanned costs.
It's a similar scenario in terms of performance as well. Microsoft offers the Data Management Framework, which has its own set of challenges. Moreover, there’s data lake, offering near real-time data exports to give you near real-time analytics. However, at To-Increase, many a time we’ve had customers asking for analytics to the minute—or even second. Some of our customers also inquire about high-performance tools that could provide quick real-time analytics.
However, the latest tools in the market may also be the most expensive. As a result, it becomes essential to find the right balance between infrastructure and Dynamics 365 needs, and choose the solution with the best offering and cost.
3. Time to Market
Typically, realizing analytics can take anything from two months to a full year or more depending on the complicacy of your business environment. Besides, the ERP complexity adds to the difficulty of the entire process, making it even longer.
In a way, most of the businesses are reinventing the wheel to achieve analytics. Consequently, it slows down your time to market, creating an awful experience for your customers and partners.
Extensibility is a widespread concern among our customers. This is mainly because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to analytics. Every organization is different; hence they need an exclusive, effective plan to meet their unique business requirements.
Implementing analytics is not as easy as buying a solution and expecting it to work like you’d want it to. You will need an extensible solution that will allow you to customize it according to your specific needs and get the most out of your business analytics. Now, this is an extensive process and takes up a lot of time and effort as well.
5. Data quality
Access to quality data is extremely critical to the success of analytics. If your organization cannot trust the data you’re providing, it may not be ready to use it for analytics. Moreover, when we talk about the standard Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem, it does not offer any actual, configurable tools that can clean up your data and ensure data quality.
Although there are tools outside the ecosystem or purview, they are too many and cost a great deal too. So, it makes sense to analyze what your true business needs are and then select one that fits your requirements best.
Enable fast and smooth analytics with a business analytics solution
About 73% of the audience consider data to be extremely critical and a core part of their daily work. While it is a given that being data-driven is a necessity today across organizations, the path to achieving that is not particularly easy, especially within the Microsoft Dynamics 365 ecosystem. However, many businesses today also realize that spending a great deal of time on data preparation and data extraction will not fulfill the need for faster analytics.
Solving these implementation challenges in Dynamics 365 can help empower your business with analytics.
A pre-built business analytics solution such as To-Increase’s Business Analytics Suite (BAS) can help solve these challenges. We know that business intelligence is a dynamic process, and you need a solution that can cater to it. Our solution comes with tools to, for example, configure an extra field or any other change, thus supporting your changing needs. BAS not only helps accelerate speed to analytics, but enables you to kick-start your BI journey, propelling your organization to become data-driven.
To find out more about how BAS works and can help your business, watch our webinar and gain insights into:
The market pulse of analytics and its trends
Challenges organizations face when implementing analytics
How our analytics solution suite integrated with Dynamics 365 can help
Live solution demonstrations