Data is a constant that flows through every business application in an organization. Data impacts business processes, decision making, productivity, and therefore also revenue for organizations. When you do not have any data management processes in place, deriving business insights can become challenging.
Forrester reports that one-third of analysts spend 40 percent of their time on an average on checking their analytics data prior to deriving any valuable business intelligence that can help drive strategic decisions.
A data quality management solution can help you mitigate issues such as duplicate or incorrect data by automating duplicate data checks, adding business rules for validations, and setting up data patterns and web services. If your data quality management processes are set up and your team conducts periodic quality assessments, then deriving meaning from your data will not be as time-consuming and ineffective.
At To-Increase, we have worked with several customers that have opted for our data quality solution – Data Quality Studio for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations (D365 F&O).
Based on customer feedback we are also working on continuously upgrading our solutions. And for anyone considering Data Quality Studio, we wrote this article to transparently showcase the features, benefits, limitations, and licensing price of our Data Quality solution. This information will help you make an informed decision about whether or not our solution would be a good fit for your organization.
What is Data Quality Studio?
Data Quality Studio for Dynamics 365 Finance & Supply Chain Management is a configurable solution that can help you set up business rules, data patterns, and web services to ensure better data quality across departments and companies within D365.
Using our solution, you can add data quality policies that validate data in real-time to ensure consistent and accurate data entry across the organization. This will in turn improve operational efficiency and data quality and ensure that the master data distributed is more reliable as it has been validated.
What are the features of Data Quality Studio for D365?
Add data quality rules
Data Quality Studio allows you to set up additional validation or enrichment rules at the field or record level to ensure correct values are entered. These rules can be set up conditionally based on the value/content in fields or tables.
Add data patterns
Using our solution, you can set up data patterns in the data validation rules that will ensure that the formatting is correct and consistent with the data entered.
Integrate web services
Create integrations with your own or third-party web services for example to validate email ids and postal addresses to check for any inaccuracies in data.
Alert users for incorrect data
Based on your data quality policies you can monitor data entry by users and flag inaccurate data entry so that users get a notification when there is an error and can focus on correcting the data.
Avoid duplication of data by setting up comparison rules on data content. These will scan for duplicate records and prevent them from being entered into the application.
Data Quality Studio also allows you to set up periodic quality assessments to validate and check older records with the set validation rules. This feature can be used when you are working in a new or changed setup or when the cleansing and validation rules are not directly enforced during data entry.
Policies can be assigned to all organizations or to specific organizations within D365.
What are the benefits of Data Quality Studio for D365?
No development needed
Using our solution, you can configure your (master) data validation rules without any development efforts or costs for any data in Dynamics 365 F&O.
Improve data quality
By adding business rules, data patterns, and web services for validations, you have clean, consistent, and accurate data to derive business insights. As a result of reduced data entry errors, you will witness improvements in your master data and transactional data.
Avoid process problems
When master data is not correct in the system, this can lead to problems later in processes. For example, if all the necessary fields are not populated on the customer form you can get errors while processing an order.
Speed up data entry
If needed, you can set up actions to autocomplete fields with certain values. These fields can be set up as conditional, so the values will differ based on your business requirements.
Standardize data quality
You can configure, test, and execute validation rules quickly using Data Quality Studio. Additionally, you can avoid duplicate data being entered into the system by adding comparison rules that automatically scan for duplicates when data is being entered into the system. This saves you time and helps you standardize data processes across multiple sources.
Ensure data compliance
Using our solution, you can set up rules to ensure that the operational data is complete, valid, and accurate to meet compliance standards set by the organization.
You could improve data quality by setting up web services that validate data and in turn help streamline operations. Additionally, with data quality checks and rules you can eliminate poor data quality across departments, companies, and application landscapes that help you improve and run business operations smoothly.
You can also support versioning in data quality policies by running data checks to assist in changes as and when required to ensure there is no missing data or errors in the process.
What are the limitations of Data Quality Studio for D365?
Lack of data entry workflow
Data Quality Studio assists you in adding data rules and validations but has no means to simplify data entry at the moment. However, To-Increase has launched a new solution - Data Entry Workflow for Dynamics 365 that assists in data entry and is part of our Data Governance solutions.
Data integration and master data management
Our data quality management solution does not offer data integration and master data management (MDM) for Dynamics 365. However, you can always opt for our MDM Suite instead of just Data Quality Studio and add on MDM – MDM Studio and and data entry management – Data Entry Workflow. Both these solutions integrate with Data Quality Studio easily.
What is the cost of Data Quality Studio for D365?
The licensing price for our solution is priced at an annual subscription basis for a set number of base users. The base cost is €1500* per month and the price for 1-10 companies is €100* per company, per month. The cost for 11-20 companies is €60* per company, per month, and the cost for more than 20 companies drops to €50* per company, per month.
The cost for 22 companies for example would be:
€1500 + €100*10 (1000) + €60*10 (600) + €50*2 (100) = €3200* per month.
This cost includes solution upgrades, standard training, and Essential support with minimal tickets. Additionally, you will also have to factor in implementation costs for initial setup and services costs if you will require more assistance post implementation.
*Please note: Dollar pricing is a direct currency conversion.
Related reading: The factors that affect the costs of the solution are explained in our Data Quality Studio cost blog.
Who is Data Quality Studio a good fit for?
If you are considering a standalone solution to improve data quality and master data in Dynamics 365, then Data Quality Studio would be a good fit for your organization.
However, if you are looking at a combination of solutions to manage application integration, master data management, and data entry workflow, then you could also consider our data governance suite. If you are interested in more information do download our Data Governance factsheet to understand how you can use our solutions to execute your data governance strategy.
However, if you do not have a data governance strategy and data stewards to manage processes then it would not be wise to make any investments in a data quality solution at the moment.
Although we have helped customers set up data quality processes that were from both technical and business backgrounds, we still recommend drawing out your data governance strategy and set of business rules to be added to the solution.
Doing this in advance, prior to reaching out to our experts, makes it easier for you to understand your business requirements and will also speed up implementation later on. Once you have both of these steps outlined and are ready to consider a data quality solution, do schedule some time with our experts so that they can understand your specific business requirements.