Dynamics 365 Insights – Why it impacts everyone – Part IV

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This is the last of a four part Blog Series on Dynamics 365 Insights. Here’s a quick summary of these blogs.
  1. Part I – Introduced Dynamics 365 Insights – Dynamics 365 Insights are a Big Deal – Intro
  2. Part II – Financial Management – specifically collected customer payments and cash flow – D365 Insights – Part II – Cash Flow & Payments
  3. Part III – Supply Chain – Complex collection of internal and external factors to consider, model, simulate and assess – D365 Insights – Part III – Supply Chain
  4. Part IV – Summary and why this impacts everyone and all industries

Initially, Part IV was going to focus on Customer/Sales Insights. I’ll likely dive into this eventually since everyone, and I mean everyone cares about their top line.  Trimming costs and watching profitability/bottom line will never go out of style as well as organizations will always look to reduce any non-value added costs (which also go directly to profitability).  It’s far easier to retain and grow an existing customer than it is typically to land a new client. So, it’s natural to consider a growth strategy tied as much to retaining and increasing the revenue per customer and margins (in addition to landing net-new clients) in tandem to landing new clients.

However, a quick look at Dynamics 365 Customer Insights:

Customer/Sales Insights

  • Lots of data both internal and external — haha, surprise, surprise – as the last Blog suggested on Supply Chain Insights,  there is a lot of data that needs to be aggregated (360 degree view) to help forecast including signals external to your company
  • Causation requires this viewpoint since origination of cause-effect is often external
  • Prescriptive action and options help to drive intended outcomes
  • Ongoing process, iterations and re-evaluation of models as internal and external data changes and new parameters emerge.
  • Microsoft “eats its own dog food.” I mean this in the most complimentary way. See the section on CloudAscent Segmentation which is using profiles, scoring, AI/ML, etc. to segment, target and time appropriate solutions – Hats off to Microsoft! – CloudAscents and Customer Insights for SMB Market

D365 Applications Targeted

I touched upon two areas already – Financials and Supply Chain – which impact the profit and loss of a company.  Forecasting, simulations, and prescriptive actions can touch all aspects of a company. While these areas are functional, what about industries?  And, while there might be targeted industries, might there still be commonalities seen to make this relevant to other horizontal areas or across industries?

BrightPoint has additional industry expertise in Manufacturing, Construction (Project-based industries) and Higher Education.

Consider Higher Education – an industry that BrightPoint has numerous client implementations (including Student Information System (e.g., Anthology) integrations) and considerable consulting experience. I’ve mentioned our burgeoning Analytics group which will help companies apply AI & Machining Learning to more accurately forecast and predict to enable better, faster and less risky growth and profitability.  While this is a gallant idea and supposed Value Proposition, how might this look for Higher Education and why does this example support the wide ranging impact of Insights (on different functional areas and industries)?

Higher Education (Analytics) Goal:

To personalize education by enabling Artificial Intelligence solutions to improve identification/recruitment, learning/guiding student careers, retention, and student/higher education institution success.  This is similar to identifying prospective students with the best profile for success and then continuously improve a student success (in busines, called “Customer Success Management”) program to optimize retention which will then improve the reputation and brand of an institution which leads to better students and grant availability.

Possible Higher Education Solution Areas:

  • Student Recruitment – Attain recruitment, admission and enrollment objectives through personal touch and engagement.
    • My Take: Use Analytics to improve students being offered admittance (Offer Letters) with both likelihood of acceptance and student retention in mind.
    • This is analogous to Prospect Targeting for B2B or B2C organizations by intersecting a target student with what that Higher Education institution does best.
  • Learning Analytics – Ensure the best performance of students with a 360-degree view of activities and engagement, followed by providing the right services and support at the right time.
    • My Take: Assess and analyze all student activities and data points (clubs, meetings attendance, GPA trends, etc.) to understand retention and student attainment causation. Also identify micro-certifications and post graduation attainment and/or alumni networking impact and influence.
    • This is analogous to Product Adoption Growth or in Microsoft terms, Workload Growth of services and system performance.
  • Student Retention – Retain and move students towards graduation, with a comprehensive view and predictive analysis to identify when and how mediation should occur for students at risk.
    • My Take: Use Predictive Analytics to initially select and to remediate. Refine Analytics to help Advisors to recommend Majors, Minors and new offerings or changes to existing curriculum.
    • Retention is an important criteria for grants and this is analogous to Customer Success or Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) retention statistics used by companies in many industries.
  • Success
    • In general, student success will drive institution success.
    • Retention rates increase, grant availability improves, institution reputation and brand elevates which helps optimize higher education institution standing.

Using Advanced Analytics for predictive and prescriptive forecasting and decisions will be a cornerstone for Digital Transformation and a key to creating and optimizing new business models while mitigating risk.

BrightPoint InfoTech wants to help all organizations achieve more and is investing in the above areas.

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