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DynamicsCon Preview: Understanding the potential of Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

by Lisa Crosbie
Power Platform & Dynamics 365 Evangelist, Barhead Solutions

One of the most exciting things about working in Microsoft Business Applications right now is the breadth of natively integrated technologies that make up the digital transformation platform. What started for many of us as CRM is now a full suite of capabilities that encompasses marketing, AI, collaboration, automation, and custom apps. I’m increasingly having conversations with customers about their need for unified customer data, so that sellers and marketers get a full view of interactions and other details about their customers, both on an individual and aggregate level, to improve customer experience and make good business decisions. This requirement is now at the heart of the CRM conversation.

Enter Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – Microsoft’s Customer Data Platform (CDP). Where CDPs have traditionally been the domain of data or marketing specialists, Customer Insights is a low code, ready to use SaaS solution designed to work across an organisation, and something that all of us working in the Customer Engagement space now need to be across – and there is a lot to get across!

Source: Microsoft

One of the biggest barriers to keeping up to date with important new technology like Customer Insights is that we are too busy to sharpen the saw – often working long hours on projects, with limited time and energy to dedicate to learning. When you don’t know what you don’t know, or where to start in a new area, it’s easy for it to fall to the bottom of the list. This challenge led me to put together a session for the free DynamicsCon community conference, to make it easy for people to find that starting point with Microsoft's entrant in the competitive CDP space.

Getting started with Customer Insights means learning about data ingestion and unification, dipping into related technologies including Azure and Power Query. Beyond ingesting data, there are a heap of capabilities to get across to use that data in different ways. There are out- of-the-box prediction models, clever segment suggestion capabilities, options for enriching your data, exporting it to third party services, and consuming it across the rest of your Dynamics 365 and Power Platform applications. There many new and innovative features, making it an exciting space to follow and learn more about. In my session, I will cover how to get started with all these things with a structured learning pathway.

I will also provide guidance on preparing for the brand-new certification exam, MB-260 Microsoft Customer Data platform, currently available in beta. The discipline of preparing for and sitting an exam can be a great way to build real understanding of a new technology – there is nothing quite as effective as putting a date in the calendar and sticking to it! In my session, I work through the structure of the exam, the types of questions and content covered, and most importantly, how to get started with a trial and sample data to get hands on experience.

The deeper I get into Customer Insights and how it works with Dynamics 365 Marketing in particular, the more excited I get about the huge potential for growth in this space. The capabilities of the platform now go head-to-head with our competitors and align well with the vision I’m hearing from CMOs.

The pace of innovation and change in our technology space is only increasing, and it’s beyond impossible now to specialise in everything. While the momentum of a product like Customer Insights can feel overwhelming, it also opens up a heap of new opportunities for learning and career development for us as consultants, and even bigger market opportunities for growth in the platform as customers see the full potential and value of the Microsoft stack.

I hope to see a heap of people joining my session at DynamicsCon to get started, and even more getting certified in 2022 so that we can continue to learn and grow the market together.

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About Lisa Crosbie

I have a contagious enthusiasm for low code technology and making it possible for anyone to get started with Power Platform and Dynamics 365.

I have taken a career journey from being a Dynamics 365 customer and business user doing unspeakable things with Excel, to an evangelist for Microsoft Business Applications, educating customers and helping solve problems for people just like who I used to be. I love getting people excited about this awesome technology, opening new possibilities, and giving back to this community which has given me so much, learning and sharing together every day.

I am a blogger, trainer, speaker, podcaster and YouTuber. You’ll find me presenting at and participating in all kinds of events, training sessions and webinars – wherever there are people who want to learn about Power Platform.

Connect with me

Twitter: @LisaCrosbie

LinkedIn: Connect with me


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