This year Convergence was held in Atlanta. While this conference is a huge Dynamics Users conference, they highlight applications that are not necessarily part of the Dynamic stack. One of the most captivating sessions I attended focused on Power BI, Microsoft’s excel based Business Intelligence tool.
I have watched several Power BI webinars and read countless blogs on the subject, but this session took and entirely different approach. Usually, the demos/webinars show you how to load in your financial data and create graphs, pivot tables, maps, etc. This session took real world companies and showed how they are using Power BI to combine their social and financial data for extremely powerful and useful analytics.
The session started off looking at real world companies and how they were using Power BI. One company, a home goods store, loaded in their sales data and their twitter feed. These seem like two totally separate data. However, they used it to see if negative or positive tweets about the company were effecting their sales. Turns out they were! This is exactly the kind of analytics companies need to be using in order to stay up to date with their customers!
Another interesting example they used was Power Mapping. Instead of just mapping where their most profitable stores are located they took a real-world approach. They took data of what was being searched the most on their website and in what areas the week leading up to Christmas. They were able to take this data and map it, forecasting what product would have to be moved where and in what span of time. This real-world scenario is much more valuable analytics then simply seeing what product is selling the best. Taking the social data allowed the company to better service their customers.
This type of analytics is valuable to all service organizations. Instead of looking at your social and financial data separately, you need to see how the effect each other. Does more money spent on FaceBook ads translate to more sales? Do negative comments on Instagram about your products mean less investor dollars coming in? In a world where social media is the largest marketing tool, you need to be able to harness that big data and make is usable and comparable. This is where Power BI comes in to play.
A clear message that was presented at Convergence was that buyers are much more informed than they used to be. Buyers already know what they want before they come to you, this is why businesses need to stay on the cutting edge and try to keep up, if not stay one step ahead of their customers. You have to anticipate their needs and wants before they even know their needs and wants. Another message from Convergence was technology is always evolving and we need to evolve with it. Technology is vastly influencing the way we do business. Power BI is a great example of how to use technology to reach more customers and still provide the same excellent customer service.
MARY CHARUHAS | Junior Business Development/Internal Sales
Mary Charuhas has been with KTL since 2013, starting as a sales intern in the summer of 2013 and moving to Business Development and Internal Sales in the spring of 2014. She is currently pursuing her Associates Degree in Business Management from Frederick Community College and hopes to continue her education at the University of Maryland next spring. Mary also possesses several Microsoft Dynamics and Acumatica Cloud ERP Sales certifications. Mary assists the sales team in finding new and exciting opportunities. She also manages KTL’s existing customers through providing them with ongoing knowledge of the products, assisting them with upgrades and continuing projects, keeping them informed about updates/new releases, events, and training opportunities. Her charisma and passion for providing excellent customer service make her a valuable asset to KTL’s sales department.