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Dynamics 365 CRM and Data Governance: Ensuring Data Quality and Consistency

by Arthur Zuckerman

The modern business arena is highly dependent on data management for its growth and success. Those businesses that are able to harness the power of data are the ones that have a competitive edge over others. Data governance plays a crucial role in maximizing data usage.

Data in this tech era helps shape business strategies and drive customer engagement. It has become a crucial aspect of decision-making at every level. But what if the data you have gathered is not updated? Would it be equally effective, then?

Inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated data can lead to costly mistakes, missed opportunities, and frustrated customers. To sail smoothly toward success, businesses must invest in data governance practices.

Microsoft Dynamic 365 consulting services offer a formidable solution to manage customer data, streamline operations, and nurture valuable customer relationships. It can turn your CRM system into a powerful asset.

As we delve deeper into this article, we will explore the areas of data governance through Dynamics 365 Services.

The Relevance of Data

It is extremely crucial to understand the importance of data. Irrespective of whether you are posting on your social media, shopping online, or scheduling an appointment with a doctor, the data you accumulate is the most crucial aspect of any business.

With the help of the right data, organizations can make informed decisions, enhance customer engagement through customer support software, and accumulate real-time information about products in the field.

For a minute, consider the significance of each person communicating with the data. A prime example is business users concentrating on their data quality, ability to search, data relevance, and performance.

Compare that with architects and administrators concentrating on security, licensing, storage costs, scalability, and archival.

Before we proceed further, it is imperative to answer these questions:

  • What is the process of utilizing the data?
  • What use cases need the data?
  • Where exactly is the data coming from?
  • Where do you store the data?
  • Is there an internal or external cost associated with the data?
  • Is it important for users to get the data on their mobile devices?
  • Do customers need access to their data?

Once you answer these questions during the product lifecycle, it will help you get the desired outcome.

Data Governance

Before diving into the principles of data governance, let us look at data governance. Simply put, data governance is all about operational issues of data.

You need to take a high-level strategic view of policies and procedures by defining enterprise data accessibility, excellence, usability, and security.

As AI and ML have become a part of digital transformation projects, the fact remains that the success of these initiatives lies solely in data quality. This is where you need to take data governance seriously as an executive.

There might be instances where different departments in the same company disagree with certain business terms and the values reported. A prime example of that is a sales report created last month may experience the two departments providing two distinct values.

This may be because of the difference in how they utilize different systems. With the help of advanced data governance, the walls of data silos become weak.

Data is then shared in a trustworthy manner with a reliable understanding of business notions and definitions.

Remember, sharing data within the company is a vital part of two economic reasons: growth and distribution. Since data is a non-rival resource, if one person uses it, it does not mean others cannot use it.

People can become more self-reliant when you share data with everyone in the company. It also assists them to enhance the overall value as it becomes accessible to all.

Challenges in Data Governance

Here are some challenges in data governance and the solutions to overcome them. This will ensure data quality and consistency.

The Dearth of Data Ownership

IT is solely responsible for data governance. This has been said many times in an organization. It is a must to bust this myth. 

When you expect IT to devote resources to data governance, it puts tremendous pressure on a single team. The reason is they do not have adequate time to manage all this data.

How to Overcome this Challenge?

IT indeed has the responsibility to produce and use data. The business users need to be responsible for working with the IT team to define data requirements and use it for decision-making.

The best resort is to have the buy-in of the senior management before executing data governance. Everybody that utilizes data needs to be held accountable for how they use it.

This should not be the sole responsibility of the IT team. We suggest you go one step ahead by hiring a team to drive your data governance initiative.

Unplanned Data Silos

The simple definition of data silos is accumulating data accessible to only a handful of team members, business units, or individuals and not the entire organization.

These data silos are unplanned. 

A prime example is that the project management can create multiple spreadsheets with product info, and the sales team can use a similar spreadsheet. The result is different teams end up with different versions of the same product version.

How to Overcome this Challenge?

Your Dynamics 365 Consulting Services enables data exports to break down your data silos. However, you need to make sure no new data silos are developed. 

When you create master management and data governance solutions, you can make sure that a single source of truth is provided to the entire organization.

Handling Poor Data Quality

Organizations possessing legacy on-premises systems, more often than not, have to deal with bad data that is not standardized or categorized. It is spread across different on-premise systems.

A prime example is a retailer that stores online sales data in a solitary system and brick-and-mortar sales data in another. In one system, the revenue generated by the retail company is called income; in the other, it is called sales. 

Now, you can simply visualize the challenge you can face when the company decides to run analytics on total income

Even though both sales and revenue are field data that connote the company’s income, there is confusion as the metadata is distinct.

This is a one-off example of poor data quality. However, it can have drastic effects when it comes to handling sensitive data.

How to Overcome this Challenge?

Data quality is the most important thing in data-driven organizations. While it is true that data quality tools can be used to correct past errors, a proper data governance framework can make sure that data is standardized.

It ensures that the right people are assigned to work on the right processes to maintain data quality. It also sets the right rules and processes to accumulate trustworthy data.

Adhering to One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Today, most of the organizations are migrating to the cloud. This is where data governance programs created for on-premises IT infrastructure cannot be deployed for cloud infrastructure.

When it comes to the cloud, there can be different data structures like files, tables, and images. This makes data governance very challenging.

How to Overcome this Challenge?

Discussing cloud data governance requires a brand new design and execution. Cloud services can be divided into three delivery models: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. 

Based on the model selected, businesses can have different levels of control over their data. Each model will require a distinct approach towards data governance.

Restrictions over Data Integration and Distribution in Dynamics 365 ERP

If your organization has multiple internal systems like CRM, ERP, and HRIS or is going through mergers and acquisitions, you can encounter various data integration and distribution challenges.

When it comes to data integration and distribution, Microsoft Dynamics 365 tools have certain constraints. 

How to Overcome this Challenge?

With the help of a data governance framework, you can develop a unified view across the enterprise. It permits for a single source of truth. This is where data governance policies dictate the way technology and solutions are utilized.

Final Words

If a large organization is utilizing Dynamics 365 services, they usually accompany it with a data governance strategy. They also adhere to the best practices to master data management execution. 

When it comes to smaller or mid-size organizations, this may not always be the case. This is where you need to take the help of Dynamics 365 Consulting Services before moving to the next step.

You can always get help from an expert to comprehend the alternatives available to you to commence your data governance initiatives. 

Once you start, the next step is to address the challenges we have mentioned in this blog. Instead of utilizing manual effort to streamline your data, we suggest you go for mechanization.

This will assist you to take care of daily governance tasks and enable you to concentrate on the more important tasks that result in organizational growth.

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