As we dive into the data-driven world, surrounded by AI and the endless sea of data available, it's easy to imagine a virtuoso data wizard mastering every aspect of data with ease. But the reality is often more complex and unstructured. Our data is scattered and cluttered, which can make it difficult to achieve the data-driven approach we strive for. 


There are many challenges to consider when building a data culture (see below), but the biggest bottleneck to becoming data-driven is often the individual employee's ability to handle and understand their own data. While many people believe that the answer to becoming data-driven lies in the data itself, it is actually the building of a strong data culture that is crucial for extracting value from both available data and the siloed knowledge that employees possess. 

Key elements of a data culture that turns your employees into data superheroes

  1. Management engagement: Management must not only support the use of data, but also be active advocates for data-driven decisions. Their engagement sends a clear signal about the importance of data to the rest of the organization.

  2. Training and skills development: Investing in employees' data skills ensures that they are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to use data effectively in their work. 

  3. Data access and democratization: Giving employees access to data and the right tools to analyze it fosters innovation and personal ownership of data-driven initiatives.

  4. Data governance and ethics: Clear data handling and security policies are essential for building trust and ensuring that data is used responsibly and ethically. 

  5. Integrating data into business processes: Data needs to be naturally integrated into day-to-day business processes so that it becomes a routine part of decision-making.

  6. Measuring success and feedback: The ability to measure the impact of data-driven initiatives and receive feedback ensures continuous improvement and adaptation of strategies. 

Building a data culture is an ongoing process that requires time, patience, and persistence. But where do we find the main source of data in this process? The answer is: in our employees. 


Human interactions a golden source of data


Direct customer contact is a goldmine of information. Interactions between the company's employees and customers, whether face-to-face, by phone, email, or social media, are a rich source for uncovering customer satisfaction, preferences, and expectations. 


Sales meetings, customer service interactions, and service visits all constitute important sources of valuable information. In sales meetings, although they are often chaotic, it is crucial to listen attentively and take good notes to understand customer needs and nurture relationships.  


Customer service interactions, both direct and written, provide an opportunity to collect feedback and continuously improve the service experience. In addition, the technicians' meetings with customers constitute a rarely utilized resource. By logging these interactions, we can draw valuable insights that can help strengthen business and customer satisfaction. 


Go from tacit knowledge to tangible data


In order to translate the valuable but often silent knowledge that our employees possess into actionable data, it is crucial to document and structure their interactions. The CRM modules in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Copilot play a central role in this process by facilitating the collection, organization, and analysis of data from various sources. 


Copilot is a cutting-edge solution that effectively eases the burden of time-consuming tasks and promotes a more data-driven approach. By integrating seamlessly with existing productivity and CRM systems, Copilot can assist salespeople with a wide range of tasks, from meeting preparation and writing emails to locating relevant information and focusing on converting sales leads into actual sales. With Copilot by their side, employees can maximize their productivity and focus their efforts on the most value-adding activities.


But what do we do with the notes?


Some salespeople love to make their notes directly in the CRM system, while others swear by a pen and notepad. At the same time, there is a mountain of knowledge in the email correspondence in Outlook. The challenge is to get the notes in one place where they can be used by more people.  


For the analog types, Microsoft Power Platform or Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement may be the solution. With a simple setup, you can take a picture of your notes, upload it to Dynamics 365 Sales, and let Power Automate convert it to text and save it as a note automatically. 


Behind the scenes, an AI model works that pulls the text out of the image. The purpose of using AI should always be to lighten the workload and democratise access to valuable data, and this is a concrete example of how individual knowledge is turned into shared data.


Others prefer to take notes directly on the computer. These notes can either be entered directly into a CRM system or start their life as an email. 


If data begins as an email, it's just two clicks of the mouse to save, track, and follow future emails in the same thread directly in Dynamics 365 Sales or Dynamics 365 Customer Service. With this efficient process, it is possible to turn dialogues into a source of insight and action. 


Value and leverage employee knowledge


Creating a data-driven culture is not only about having access to large amounts of data, but also about valuing and utilizing the knowledge that employees possess. Therefore, you should identify which things are preventing your employees from having their knowledge documented centrally in your CRM system and create the right solutions that can address these challenges. 


By investing in training, technology, and establishing clear guidelines, you can build a strong data culture that drives growth and innovation in your organization.


About The Author


Simon Jehrbo is a Dynamics 365 CRM Manager at Cepheo Denmark and has built up extensive experience with a wide range of companies, ranging from small local companies to large international corporations. This experience has strengthened his expertise in implementing CRM systems and change management. This ensures successful projects through effective communication and balanced collaboration with customers. 

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