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Get More out of CRM With Business Intelligence

by Paul Scondac on April 18, 2019

5 minute read

Your CRM can be a treasure trove of business data to help you close out more deals and keep your customers engaged.

Unfortunately, this data isn’t nicely wrapped with a bow and ready for you to view—you have to do some digging to find more specific data. If you’ve gathered tens of thousands of records (or even more) throughout your CRM’s lifetime, that can be quite a task!

Instead of grabbing a magnifying glass, why not use a powerful tool to start extracting the right information you need? In this blog post, we’ll be looking at how Business Intelligence (BI) tools can bring out the best data your CRM has to offer.

Business Intelligence solutions enable you to measure data against key performance indicators. The results are visualized in easy to read charts, maps, reports, and more. And that makes it easy for anyone to take a quick look and figure out what you’re doing right and what you need to improve. Let's be honest, you and your team don't have the time or patience to extrapolate, merge, and compare datasets.

One particular BI service that we recommend is Amazon QuickSight.

Amazon QuickSight logo

Amazon QuickSight dashboard on desktop and mobile

QuickSight allows users to create and publish interactive data visualizations using reports, charts, and more, that can be accessed from any device and is powered by Amazon Web Services.

What makes Amazon QuickSight even more interesting than its competitors? Its pricing—QuickSight is the first BI service to use a pay-per-session model. This means that you only pay for how many sessions your readers (the people who can view your QuickSight dashboards) use.

You can connect any database and create sets of information based on your business needs Here is a quick glimpse of how a QuickSight dashboard can display your data. 

Amazon QuickSight Business Intelligence Dashboard

This was the first time I used Amazon QuickSight as an author (the user who creates dashboards), and these charts were fairly simple to put together. As long as you’re fairly acquainted with your CRM’s fields, you should encounter little to no trouble setting up BI dashboards in QuickSight.

Note: When you initially connect your CRM to QuickSight, your data may be a bit messy. That happens because the Business Intelligence service also grabs the CRM data including IDs, usernames, etc. W-Systems has a simple process that helps you clean it up so you see your fields exactly as they are in your CRM. Reach out to us if you are setting up a BI solution and need help seeing clearer data.

There is, however, one feature that’s missing from Amazon QuickSight and other BI services’—you can not store KPI performance over time to see when your teams and business had better performance, so for instance, you would need to spend more time analyzing why your previous quarter went better than your current one.

The good news is we can help you keep track of your KPIs over time if you’re a Sugar user. Let’s talk about wBenchmark, our time series KPI tool for Sugar.

wBenchmark logo

wBenchmark for SugarCRM screenshot on a laptop

With wBenchmark, you define your own KPIs, and then capture that information and visualize it within Sugar. Our BI tool works with any standard or custom Sugar module and can capture data at specific points in time, such as daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly periods.

You can also set goals in wBenchmark, and then compare your performance against your set goals. For instance, if you’re planning to sell a certain amount of products in a year, you can set that goal for a user, a team, or globally, and, based on how fast they can reach that goal, you would be able to make informed decisions within your organization.

Considering both Sugar and wBenchmark are very flexible tools that can be customized for any industry or department, we are also using it within our marketing team. We set up wBenchmark to measure how many people have interacted with our website and webinar forms over time (note that we store this data in a custom Sugar module).

wBenchmark Business Intelligence Dashboard in SugarCRM

Since we set up our KPIs recently, we took advantage of wBenchmark’s ability to capture performance data from the past so we could have a full view of our custom module for marketing interactions.

If you’re interested in using wBenchmark within Sugar to capture your organization’s KPIs, reach out to us!

With Business Intelligence, your CRM can be a powerhouse of relevant and easily readable information. If you’re interested in setting up BI for your CRM, contact us today.