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Preview of Microsoft's advanced analytics tools for Dynamics CRM

Microsoft CRM expert Richard Smith gives a preview of the new advanced analytics tools available for Dynamics CRM.

I heard that Microsoft developed advanced analytics tools for Dynamics CRM. How can I find out more information?

The goal of any analytics solution is to provide the summary information to executives and real-time statistics to line managers that enable organizations to leverage CRM data to improve business performance.

Microsoft has released a suite of powerful analysis tools as part of SQL Server 2005 -- namely, Analysis Server and an improved version of SQL Reporting Services. Microsoft is helping customers to leverage this functionality in Dynamics CRM with the Analytics Foundation solution.

The Analytics Foundation package includes a pre-defined set of analysis tools that are pre-integrated with the Dynamics CRM schema, including an OLAP cube for reporting on CRM data directly from Microsoft Excel and predictive analytics solutions for lead rating, product recommendations and market list generation. Report data can be viewed in Dynamics CRM as integrated dashboards by leveraging Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server.

While no analytics solution can truly be "plug and play" because of the varying natures of each organization's unique business needs, the foundation pack includes tools will enable you to better understand what each of Microsoft's analytical solutions can offer and will help you to evaluate how the tools can value your business.

You can download a free copy of the Dynamics CRM Analysis Foundation from Codeplex.com.

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