Probably the most complex of the CRM Accelerators, the Analytics accelerator has just had its 2 release made available to download on Codeplex: http://www.codeplex.com/crmaccelerators/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=20449#ReviewsAnchor
This release includes the SQL 2008 dashboards that weren’t included in the R1 release. It also includes some additional bug fixes & enhancements to the SQL 2005 dashboards that were in R1.
In case you haven’t seen the Analytics Accelerator before, here is a bit of info on what it aims to achieve from the Whitepaper that ships with it:
The goal of the Analytics Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is to enrich your capability to bring together data available within Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 with the tools and processes available in Microsoft BI products to provide role based actionable business insight.
The Analytics Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is comprised of a set of templates, sample code, documentation, and tools that enable Microsoft partners and customers to leverage several Microsoft Business Intelligence products including Microsoft SQL ServerTM 2005, SQL ServerTM 2008, Microsoft SharePoint®, Microsoft PerformancePoint® and Microsoft Office Excel® to deliver tailored business analytics solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0. It is important to stress that many of the elements delivered with the Analytics Accelerator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 do not require any additional software license investment as you already have an these products as part of your Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 deployment! You already have Microsoft SQL Server and typically you will have Microsoft Office 2003 or 2007 and can therefore take advantage of the dashboard reports as well as many of the SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) elements. It has been a key objective of the Analytics Accelerator to deliver business insight value without the need for additional software license investment, however, should you have invested in products like Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) or Microsoft Office PerformancePoint Server then there will be additional capabilities you can utilize within this accelerator.
So in English, this means you get some awesome Dashboards now for both SQL 2005 & SQL 2008 as well as some Report Templates to allow you to quickly add some very cool looking reports to your CRM implementation. Some of the screenshots are below (although the prettier reports are clearly on SQL 2008)
Sales Manager Dashboard
Sales User Dashboard
CRM Usage Dashboard
The next release (expected soon) will give you the option of implementing the provided Analysis services Cube & accompanying Integrations services package (that at last check used Change Data Capture!) to start to get some tracking data for how your sales pipeline performs over time. 🙂