How to get Geospatial intelligence in your Customer engagement (CRM) system?


Well, the answer to this question has never been simpler.

This article tries to summarize Why this is important and How (simply) to achieve this.

The power of CRM data, Geospatial infographics and Machine Learning Insights coming together could be of transformative value for your business.



The Information/Data ecosystem of our planet is coming together at exponential scale, driven by 3 primary factors


  • Internet of Everything (connected devices, people) feeding geotagged data to enterprise applications.
  • Enterprise applications becoming cloud native at a steep pace.
  • Democratized access to Geo-Spatial Infographics in the Cloud.


Some recent discussions with Business decision makers helped me uncover potential Insights from Geotagged CRM data. The Business value of these Insights could be game-changing. Here are some examples:


Illustration 1: An organization dealing with oceanic pipelines maintenance is able to identify a correlation between ocean currents and pipeline damage hence streamlining their pipeline inspection schedules. Preventive maintenance just got better, further reducing risk and cost.


Illustration 2: An organization dealing with highway maintenance is able to corelate incident density with storm tweets and meteorological signals which enables real time optimization of their mobile workforce location - significantly reducing time to service and cost.



Illustration 3: A retail organization is able to corelate sales metrics with World Bank per capita GDP which gets them started on a journey to discover why they are most successful in areas with least industrial activity.



Numerous permutations exist when you combine Business Data with the wide array of geospatial infographics available. Can you think of more - something tailored for your business?




As promised earlier, getting insights like above is incredibly simple and doesn’t require you to write a single line of code. Using the guide below, you should be able to set it up quite quickly. I used the ESRI Visualization natively available in Microsoft Power BI. Used Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the Customer engagement platform.

ESRI ArcGIS maps with Dynamics 365 CRM using Power BI is a great combination for powerful GIS analytics. Power BI with Dynamics 365 presents aggregated data analytics in CRM context giving valuable insights for your business.


Step 1: Connect to your geo-tagged data 

  • Make sure that you have geo-tagged data available in your Customer engagement/CRM system (Any of the address fields OR Latitudes/Longitudes would do)
  • Open Power BI  sign-in and click 'Get Data' > Services.  (Power BI is free, sign-up if you don’t have a Power BI subscription already. Dynamics 365 is natively powered by PowerBI visualizations)
  • Search for Dynamics 365, select a relevant content pack - Sales or Service Analytics for Dynamics 365. These content packs provide a pre-built set of Dashboards and reports based on Dynamics 365 data model which helps, particularly if you are a starter.


Step 2: Select the ArcGIS Visualizations. 

  • Open your workspace, and in the Data Sets Tab you should see the Data set corresponding to your content pack. Open it.
  • Select 'ArcGIS maps’ for PowerBI from the Visualisations Tab.
  • Select your entity and the relevant fields in the Fields Tab. The field which specifies location must be dragged to the 'Location' box.
  • Now edit the Report by clicking Ellipsis, choose from a wide array of Base Maps, Reference Layer and Infographics to suit your business requirement.



Step 3: Publish and Get insights 

  • Pin the Report to your Dashboard and you are done!
  • Share your happiness by clicking Share. Your colleagues get immediate access to the Geospatial insights you just uncovered from your Business Data.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy querying your data in natural language through 'Ask a question' and uncover hidden trends and AI insights by clicking 'Get quick insights'. 


It is incredible how technology can help drive business value and I thoroughly enjoy bringing the two together.
Please feel free to reach out and exchange ideas. Collective wisdom is good for our planet !

#PowerBI #Analytics #ESRI #ArcGIS #Dynamics365 #CRM