Profiling and Classification

Typical contact information can be captured by contact card, for example Name, Address, phone Email, etc.

However, you may also want to capture not so typical Contact Information such as Hobby, Educational Level, Marital Status, Company Ownership, etc.

What do we do in this case? Do we need to customize our application with new features? No Way. The Relationship Management module has a very nice and easy-to-use solution for storing additional information in a structured way by means of Profiling and Classification.

Information is being presented by means of questions that you ask your contacts, along with the answers and it’s called a profile questionnaire. Answers can be given manually or automatically.

Profile Questionnaires Setup

Click Departments/Sales & Marketing/Marketing/Questionnaire Setup.

Also interesting to see is that, you can reserve a number of questionnaires, for instance only for companies, or only for person. In case you do not reserve the questionnaire, it will be available for all contacts.

You can also filter questionnaires based on Business Relations, such as customers, prospects, etc.

Open an existing questionnaire. Click Edit Questionnaire Setup.

A questionnaire is a list of questions by which we can add structured information to a contact. Here we are using the demo data, however you can create as many questionnaires as you want.

  1. Here you can see that a questionnaire exists out of questions and answers, where Questions are in bold. Questionnaires are about predefined answers and not free text. You cannot measure group or report on free text, but you can on predefined information like this.
  2. You can move up and move down answers.
  3. For some questions you can allow multiple answers and for others may have one answering.
  4. Based on the priority defined here, these answers will be sorted on the contact card.
  5. You can also see how many contacts correspond to a particular answer.

Assigning Profiles Questionnaires to Contacts

Open the card for an existing contact, say CT100006 A. Gibson”s Law Firm.

You will notice that there is information stored in the Lines fast tab.

So where is this information coming from and where can we find these profile questionnaires?

Well, these are answers to profile questionnaires. Click Profiles under Navigate tab.

All the Profile Questionnaire Code applicable for this contact is determined by the Questionnaire Setup.

Let us answer some questions. Let us say:

  • The No. of Employees is actually 100..499.
  • The company is Family Owned and
  • This is a partner of our company.

Click OK and you will immediately see the changes in the Lines fast tab.

So in this way, we can very easily assign answers to questions and the result of that will be additional information for the contact.

Now you will also notice that the additional information (on Lines fast tab) is automatically sorted (in this case Additional Business Relations, Company Ownership and No. of Employees). How is this sorting determined? Well, this is determined by the priority of the answering in the Questionnaire Setup.

Let us change the Priority of an answer in the Questionnaire Setup. For example, in this case we say that we need to see immediately see if a company has between 100..499 employees. So we set the Priority of that answer to Very High and save it by clicking Ok.

Now when you open the contact card again for CT100006 A. Gibson”s Law Firm, you will notice the sequence for sorting has changed and the No. of Employees is now the first row for this contact.

Automatic Classification

You can have the program automatically classify your contacts according to contact customer or contact vendor information, by selecting questions that must be answered automatically.

This means that it will be Dynamics NAV which will be giving the answers. It does this based on customer and vendor information of the synchronized contact. There are 3 steps involved:

  1. We need to configure the profile questionnaire setup so that it indicates that questions need automatic answering.
  2. We need to specify answering criteria for the program to choose which answer is correct.
  3. We need to update the contact classification, by using the Contact Classification batch job.

Open the Questionnaire Setup.

In the following example we will use an existing profile questionnaire from demo data, i.e. CUSTOMER (Customer Information).

If we go into the details, you will see that we have a number of questions. All these questions are marked as being automatically classified. So that means that the answers are not assigned manually but automatically by Microsoft Dynamics NAV.

To know how this answering is going to be executed, we need to have a look at the question details. So let us select one of the questions and click Question Details on the Navigate tab.

In the profile question details, we can see that Auto Contact Classification field is turned on and the classification is based on a customer field. We can also have an example where it is applicable to Vendor.

In this example, we want to calculate how many invoices a year have been made for this customer by selecting Sales Frequency (Invoices/Year) option.

NAV is going to make that calculation for a certain period which has a Starting Date and an Ending Date. These dates are calculated by using a date formula.

We are going to work with Defined Values. In this example, that means:

  • Less than three times a year [From 6 To -]
  • In between three to five times a year [From 3 To 5]
  • More than five times a year [From – To 2]

We need to get this calculated, which we can do by following methods:

  • Use Update Classification action from the questionnaire itself.
  • You can execute Update Contact Classification batch job (Departments/Sales & Marketing/Marketing)

Contact Rating

Contact rating is all about grouping your contacts based on information in the questionnaires. You can group your contacts into categories like high, low, or even A, B and C.

In this case we are going to give points to each answer in the contact profile questionnaire and depending on the range that you have specified in the From and To value fields, the program will group your contacts into categories. There are two ways of realizing that:

  • We can do that either manually or
  • By using a wizard

Open the Questionnaire Setup. In this case we will use an existing Profile Questionnaire from demo data, i.e. PROFT (Customer Portfolio Management).

When we look in the questionnaire setup, we see again that all the questions are answered automatically.

Now select a question (say CPM Index) and click Question Details.

Here you will see that indeed it is an automatic contact classification, but it is not based on fields coming from customer or vendor, but this is based on contact rating. But where is this information coming from?

To identify that, click Answer Points.

Here you can see that the calculation of the CPM Index is built on the results course of the two questions that are underneath, which are about Profitability (High or Low) and Potential (High or Low).

Then the next question is, for instance, how do we calculate that a certain contact has a high profitability?

Now, go to the question details of the Profitability question, which is again an automatic classification. Again in this case we are not using customer or vendor fields and it is based on contact classification.

Click Answer Points, to check where this information is coming from? Then click List on the Navigate tab.

You can see that this is coming from other profile questionnaires (such as CUSTOMER in this example), where you have a number of already calculated categories.

Based on which level certain customer falls in (Top 25%, Middle 50%, etc.) Points are assigned and these points make up where we are here on the scale. So for low profitability, it is less than 199 (To Value) and as of 200 points (From Value) it is high profitability.

Similarly, the Potential question is calculated.

You have to run Update Contact Classification batch job for contact rating as well.

How can you build such a rating? You can use the Create Rating wizard, and the wizard would take you through each step.

Adding Contacts to Segments

Dynamics NAV has the ability to make segments based on profile information.

Let us assume that we want to have all the contacts that belong to companies which are family-owned.

Create a New segment and set the Description as Family Owned Companies.

Click Add Contacts.

In this case we want to use the information coming from Contact Profile Answering fast tab. So to select all the companies which are family-owned, specify the following filters:

  • Profile Questionnaire Code = COMPANY (based on which profile questionnaire?)
  • Line No. = 80000, Family (based on which answer?)

Click Ok. The result is that we have a list on companies that are family owned.

So, we can use our profiling information to build new segments.

About Paresh Sharma

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