*** NOTE: ALL INFORMATION IS ACCURATE AT DATE OF PUBLISHING ***
One of the aspects of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing that’s important to understand is the way in which the data is stored. Unlike other aspects of Dynamics and the Common Data Service (CDS), the data for Marketing is stored in Microsoft Azure services. Although insights and analytics are surfaced and displayed within the marketing app, you can’t access it by creating views or writing reports. However, Microsoft has provided the following article, which shows how to prepare for analytic reporting with Power BI. Not only can we set things up for Power BI, but once these steps are followed, we can also use this to interact with the data in CDS. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/dynamics365/marketing/custom-analytics
Although there are links on that page to each aspect of the setup, it’s not all in one place, so let’s take a look at what is needed. The first thing is to set up Azure Blob storage. As a system administrator, navigate to portal.azure.com using the same account where Dynamics 365 Marketing is running. Once logged in, click on Storage accounts, and then Create.
Set up a new storage account, and be sure to link it to a subscription (how will you pay for it), and create a resource group if you don’t already have one. Give your storage account a name, select the closest location to you, and select BlockBlobStorage as the account kind. Finally, in the drop down for replication, select Locally-redundant storage. Create the storage account.
Once you have completed the steps, you should see that the validation has passed.
Next we need to add a new container. Navigate from the list of options within your new storage account. Under Blob service, click on Containers.
Add a new container, giving it a logical name you will remember. Make the access level Private, then click on Create.
Next, go to the following link to download the Azure Storage Explorer. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/features/storage-explorer/ – run through the install and then open the new tool from your machine.
With the tool open, connect to your account by logging in. You should then see the storage account you created, then the container. Once you get to the blob container, right click and select Get Shared Access Signature.
Set a start and expiry time and then enable all of the permissions. Set the expiry time way in to the future. Click Create.
IMPORTANT: It was pointed out that my screenshot is wrong… so even though it only shows Read ticked, please read what I put above, where I state to enable all of the permissions. Sorry! I don’t have an updated screenshot at this time. 🤦♀️
We then need to copy the URL show in the field below.
Go to your Dynamics 365 Marketing app, then Settings > Advanced settings >Marketing settings >Marketing analytics configuration. From here, create a new record, give it a name, and paste in the URL you just copied. Once you save it, the URL will become hidden, but you’ll see the service status listed which should show that the marketing analytics connector is running. In future blog posts, we will look at how to set up Power BI reports, and also how to harness the marketing data, and take action on the related records in the Common Data Service.
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