If you are just joining us, I am working on a series to learn about Dynamics 365 and Customer Insights using superheroes! You can check out the full series on the Hero Insights page. Enjoy!
When we left off yesterday we had imported all our data but it was still not powering anything. So today we are going to work on the Unify process. This includes 3 parts: Map, Match and Merge. Through this process we will decide the fields we want from CDS and define them, determine how to combine the data from different sources, and then choose which attributes are duplicated in each source.
The mapping step starts with us reviewing the fields we want to capture from the Common Data Service. Then we have the opportunity to link these attributes to fields on the Customer Insights Person.
Save your mapping and then we can move on the matching.
In the Match step we will select how records are “merged”. So in our case we uploaded 3 files plus the data in CDS. Each of these files would have many of the same heroes which could look like duplicates but with different attributes. We want all these attributes to appear on one record so users do not need to understand where the data is coming from or how it is related – they just see it altogether.
Now we have brought in the data and combined this data into a unique list of records. The next step is the merge the fields within that data. For example, I had multiple data sets that contained the hero’s eye color. I do not want this listed multiple times in Customer Insights, so I can create a rule to combine those fields into one.
A few of these rules are created by default and you will also see your primary keys already called out.
I did run into a few issues on this step due to fields being different data types. My recommendation here is two-fold: (1) plan out your data and be careful which items are option sets in CDS but might not work that way in your other data sources and (2) after each field you combine, save to see if it worked. Saving after each change helps you find your errors sooner so you can focus on the items that work and figure out a plan for the villains in your data.
You can also remove fields from the customer record. This will ensure your records do not get too overwhelming. This will hide the field from any other processes we do in the future so be careful.
So much progress! At this point you want to save and click Run on the top ribbon. This will take a little while to consolidate all the data we have been defining. It is a good time for a tea break.
That’s all for today but tune in next time to discover how our intrepid adventures will figure out how to set up the Search and Filter items needed to start reviewing the Customers list! Will sorting be simple? Can filtering find the heroes needed?
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