Better Data Management in D365

Better Data Management in D365

In this article, we explore helpful tips and techniques for better data management in Power Platform and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365). Topics covered include backing up Power Platform environments, copying reference data, exporting and re-importing data to Excel, auditing data changes, importing new data, importing linked customer data, updating data in a table, bulk data deletion, updating data using processes, and managing data duplication. By implementing these strategies, businesses can enhance data quality, maintain data integrity, and maximize the effectiveness of their CRM system.

Power Platform and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are great platforms for managing your business processes and data. But managing that data effectively can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll explore some tips and techniques for better data management in D365.

Backing up PowerPlatform Environments

Backing up your production environment is crucial to prevent data loss. PowerPlatform provides several options for backing up your environment, including automated backups and manual backups. You can also export individual solutions and apps as backups. In addition, you can use third-party backup solutions to provide additional backup options.

Copying Reference Data Between Environments

Copying reference data between environments is a common task when setting up new environments or migrating data. PowerPlatform provides several options for copying reference data, including exporting and importing data, using third-party tools such as KingswaySoft and Scribe, and using the Data Management Gateway.

Exporting Data to Excel for Analysis and Re-import

If you need to analyse your data or make changes to it outside of D365, you can export your data to Excel. You can export data to Excel online or the desktop version of Excel. Once you've made your changes, you can re-import the data back into D365. However, it's important to note that if you add or modify columns in the Excel file and then import the file back into your app, the import will fail. The import may also fail if the data in D365 has changed since you created the export. When you import an Excel file into your app, make sure that columns and tables are mapped correctly.

Auditing Data Changes and Deletions

Auditing is an essential feature in Power Platform that tracks changes to your data from creation to deletion of the record. Auditing can track field-level changes, record deletions, and security-related changes. You can also enable auditing for custom entities and fields. With auditing enabled, you can view and track all changes made to your data, who made them, and when they were made. This information can be used for compliance, troubleshooting, and reporting purposes.

Importing New Data to a Table

Importing new data to a table is a common task in D365. You can import data from various sources, including Excel files, CSV files, and other databases. PowerPlatform provides several options for importing data, including using the Data Import Wizard. We also have a preference for using DataImport++ from XRMToolbox – a great tool for imports and updates.

Importing Linked Customer Data

Importing linked customer data, including accounts, contacts, and primary contacts, is important for managing customer relationships in D365. You can import linked customer data using the Data Import Wizard, other third-party tools, and the Data Management Gateway.

Updating Data in a Table

Updating data in a table is a common task in D365, and there are several options available for performing updates. One standard feature you can use is the Quick View Form, which allows you to edit records directly in a pop-up window without having to navigate to the full record form. Another standard feature is Advanced Find, which allows you to search for specific records and perform bulk updates on those records.

It's important to note that updating data in a table should be performed with caution, especially when performing bulk updates. Remember that your data will be automatically backed up and to test your updates in a non-production environment first to ensure that they work as expected.

Deleting Data in Bulk

There are a few different methods you can use to delete data in bulk in D365. One option is to use Advanced Find to search for the records you want to delete and then delete them in bulk from the search results. Another option is to use the Data Management feature in D365, which allows you to perform data imports and exports, as well as delete records in bulk.

It's important to note that deleting data in bulk can have serious consequences, so it should be done with care. Make sure to test your deletion processes in a non-production environment before running them in a production environment, and always make sure you have a backup of your data in case anything goes wrong. Remember, there is no data recovery option – database restore is the ultimate recovery tool.

Updating Data Using a Process

One way to update data in D365 is to use a process. Processes allow you to automate business logic in D365 and can be used to update records based on certain criteria or when certain events occur.

To create a process for updating data, you'll first need to determine the conditions under which you want the data to be updated. Once you've identified the conditions, you can create a process in D365 to perform the update.

There are several types of processes you can use to update data in D365, including workflows, business process flows, and Microsoft Power Automate. Workflows allow you to automate simple business processes and can be triggered by specific events or conditions. Business process flows are used to guide users through a set of predefined steps and can be used to update records at specific stages in the process.

It's always a good idea to test your processes either in a different environment or on a small set of records. The Audit history will show the specific changes that were made.

Managing Data Duplication in Real Time and in Batch

Managing data duplication is important to ensure data quality and accuracy in D365. PowerPlatform provides several options for managing data duplication in real-time and in batch. There are also other third-party tools available that can help you manage data duplication in D365. We recommend Data8’s Duplicate feature.


Better data management is essential for the success of any CRM system. If you're looking for help with your D365 data management, our team of experts is here to assist you. We offer flexible subscription packages and on-demand hours to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help you get the most out of your CRM system

Peter Clements

Peter is the founder and chief consultant at CRM Knowledge. With an impressive background spanning over 20 years, Peter has established himself as a leading expert in CRM systems, particularly specialising in Microsoft Dynamics 365.Throughout his career, Peter has been dedicated to providing great support, training, and consulting services in the realm of CRM. His in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience with D365 have made him a trusted advisor for countless businesses seeking to optimise their customer relationship management processes.