In the first blog of our Analytics Cloud series ‘Surfing the Wave of Analytics’, Gert-Jan Tretmans, Senior Account Executive for Analytics Cloud, introduced us to some key features and benefits of Salesforce’s brand new analytics offering. If you’ve missed this post or you don’t know what the Analytics Cloud is all about, make sure to go check it out here.
The Salesforce Analytics Cloud became generally available on the European market in 2015. But does this mean that the standard reporting and dashboarding functionalities in Salesforce will become obsolete? Or does this mean that you will need to stop using your current Salesforce reports? Absolutely not. On the contrary, standard Salesforce reporting and the new Salesforce Analytics Cloud are two very different, but complementary solutions for companies that want to use analytics to improve their performance and efficiency. Let’s have a look at what we believe to be the biggest differences between the two:
- Operational versus Strategic reporting:
Standard reporting functionalities in Salesforce are ideally suited to track and measure performance of your sales, service or marketing team. This makes it a very good tool to follow up on the operational side of your business. The Analytics Cloud on the other hand, serves a more strategic purpose. With this tool you will be able to gain insights in why your business is doing better in some areas compared to others, or why certain sales reps have generated more leads in the last quarter. That’s why the Analytics Cloud is called a self-service data discovery tool. It enables you to drill down into underlying levels of the data in order to find answers to new questions that arise or to find the root cause of a certain trend.
- Internal versus External data sources:
The first difference is mainly a result of the data sources that are being used. In standard salesforce reporting, you can only use data from within your Salesforce organization. In the Analytics Cloud, you can add data from other sources. This data can be structured (SAP, Excel etc.), semi structured (XML, email etc.) or unstructured (logs of machines or sensors etc.). In this way, the Analytics Cloud enables you to combine sales or marketing performance with SAP order data, or analyse product usage data in combination with your Service Cloud data.
- Snapshot versus Historical reporting:
Another big difference lies in the time frame of the data being analysed. Standard reports and dashboards deliver real time metrics on how a team is doing. They deliver a snapshot of key metrics to measure performance. The Analytics Cloud is better suited to follow up on year over year comparison of performance due to the fact that you can use historical data. Combined with the previous difference concerning data sources, this enables companies to look for insights in how and why performance has changed over time.
- Salesforce platform versus Wave platform:
To enable the use of massive amounts of data from multiple sources, the Analytics Cloud benefits from the strength of the Wave platform. Data on this platform is stored as key-value pairs with the principle of an inverted index. This ensures that you can explore the data in a fast, reliable and very flexible way.
If you are interested in the possibilities of the new Salesforce analytics tool, and you want to know what it can mean for your business, get in touch!