Salesforce stepping up their analytics game

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Benoit Germonpré

Benoit Germonpré

Data and analytics have become hot and trendy topics across all industries in recent years. More and more organisations recognize that there are tremendous benefits and productivity gains to be made from taking a dive into the company’s data. This has led to a trend in which data is no longer the exclusive territory of the IT department. Business users themselves now want quick and easy access to crucial company data.

According to Gartner, the traditional BI market is being disrupted as the driving power behind analytics shifts from IT to the business. This shift has been a trigger for Salesforce to enter the domain of analytics as well. Almost 2 years ago, they launched Wave Analytics Cloud which was aimed at a broad audience of business users.

With the Analytics Cloud, Salesforce wants to empower business users to make data-driven decisions to improve their day to day activities. Over the past 2 years, Salesforce has steadily made improvements to their analytics offering, and as of late, it looks like they are really stepping up their game.

Analytics Cloud

With Service Wave, Salesforce has now launched their second pre-built analytics app that runs on the Wave platform. The Service Wave app provides easy access to the continuously growing amounts of customer data and interactions such as cases, call logs, chat history, etc. The native integration with the Service Cloud ensures that the valuable insights discovered in this data become immediately actionable. The prebuilt dashboards allow service agents to get a better view of their customers, while giving service managers a tool to track team performance on key metrics such as handling time, customer satisfaction, and first call resolution.

With the recent acquisition of BeyondCore, Salesforce is also looking at augmenting the functionalities of the Wave platform. BeyondCore is a tool to automate advanced statistical modelling. It analyses millions of rows and it points the users towards the interesting patterns in the data. The tool automatically performs the correct statistical models in the background and presents only the relevant results in an interactive and guided way.

By incorporating this tool into the Analytics Cloud, Salesforce is extending the capabilities of the Wave platform beyond those of a traditional BI platform. Its main goal is clearly to assist business users in their day to day activities by making the access to data insights as quick and painless as possible.

Artificial Intelligence

Next to the Analytics Cloud, Salesforce is also heavily investing in artificial intelligence (AI). The goal of AI is to make computers able to take certain decisions that would usually require human intelligence. Due to continuously growing computing power, computers can obviously process massive amounts of data at a much higher speed than humans. Combined with the possibilities of big data and machine learning, AI could very well be the next big tech revolution.

Again, Salesforce wants to leverage this technology in order to help business users become more productive. In recent years, it has already acquired numerous AI companies, such as RelateIQ, PredictionIO and Tempo AI. This year Salesforce has also acquired MetaMind, a very promising deep learning start-up founded in 2014 by Richard Socher, who is now head of the Salesforce AI research lab. This acquisition is part of a brand new project called ‘Salesforce Einstein’.

This project has been introduced as “the next big thing” by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. Einstein will embed AI into all of the existing Salesforce Clouds in order to improve many of its services, from customer support to marketing automation and sales productivity. It will add the power of AI into the entire CRM platform, introducing predictive suggestions and insights in all the separate Clouds. The goal is to make artificial intelligence accessible for everyone, and allow sales, marketing and service teams to make quicker and smarter decisions.

Each year a major product release is revealed during the annual Dreamforce conference in October. This year, you can surely bet on Einstein stealing the show!

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