After Dreamforce 2014, you might have already heard of Salesforce.com’s newest offering, the “Analytics Cloud”. If you’re like many of our clients, you’re asking yourself, “What’s it all about, and what does it mean to Salesforce customers like me?”
Put quite simply the “Analytics Cloud” is Salesforce’s new Business Intelligence & Analytics tool. Until now, customers seeking advanced BI & Analytics capabilities needed to look at AppExchange tools. Salesforce entering this space is big news. From what we saw at Dreamforce, there are three key elements of the Analytics Cloud that are pretty interesting.
First, it can consolidate and analyze data from Salesforce, financial & ERP systems, on-premise databases, web traffic, product usage, machine sensors, you name it. Now, without leaving Salesforce, users can analyze and report on virtually any data they want, whether it’s stored in SF or not.
Second, it offers a “Dynamic Visualization Engine” that displays information in a way that’s intuitive, dynamic and interactive—Far outshining the static visualizations Salesforce users are accustomed to.
Finally, the Analytics Cloud was designed with speed in mind. For example, it includes a high-speed search-based query index that provides free-form navigation of any type of data, structured or unstructured. Similarly it’s “Massively Parallel” Infrastructure and processing expedite user-generated searches, even across large data sets.
So, how will all of that benefit your business? First, by providing your Salesforce users quick access to data pulled from numerous sources simultaneously, and with minimal IT involvement. Second, by leveraging the Salesforce1 platform, the Analytics Cloud offers the ability to represent that data in robust interactive dashboards via any device. Now your users can filter & group data while viewing a dashboard on their iPad, with no need to go back & modify an underlying report. For example, quickly view which products are generating the most revenue across different channels, by country, region, etc., just by drilling down in the graphics.
The Analytics Cloud is going to be marketed by Salesforce as its own offering, meaning additional license fees will apply. As a result, it does NOT change Salesforce’s native reporting or analytics capabilities. It is available now.