Salesforce Business Analysts have an increasingly crucial role in the Salesforce ecosystem. As organizations and enterprises create more sophisticated Salesforce instances, it falls to Business Analysts (BAs) to provide valuable insights for the technical implementation team, business stakeholders, and external customers.
Fortunately, there are tools that can be leveraged within the Salesforce platform to assist BAs on their journey to maximizing value across the platform.
The Goals of Every Business Analyst
Before we go in-depth with the tools and technologies, let’s discuss the goals that these tools assist in solving:
- Performance (+ Minimization of Technical Debt): Maximizing the value of a system through architecture best practices and technical specifications. This allows your users to utilize Salesforce without worrying about technical faults, such as unreliable functionality or records loading slowly.
- Adoption: Allowing and empowering users to utilize the functionality that has been enabled in your Salesforce instance. This includes collecting user feedback, as well as guiding best practices for user experience.
- Security: Safeguarding your Salesforce instance from unwanted individuals through identifying threats on your security landscape. Security also encapsulates visibility – the idea that the right information in your Salesforce instance is seen by the right individuals.
1. Salesforce Org Health Check
If you have ever wondered what a 1,000-foot view of your org’s security footprint looks like, wonder no longer. The Salesforce Org Health Check is a fantastic tool for assessing the current state of your instance in relation to best practices for security configuration and protocol. The Org Health Check is designed to prioritize actionable items in your Salesforce instance by severity (as defined by highest impact to users and functionality).
- Salesforce Baseline Standard: A percentage score of your Salesforce instance compared to the Salesforce Baseline Standard or a custom Baseline that can be imported.
- Status: The severity of identified risk. Potentially the best column to filter on for this tool, so that the most crucial items are viewed and corrected first.
- Fix Risks: Provides a recommended course of action for items to be identified.
How Business Analysts Utilize the Salesforce Org Health Check:
Now that we have caught up on the basics of the Salesforce Org Health Check, let’s discuss how to get the most value from this tool as a BA.
The Salesforce Org Health Check is best utilized as a metric over time in your organization – it is wise to utilize it at regular intervals and analyze the results. This analysis needs to include (but is not limited to) the following questions:
- What are the most crucial items that the health check identified? What are the potential consequences for not remedying those items (Risk Analysis)?
- Is there a theme for many of the items identified? For instance, if there are a lot of items specifying permissions and visibility, perhaps there needs to be a larger focus on implementing better permission controls and sharing rules in your Salesforce instance.
After this analysis, there needs to be action items to correct troubling items, especially those repeat offenders and items that are deemed to be high-risk. Coordinate with your project team to make sure these items are resolved in an efficient process that doesn’t interfere with functionality or usage of the org in a Production environment.
2. Salesforce Optimizer
It would be handy to have a Salesforce assistant that could point to troublesome implementation details on demand. Luckily, Salesforce thought of this and gave us the Salesforce Optimizer.
The Salesforce Optimizer is structured as an app, with records created every time it is executed. The Optimizer’s primary purpose is to scan your org and find areas where functionality is not being utilized (or can be improved). For example, if your org is lacking record types, this will likely show up as a finding by the Optimizer.
The Optimizer evaluates areas in your org such as fields, storage, page layouts, and user management (to name just a few). It’s a fantastic way to begin the journey of maximizing value to your organization through the prevention of feature loss and the elimination of technical debt.
- Type: Categorizes results based on what goal the feature achieves (field management, org security, usage, etc.)
- Status: Acts as a priority column for features uncovered by the Optimizer.
Note: The Optimizer and Org Health Check are both tools that specialize in scanning a Salesforce instance and identifying actionable feedback. The main difference between the two is that the Optimizer identifies features and functionality not being utilized (or utilized as effectively as possible), whereas the Org Health Check focuses on security vulnerabilities.
How Business Analysts Utilize the Salesforce Optimizer:
The Optimizer, like the Org Health Check, is a great tool to utilize on a regular basis. Again, after the analysis, there need to be action items to correct troubling items, especially repeat offenders and items that are deemed high-risk. Coordinate with your project team to make sure these items are resolved in an efficient process that doesn’t interfere with functionality or usage of the org in a Production environment.
3. Page Analyzer
One of the core value propositions of utilizing Salesforce is that it’s a SaaS ecosystem. With no need to meddle in infrastructure (such as servers or switches), your team can focus purely on delivering reliable functionality and best architecture practices. However, there are still methods to increase performance and meet technical specifications within the Salesforce platform.
Enter the Page Analyzer, a feature available within the Lightning App Builder that analyzes performance page by page. This performance metric is based on the “Predicted Page Load Time”, which considers the specific configuration of the elements on the Lightning App page.
- Device Selection (Desktop, Phone, Tablet): Allows the user to analyze results based on device selected, which is perfect when catering an experience to mobile or tablet users.
- Predicted Page Load Time: The primary metric of the Analyzer utilizes a standard gauge to normalize the load time that is calculated.
- Performance Breakdown by Component: For more complex pages, this decomposes the specific components regarding their load times.
How Business Analysts Utilize the Salesforce Page Analyzer:
It’s easy to forget that Business Analysts are the facilitators of comprehensive requirements. That includes the occasional – but important – non-functional requirement. The Page Analyzer is the perfect tool to understand and analyze important pages within your Salesforce instance. As with most items in this list, it is wise to strategize when and why to execute the Page Analyzer. Identify the pages where user traffic is the highest (maybe with the assistance of the Salesforce Adoption Dashboards, below) or where the most crucial functionality is utilized.
After these pages have been identified, run the Analyzer on these pages first to identify if any performance problems are present on those screens. It is beneficial to run this tool before releasing functionality to users, to avoid potential complaints about latency during page navigation or execution of functionality on pages.
4. Salesforce Adoption Dashboards
The finish line has been crossed and your team has released valuable functionality to your user base. However, the aims of the Salesforce Business Analyst do not stop here. It’s well within the bounds of the Business Analyst to monitor and enhance adoption from users, as well as the usage of constructed features.
Salesforce Adoption Dashboards is probably one of the best tools in terms of ROI for monitoring adoption and taking actionable steps. The dashboard set is an unmanaged package on the AppExchange, which is free and published by Salesforce Labs – utilizing it is as easy as navigating to AppExchange and clicking the “Get It Now” button.
Out of the box, this dashboard displays metrics such as:
- “Users Logged In” in the last 7 days
- “# Open Tasks”
- “# of Leads”.
The “Sales & Marketing Adoption” dashboard that comes with the unmanaged package is one of three dashboards that specifically tracks adoption of typical Sales Cloud functionality (lead generation, opportunity management, etc.).
How Business Analysts Utilize the Salesforce Adoption Dashboard:
Business Analysts are busy individuals, especially when their team is actively releasing more features to their expected user base. However, you cannot ignore the responsibilities of monitoring user sentiment and improving usability of your Salesforce environment.
With the Adoption Dashboard unmanaged package, monitoring the functionality that is actually being utilized after a release is both accessible and insightful. Sales, Service, and Marketing Clouds can be decomposed into core functionality (Lead Generation, Campaign Management, Case Resolution, etc.) and then monitored, depending on what features your team has rolled out to users. It is recommended that these dashboards are utilized after major releases, and over time as features are released to users.
The greatest metric for a successful project is a ‘satisfied customer’. After all, it doesn’t matter how spectacular the functionality is if the customer doesn’t find value in it. Gathering and analyzing sentiment from your user base is critical to streamlining and improving Salesforce solutions.
Salesforce Surveys is a fantastic out-of-the-box tool that strives to connect your Salesforce implementation team with your user base. Surveys is easily configurable and flexible for your team’s needs. Plus, once enabled, it is possible to design and send surveys with ease to your user base, or even certain audiences of your user base.
- Name & Version: Name of this particular Survey record and applicable version. It is possible to version surveys over time to keep historical results of previous versions and the enhancements.
- Pages & Branding: Allows easy addition and removal of different pages to the survey, as well as reordering of pages for dependent questions (questions that rely on answers in previous Survey pages). Branding your survey is very accessible, with easy access to colors and background images.
- Canvas: The centerpiece of the Survey builder. Allows you to add questions and define question types on a specific page.
How Business Analysts Utilize the Salesforce Surveys:
One of my favorite parts about being a Salesforce Business Analyst is reaching out to users and getting their feedback on how the system works for them and their day-to-day responsibilities. Remember, a Salesforce instance is only truly effective if users feel that the functionality and processes implemented meet their needs.
Surveys are a great tool for gauging the feelings and ideas from your user base. Surveys, similar to the Adoption Dashboard set, should be primarily utilized after major releases. Contrary to the purpose of the Dashboard set however, Surveys can be a proactive measure of gathering feedback as well as enhancement and/or defects (if needed).
Salesforce Business Analysts have a great but busy responsibility to both their project teams and user base. It is critical that they find and execute tooling to ensure adoption, security, and performance (when possible). Consider utilizing Salesforce Surveys and the Adoption Dashboard to monitor and be proactive on user sentiment, the Org Health Check and Optimizer for gauging the effectiveness of your org, and the Page Analyzer for monitoring performance on critical pages for your organization.
Resources to Learn More: