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Deploy Tableau CRM Apps Fast Using App Templates

By Gourab Mukherjee

When someone instructs us to create a dashboard in Tableau to see the most important trends and KPIs from Salesforce orgs, our first reaction is to build it from scratch ourselves. We will first understand the requirements of the user, create the dataflows or recipes, create the queries and then develop the dashboard and deploy it.

This, we all agree, is the best method to get a dashboard up and running. But sometimes,we do not have the time or enough understanding of which KPIs will be the most relevant to track. Maybe we do not have enough knowledge of what data to pull from Salesforce to build the requested dashboards for the required KPIs. So, what should we do when we are in a hurry to get a dashboard up and running?

You do not need to rush to the AppExchange just yet. Any paid solution will further require additional approvals. Fortunately, a solution exists, it is free, and it is already present in your Tableau CRM enabled Salesforce org: App Templates.

What are App Templates?

App templates help to create a Tableau app quickly with industry-standard widgets and KPIs. If you want to quickly set up a Tableau CRM dashboard for users that does not require much customization, then app templates are your best options.

When should you use App Templates?

  • When the use case is very generic or common.
  • You need to quickly set up a dashboard for a presentation or other business needs.
  • Your organization uses very little customization in their Salesforce org.

When not to use App Templates

  • The use case is very specific and is not covered by any of the templates.
  • The business needs to track custom KPIs that are not suitable for any of the templates.
  • Your organization has a lot of customization in their Salesforce org.
  • You need to analyze data from outside of Salesforce.

How can you create App Templates?

To create a dashboard using an app template, first go to Tableau CRM Analytics Studio. Click the ‘Create’ button on the right and then select ‘App’. You have the option of creating a blank app but for our example, we will select an app from the templates available.

There are lots of dashboard templates to choose from. Each template has a different use case and requires different data. Let us say for our use case, we want more visibility into our service performance and want to analyze how our service representatives are doing, how many cases are we resolving, and what our backlog of cases looks like. So, we are going to choose the ‘Service Analytics’ template.

In the next screen, it shows some sample widgets that will be created and the objects that will be used for creating the dashboard.

Keep in mind that app templates work best if you want to analyze data from Salesforce. Although there are options to create templates that use non-Salesforce data, they are much more complex and need a little more work. That defeats the purpose of building an app fast for a business user and hence we will not cover that in this article. For now, our analysis is based on the creation of a Tableau CRM app using a template by utilizing the data from Salesforce org.

The first thing to confirm is that you should have the relevant data in your Salesforce org. If a business user has asked you to create the dashboard, chances are the data will be there in the org. Before creating the dashboard, Tableau CRM runs checks to find if your org has the correct data for the selected app. If it finds any issues, it will highlight them so that you can take care of those before proceeding ahead. If everything is as expected, click on the ‘Looks good, Next’ button to proceed.

You get an option to choose between a basic version and a custom version. The basic version is good for creating the template once and checking whether it is meeting your basic needs. Later you can repeat the earlier process and fine-tune your app further by clicking the custom version. In our case, we will select the custom option as it gives us more control over our app.

Next, we need to specify which data and features we want in our app. The answer to this question will depend on the business need. There are multiple options you can select depending on your use case. If you want CSAT analysis, queues, knowledge etc. you can select those options and proceed ahead.

It will ask some questions to better understand how to create the dashboards. For the next part, it would be advisable to sit with a business user in order to get the questions answered accurately. The datasets and the dashboards that get created depend on the answers to your questions and therefore you need to be a little careful in answering them. Different app templates will ask different sets of questions to make the app more relevant for your use case. This helps in tackling the different ways in which Salesforce customers store data in their orgs. Some questions are mandatory and marked by a red asterisk. Non-mandatory questions can be left if you are not sure of the answer.

You can either note down the questions and get them answered by a business user or you can sit with them for this part of the process. I prefer the latter as it allows me to further ask questions that are not covered in the template. Once you click on ‘Looks good, Next’, give a name to the app and you are done.

Tableau CRM starts creating your app. It will create the necessary datasets, dashboards, dataflows etc. You do not need to worry about anything. Just sit back and let it work. Once you see ‘Application complete’, you can refresh to check out the brand-new app!

There you have it. Your tableau CRM app that has all the necessary widgets, dataflows, datasets, KPIs that your business needs to better understand how their service department is doing. You can make similar apps for different use cases.

Although Tableau CRM creates queries and you cannot amend the created ones, you can add your own additional queries and create your widgets to augment the dashboards. So, you are not restricted to only use the default ones. Go ahead and create your queries to further bring more insights to the team.


Instead of spending weeks designing a Tableau CRM app to meet business needs, you can choose to use app templates to speed up your dashboard building process. Salesforce has created these apps based on the metrics and KPIs customers track across industries. So, the most common metrics are already taken care of. If you require additional queries, then you can build those too. Try it out and let us know whether it solved your use case in the comments below!


The Author

Gourab Mukherjee

CRM Consultant working across Salesforce clouds to elevate customer happiness on Salesforce.

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