Analytics / Tableau

Complete Guide to Tableau CRM (CRM Analytics)

By Jordyn Jaffer

Tableau CRM is a powerful cloud-based analytics and business intelligence (BI) solution on the Salesforce platform. It integrates Salesforce data with external data and provides the ability to analyze large datasets while performing predictive analytics.

Tableau CRM is now known as CRM Analytics (formerly Einstein Analytics, and formerly Wave). The name “CRM Analytics” came into play to avoid any confusion between Tableau CRM and Tableau. Tableau is a completely separate product acquired by Salesforce August 2019 to increase Salesforce’s standing amongst the analytics platforms market.

The CRM Analytics app rebrand paints an exciting picture of the future with Slack. This will help integrate data directly with your company’s collaboration channels, making analytics more collaborative and actionable.

Why Do I Need Tableau CRM?

Tableau CRM (Salesforce CRM Analytics) is a powerful analytics platform that will enhance the reporting capabilities within your Salesforce org. The platform can take data from any source and automatically analyze rows of that data (even millions!) to help your organization answer critical questions in a quick and visually appealing format.

Here’s another amazing feature – Tableau CRM is now available (an optimized) via mobile, so your team can view insights from any device, even if they are not in the office.

How Does Tableau CRM Get the Data?

There are multiple options for leading data into Tableau CRM using connectors. You are able to connect data inside and outside of your Salesforce org with data from external applications, databases, and data warehouses.

The various connectors help to bring your data into one place so you can analyze and share it with any Salesforce user. If your company handles sensitive data, you can ensure that the objects and fields holding that data are not being extracted to Tableau CRM.

What is the Difference Between Tableau and Tableau CRM?

Tableau has a large portfolio of products that includes Tableau CRM, as shown in the image above. The Tableau platform can be either on-premise or in the cloud depending on the products you choose. It would not live within Salesforce, so any users can have access to your dashboards as long as you provide them with a license. It is the best tool for companies looking for an enterprise-wide BI solution, especially if your company requires remote, federated queries.

Tableau CRM, in relation to other Tableau products, is ideal for companies who want their BI tool to be integrated with their Salesforce CRM system. This product also brings in Einstein features so you can easily embed AI and supervised machine learning into your reporting and CRM. There are also templated apps that your organization can use and quickly update to meet your analytics requirements using your Salesforce data.

Having the insights from your reporting directly in Salesforce is perfect for companies that want to perform actions natively in the Salesforce platform based on the analytics.

You should check out this article by the amazing Mark Tossell, who outlined these differences back in 2021.

Why Would I Use Tableau CRM Over Salesforce Reports and Dashboards?

You may be wondering: “I have some of these features available to me through standard Salesforce reports and dashboards, so why do I need Tableau CRM?”

While Salesforce’s native analytics tool is great in most use cases, it does have some shortcomings. Tableau CRM addresses these shortcomings – features include:

  • The ability to combine data from multiple data sources: Salesforce reporting is very limited in what data sources (objects) you are able to pull into a single report. Tableau CRM fixes this by providing the ability to pull data in from your current Salesforce environment, other Salesforce environments, and external data that lives outside of Salesforce.
  • Overcoming dashboard limitations: Salesforce dashboards can quickly become very limiting due to the low amount of filters and components you can add. Tableau CRM helps answer complex reporting needs by resolving issues, and transforming and aggregating data from several business units across many Salesforce objects. You even have the opportunity to embed dashboards into Salesforce records to get an overall view of an Account or Contact with data from each department interacting with that customer.
  • Collaborating and taking action on reporting insights: While you can subscribe people to reporting and share it with users, Salesforce reporting is very lacking in the collaboration department. Tableau CRM allows you and your team to communicate in real time on your company’s dashboards to ensure everyone is on the same page. You can take immediate action on your data by creating tasks or using Chatter to further communicate with your team.

Once again, Mark Tossell outlined these differences in a previous article which includes use cases to help decide between the two tools.

How Do You Access Tableau CRM From Salesforce?

Now that you have a fair understanding of Tableau CRM, you may be wondering how you can access it in your Salesforce org. First, ensure that your organization has reviewed the Tableau CRM pricing page and acquired the appropriate licenses to use the tools.

To enable Tableau CRM, you will need to go into your Salesforce Setup and enter Analytics in the Search area. From there, you will go to the Getting Started section and click on Enable CRM Analytics. You should ensure that all users who will need access to CRM Analytics have the appropriate permission sets.

To actually access Tableau CRM you will need to open your app launcher and find the Analytics Studio tile amongst the different apps in your org.

Ways to Use Tableau CRM

If you are brand new to Tableau CRM, it is highly recommended that you check out some common app templates to help you determine where to begin on your analytics journey. I have outlined below some of the more common app templates you can quickly deploy for your team to start getting valuable insights right away.

Pipeline Analytics

The Pipeline Analytics Template is perfect to get an overall view of your company’s sales pipelines, while introducing a ready-made waterfall dashboard. You will have the ability to dive deeper into your pipeline insights and filter on various fields such as Account Name, Stage Name, and Forecast Category.

Service Analytics

The Service Analytics Template brings together prebuilt dashboards that showcase your current service data across multiple lenses, including your company’s key service performance indicators, all in one place. Your managers will be able to see total cases, average wait time, and average handle time, as well as how these insights change overtime. There are a total of 17 dashboards provided with this template, ensuring you can answer all of your service related business questions.

B2B Marketing Analytics

Finally, as a Pardot Consultant, I must mention the B2B Marketing Analytics template that is available for Pardot customers with the Plus, Advanced, and Premium Pardot editions (with Salesforce Enterprise Edition or higher). This template offers three main dashboards for you to view, with the potential for three additional dashboards if you follow a few additional steps.

These dashboards answer the main question with Pardot reporting: How can I connect my Pardot and Sales Cloud data in a comprehensive view? My favorite pre-built dashboard is the Pipeline dashboard, which shows the lifecycle of your customers from visitors to your website, all the way to closed-won opportunities.

Do I Have to Pay More to Get Tableau CRM?

There are four editions which are all sold separately from every other Salesforce product, including Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. Each addition provides different features such as Einstein Discovery, Revenue Insights, and Einstein Prediction Builder.

It is worth noting that you can access some Tableau CRM features (if you have a Pardot account with a Plus edition or higher) through B2B Marketing Analytics. B2B Marketing Analytics brings five out-of-the-box dashboards to help marketers view their data as soon as possible.

Key Tableau CRM Terms

Finally, it’s important to note that Tableau CRM uses terminology that can be challenging to understand at first. Here are five you need to know:

1. App

An app can be considered the heart of organization within Tableau CRM. It can be compared to folders in Salesforce reporting as it can store multiple items within it such as lenses, dashboards, and datasets – in any combination.

Similar to Salesforce reporting, you are able to control sharing for each app to ensure that the right people are able to view contents – it’s recommended to divide up your apps as they apply to different projects, departments, or teams. Tableau CRM apps provide the opportunity for every user on your team to explore data, uncover insights, and take action from any device.

2. App Template

These are pre-built analytics apps for some of the more common use cases and departments using Salesforce. They are amazing for companies who are just getting started with Tableau CRM and need some quick wins to show insights right away.

As these are pre-built and the templates are generic, they work best with organizations that do not have many customizations in their Salesforce environment. They are also very beneficial as each template provides an overview of the insights you will be able to view, as well as the Salesforce objects driving these insights – this provides you with a clear picture of the questions your new dashboard can help to answer.

3. Dashboard

Tableau CRM dashboards are similar to those available with native Salesforce dashboards in the sense that they are composed of charts, metrics, and tables to help provide data insights. This is where the similarities stop, however, as Tableau CRM dashboards are so much more powerful. They are able to tell a story with your data, and have additional features such as Interactions, Faceting, and Filtering to help your team drill down, group, and even pivot your data to their needs.

4. Dataset

Datasets are collections of relevant data that are stored in a denormalized form to help optimize interactive exploration. This formatting will help with query speeds and ultimately ensure that your organization’s dashboards and lenses don’t run into performance issues (as some Salesforce reports do). You are also able to combine multiple data sources into a single dataset to help ensure your data comes together in a single view.

5. Lens

If Tableau CRM dashboards can be compared to Salesforce dashboards, then “lenses” can be compared to Salesforce reports. Lenses are typically used to explore the datasets you have built to answer single business needs. Similar to reports, they can be saved and shared on their own or they can be added to a dashboard to help tell a story across multiple lenses and data sources.

Final Thoughts

Tableau CRM (CRM Analytics) could be a daunting product for anyone without an advanced analytics background, but there are resources available to ease you into learning the product. Before investing time and money, make sure your company compares Tableau CRM with Tableau and native Salesforce reporting to ensure it is the right product for your business needs.

If you feel overwhelmed as you get started with Tableau CRM, see if any of the pre-built app templates can help give your organization some easy wins by providing immediate insights with minimal setup.

The Author

Jordyn Jaffer

Jordyn Jaffer is a 9x Certified Salesforce Administrator and Marketing Champion with a specialization in Pardot.


    Kevin Partington
    July 11, 2022 1:44 pm
    Thanks for the article. Do you need to purchase CRM Analytics as an add on product in order to use B2B Marketing Analytics? I am slightly unclear on this point. We don't have CRM Analytics but we do use Pardot so would like to understand how this works.
    Kevin Cain
    July 11, 2022 7:40 pm
    After you've pointed out that Tableau CRM was changed to CRM Analytics, you continue to refer to it as Tableau CRM. You are only perpetuating the confusion. After the initial paragraph that explains the name change, please update all references in the article to CRM Analytics.
    Christine Marshall
    August 03, 2022 12:46 pm
    Hi Kevin, There are several reasons why we maintain both names in the article! Predominantly it ensures that people can find the article if they are unaware of the name change.
    Jordyn Jaffer
    August 03, 2022 2:36 pm
    Hello Kevin, B2B Marketing Analytics is included with a Pardot edition of Plus, Advanced, or Premium. According to the pricing model ( if you are on Pardot Growth, you do not get B2BMA with your purchase, but should be able to talk to your AE to purchase just B2BMA. I don't believe you would have to buy CRM Analytics in its entirety to be able to purchase/use B2BMA. Thanks, Jordyn Jaffer
    kaushik guha
    January 02, 2023 11:10 am
    I agree with Kevin on not using Tableau CRM and SF CRM analytics interchangeably, instead use only Salesforce CRM analytics for all references and features related to advanced analytics and AI which are provided inline on the salesforce various clouds. Tableau still exists as another standalone product for handling Non-SF data sources.
    Joe Wawanolett
    February 08, 2023 6:42 pm
    Can CRM Analytics be used as a stand-alone tool to provide the dashboards for a SQL database? This could be useful as another client has a Salesforce implementation that we would want to share data with and from.
    Tom Tracy
    February 09, 2023 12:54 pm
    Can CRM Analytics be connected to a live external data source, such as a Snowflake data warehouse?
    Jordyn Jaffer
    April 03, 2023 7:52 pm
    Hello Joe, CRM Analytics is a tool that must be connected to a Salesforce environment to be used. If you are looking to use it as a stand-alone tool, you should look directly at Tableau for that. If you are using CRM Analytics with a Salesforce environment and are looking to include data from an external database, there are many connectors available to set this up: Thanks, Jordyn Jaffer
    Jordyn Jaffer
    April 03, 2023 7:53 pm
    Hi Tom, Yes! CRM Analytics can be connected to many different external sources, including a Snowflake data warehouse. Here is some additional details on the Snowflake connection: Thanks, Jordyn Jaffer
    Jordyn Jaffer
    April 03, 2023 7:53 pm
    Hi Tom, Yes! CRM Analytics can be connected to many different external sources, including a Snowflake data warehouse. Here is some additional details on the Snowflake connection: Thanks, Jordyn Jaffer
    Arnab Bhattacharya
    May 05, 2023 1:49 pm
    Please use one common name. Earlier i used to search for materials with Einstein Analytics and everything used to pop up and now Salesforce has confused us and themselves with the name to an extend even the search engines are getting confused.
    Stéphane DEMAISON
    July 04, 2023 10:06 am
    Hello, do you think new connectors will be added soon such as Oracle, ODBC....? The number of connectors supported in Tableau are incredible compared to ones supported in CRM Analytics.
    Reinaldo Hernandez Ochoa
    May 08, 2024 2:11 pm
    It's possible to use CRM Analytics with Salesforce Marketing Cloud? Do I need to connect both clouds before start preparing the data and make reports? Thanks.

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