Tableau CRM – Where Is It Heading?

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Tableau CRM is a self-service data visualization and business intelligence (BI) platform that integrates Salesforce data with external data. Formerly known as Einstein Analytics, this product boasts some of the most powerful data analysis capabilities in the market.

When Salesforce announced the rebrand, I nearly fell out of my chair. We’ve gone from Wave, to Einstein Analytics, and now to Tableau CRM. What was the reason behind it all, and what is the future of Tableau CRM?

“Mogli”

However, if we look back to Salesforce’s development of their data analytics tools, their acquisitions history, and to their future roadmap, it begins to make sense. I’ve been working with the Einstein Analytics platform now for four years, so let me take you on the journey to Tableau CRM.

Einstein Analytics and Tableau CRM – a Brief History

Beyond native Salesforce reports and dashboards, the Salesforce data analytics journey began back in 2013 when Salesforce acquired EdgeSpring, later rebranding the platform as Wave/Salesforce Analytics Cloud:

“Wave, the Salesforce Analytics Cloud, is aimed at the broader subset of business users beyond sales and marketing professionals… a move that broadens its platform for other business use cases and applications designed to make data fun and intuitive for the masses”

The Salesforce analytics journey, up until today, has progressed through multiple stages:

Read more: Tableau vs. Tableau CRM – Which Should You Use?

Tableau CRM – Latest Developments and Roadmap

Now we’ve covered the background, it’s time to look to the future.

“As we innovate and expand our collective capabilities going forward, we will continue to retain and build upon the current functionality of both Tableau and Einstein Analytics. We can’t wait to see what amazing impact our incredible community will drive with these new solutions.”

– Mark Nelson, EVP, Product Development, Tableau Software

The combined vision for Tableau and TCRM is threefold:

  1. Connect to any data
  2. Powerful analytics for everyone:
  3. Insights for anyone, anywhere

Tableau Integration with Einstein

Tableau continues to be further integrated with Salesforce and Einstein. Here are four examples.

  1. Embedding Tableau dashboards: making it easier to embed Tableau dashboards in Salesforce. This process used to be rather painful, but it is now much simpler and quicker.
  2. Einstein Discovery intelligent insights: will be embedded in Tableau dashboards. A new dashboard extension will arm Tableau dashboards with predictions, explanations, and suggestions to improve predicted outcomes from Einstein Discovery—right within Tableau visualisations. This will add the intelligence and predictions from the Einstein Discovery machine learning tool to the powerful visualisation tools present in Tableau.
  3. Einstein Discovery + Tableau’s calculation engine: Tableau is also integrating Einstein Discovery into Tableau’s calculation engine (I will come to an example later).
  4. Predictive analytics: by making the use of the prediction capability as simple as creating a calculated field with the new Einstein Discovery connection type.
  5. Prep Builder enhancements: by including bulk scoring and predictive insights in Prep Builder, and thus making data prep easy and visual.

Continued Investment in Einstein Analytics and Discovery

It is important to understand that Salesforce continues to invest heavily in the development of Einstein Analytics and Discovery. A few examples include:

  1. Data prep 3.0 – introduction of a visual, low-code data preparation tool.
  2. No-code or low-code dashboard development.
  3. Advanced Interaction Editor
  4. More industry analytics templates.
  5. Einstein Discovery story templates.
  6. Improved performance.
  7. Increased data limits.

Improved Data Access

The next step includes data access capabilities that make it easier to access data managed in Tableau or in Salesforce, from within either application:

  1. Tableau querying Einstein Analytics data sets
  2. Einstein Analytics writing to Tableau
  3. Tableau Prep writing to Einstein Analytics

Content Authoring Experience – the next focus

After AI and data interoperability, the next focus area will be to unify the content authoring experience. This will enable people using Tableau or Einstein Analytics to create analytics content only once, that can then be consumed anywhere.

How could this work? Perhaps, something like this:

  1. Data extraction, aggregation and transformation is performed in Tableau Data Prep, joining Salesforce data with flat files and other on-prem and cloud-based sources.
  2. The resulting dataset is analysed and visualised in Tableau Desktop, and shared broadly to users across the organisation, whether or not they are Salesforce users.
  3. This dataset is also brought into Einstein Discovery and analysed using machine learning, surfacing insights and delivering predictions around sales and the likelihood to purchase (for example).
  4. These Einstein Discovery insights and predictions are embedded in the Salesforce opportunity and account records, both as actionable Einstein Analytics dashboards and in the Einstein Insights panel.
  5. The predictions drive the Next Best Action framework, utilising Salesforce automation and creating a guided sales process.
  6. Non-Salesforce users have access to the Einstein Discovery insights and predictions via Tableau dashboards.
  7. Ongoing changes and updates to the dataset, including adding external data, is managed in Tableau Data Prep.

Tableau CRM and Einstein Analytics – Merging into one?

What about the long term? Will Salesforce eventually merge the two products into one? Only time will tell. However, my opinion is that both products will be around as separate platforms for a good while to come – ongoing investment in both by Salesforce is clear evidence of that.

Examples:

Connect Einstein predictions directly into Tableau calculated fields to drive your analytics with predictive intelligence—they work just like any other Tableau calculation:

Add a prediction step in Tableau Prep to bring Einstein Discovery prediction factors and recommended improvements into your data set:

References

  1. Salesforce launches Wave analytics cloud, boosts enterprise reach
  2. Tableau integrates Einstein Analytics, becomes the analytics bridge in Salesforce ecosystem
  3. Tableau Offers Integration Roadmap For Salesforce Einstein Analytics
  4. Bringing together Tableau and Einstein Analytics
  5. Tableau Prep vs Einstein Analytics – Data Cleansing
  6. Tableau or Einstein Analytics – which is best for you?

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