So… you’ve implemented your new Salesforce CRM and began to systematize your most critical institutionalized processes. Congratulations! Now, if you’re like most of our clients at this point, more and more data is populating and you’re doing your best to couple this ever-expanding dataset with external system data to inform your team, managers, and executives on business performance. Before most of us find ourselves weighing Einstein vs Tableau, we typically find ourselves running Salesforce reports and exporting them to Excel or Google Sheets, and as we put the finishing touches on the final pivot table, we take to Google to explore alternatives. For those of us who run Salesforce, the common comparison is Einstein vs Tableau, but we will also discuss other methods.
There is a lot of information out there, and it can be hard to “know what you don’t know” when it comes to finding the right BI method. Luckily, we’ve implemented many methods for companies from SMBs to international enterprises, and we’ve compiled our notes below to help make your transition simpler.
Throughout the many long meetings & late nights our consultants have spent with our clients defining key KPI’s, architecting master data management strategies, integrating systems, and configuring datastores, there has always been one question that every client asks in one form or another – “Great. Now how do I surface it all in Salesforce?”
In this article, we will be focusing on the most popular methods to surface external data within Salesforce and b) visualize that data in your Salesforce CRM.
If you’re looking to keep everything in one place & enhance everything you love about Salesforce Dashboards & Reporting — look no further then Einstein Analytics. Formally known as “Wave Analytics”, Einstein Analytics provides intuitive, insightful & gorgeous visualizations right from the Salesforce interface we all know. Einstein Analytics will be your path of least resistance to surfacing external data right where you need it inside the SFDC platform. A community version of Einstein provides the scaffolding for creating insightful & data rich experiences for partners & customers alike. This method is typically recommended for any client who is looking to surface Salesforce data beautifully within their CRM, or a Community built on their Salesforce environment.
The Cost: Starting at $125/user/month billed annually as per Salesforce
Salesforce made waves in 2019 with its blockbuster acquisition of business intelligence giant Tableau. Seeking to fill a gap between it’s on platform visualization tools such as Einstein & more robust BI tools such as Microsoft BI. The acquisition bought Salesforce a seat at the multi-channel data aggregation & analysis table. Tableau, which features both on-prem & cloud-based versions, is able to connect to a range of data sources & stores to compile & report on data. Transformations & rules can be built on platform as well.
The Cost: Creator License Starting at $75/user/mo as per Tableau. Note, your organization will have a mixed environment of license types.
Visualization & Reporting is great. Having the raw data visible in Salesforce at times can be better. Salesforce Connect allows you to access data exposed through Odata agnostic of the underlying source and surface the records inside of Salesforce. Those records can be viewed, searched & modified inside of Salesforce.
The Cost of Lightning Connect: Roughly $4,000/month
As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration when you’re creating your strategy for data surfacing and visualization at scale. If this article has inspired you to plan your next data consolidation and BI implementation, get in touch with us here at Plative to learn more!
Director of Engineering