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Users discontent with data insights from analytics apps

Companies use analytics apps to derive meaningful data insights, but survey results indicate they are discontented with their BI tools. Can Salesforce Analytics Cloud fill the void?

Increasingly today, companies are turning to data insights to help them make business decisions and understand internal operations. Data helps them understand which marketing campaigns are faring well with customers, where there are gaps in their product supply chains or why a certain region is suffering from poor sales.

Still, data analytics is a sticky wicket, and few companies are content with the tools available. According to a KPMG International report on analytics adoption, 97% of 260 organizations surveyed around the world use data and analytics, but only 19% reported they are satisfied with the data insights these tools provide. Companies are still struggling with getting reliable outputs, and applying those strategically and to good effect, the report indicated.

Tools such as Salesforce Wave, or the Salesforce Analytics Cloud, aim to turn that number around and bring the consumerization of IT to analytics. The goal is to democratize business intelligence so users aren't intimidated, can manipulate the data easily and on their own -- without the aid of analysts or IT -- and can generate actionable data insights from the numbers. Bringing BI to every business user and making analytics easy to use is the mantra of Salesforce Wave.

Jamie Domenici, vice president of marketing for Salesforce Analytics Cloud, talked with SearchSalesforce recently about the progress of the application this year and what to expect from the Analytics Cloud in the future.

SearchSalesforce: Tell us about some of the enhancements you made to Wave in 2015.

Jamie Domenici: We launched the Sales Wave app at Dreamforce this year. It's the in-between [app] between Sales Cloud and the world of BI. It is the byproduct of conversations with Sales Cloud users, where we asked, "What do you need to run your business?" The result was 13 of the most important best practices, [key performance indicators] and dashboards all in one place that come right out of the box, delivered to the Sales Cloud user.

You also brought Wave analytics directly to applications within the Salesforce platform, right?

Domenici: We launched Sales Wave for Sales Cloud and Service Wave for the Service Cloud. Service Wave is in pilot, and we'll launch that this year. But we'll continue to build apps for other parts of the platform.

Our goal is to build out apps on top of the platform for every business user. We started with sales, went to service, and the roadmap will eventually touch every business user and every business process.

How do you see yourselves as different from other visualization tools that offer data insights, like Domo and Tableau?

Domenici: Tableau is the analysts' favorite; it's a great visualization tool. Wave is more centralized on bringing analytics to the end user. We're trying to democratize the data [and] make the data usable for the everyday, average person.

Merck, the pharmaceutical company, is using Wave to get smarter about customers, and transform business internally and externally. They have taken all customer information from sales [and] customer service, brought it all into one place and created a tablet version of Wave for all reps in the field, so that when they are on-site, they can have instant insight into data.

We can bring analytics right to wherever you're working and allow you to be more productive.
Jamie Domenicivice president of marketing, Salesforce Analytics Cloud

With a lot of our competitors and legacy tools, you would never be able to do that. It would take days [or] weeks to get information from analysts, into Excel, into PowerPoint and into the hands of decision makers. We're looking at transforming this, so every service person, back office [and] front office has access to the same information.

What is the future for Wave?

Domenici: We want to bring Wave everywhere for everyone in every business process. We want to grow and expand the customer base.

What features do customers want in Wave that aren't there today?

Domenici: Actionability and the ability to embed Wave in other applications -- that capability is unique to Salesforce. We can bring analytics right to wherever you're working and allow you to be more productive. It's all about, how can we make analytics more democratized and end users more productive?

Next Steps

Salesforce Analytics Cloud discussed at Dreamforce 2015

Salesforce Wave can work wonders -- when you get your data in order

Salesforce Analytics Cloud adoption still slow

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