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Salesforce Wave makes good on promise to democratize analytics

SAN FRANCISCO -- Salesforce's analytics platform could be a tipping point for companies that are considering analytics platforms, said experts at this year's Dreamforce conference.

Last year, the company announced its Salesforce Wave analytics platform as bringing data to business users in a digestible fashion and democratizing the analytics process for them. This year, Salesforce made enhancements to several components in the Salesforce platform, including Wave. Enhancements were designed to make the user interface (UI) even more intuitive and to make applications like Wave faster and easier to embed in other apps, such as the Sales and Service Clouds. The idea is to bring analytics to the areas where executives work every day so it is even easier to take action.

But, said experts, Salesforce Wave isn't meant to replace heavy-duty data analysis tools but to supplement them. "Where we've seen [Wave] be most successful is where it's put in the hands of a business owner to do the analytics and reporting, not where it's used to replace a data warehouse," said Chris Heineken, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Appirio, a consulting firm and Salesforce partner.

Heineken also discussed how the UI might actually change workflows and processes by streamlining processes themselves. He said the UI might standardize and take steps out of the process. "[Salesforce makes things] very simple and easily understood, [telling users that] this is the way you do a business process in the application," Heineken said. "That's what [Salesforce] has nailed, and the next UI is setting up that way as well."

As a result, companies might have to rethink their processes or resolve problems in new ways. "The way you solve for problems in the old interface, you might solve for them differently in the new one," Heineken said.

For more on Salesforce Wave, check out the video above; and for more on Dreamforce 2015, check out SearchCRM.

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