3 Ways To Go Above & Beyond With Analytics
Lately, I have had a lot of discussions with different organizations on how to get most out of Einstein Analytics. I mean a report is a report and a dashboard is a dashboard or is it? Why should you use Einstein Analytics and are you getting the most out of it? To address the first question, earlier this year I wrote a blog on the difference between Salesforce standard reporting and Einstein Analytics [read it here], which still very much apply. But why should you use Einstein Analytics over other strong reporting platforms? Well, to answer that question it boils down to one thing: make analytics and insights available where the user is! I believe there are 3 ways that you can go above and beyond with Einstein Analytics.
Why should we look for analytics? Why should we go out of our way to get insight? And more importantly when we are deeply engaged with our daily work will we actually actively seek analytics? I personally believe that people will only seek information when they really need it. They might be preparing a performance presentation to the leadership team or maybe they are trying to justify a need for a bigger marketing budget. In both cases, there is a clear need for analytics, the goal boils down to data. Now, what if they were on an account page, couldn't analytics help them gain insight into their products and their usage or the state of their service agreement? Couldn't this help drive better dialog with that account? I would think the answer is yes. Obviously, it's not a case of one size fits all, but the principle of gaining insight without having to dig for it applies regardless of the organization.
Einstein Analytics allow you to create amazing dashboards that you can embed into Salesforce pages and records. And better yet this feature is not just for lightning, yes it applies to classic users as well! Taking the embedded dashboards further you can define selections and filters based on the record you are viewing. So I might be viewing the Acme account (we have all been there with Trailhead) but instead of seeing data from all accounts stored in the org you can define that only data related to the Acme account will show up in the dashboard and suddenly what you are looking for becomes more clear.
Mobile Optimized Dashboards
The other way to make sure analytics is easily accessible for all users is to make sure dashboards are mobile optimized. Imagine this, you are at the coffee machine getting some much-needed caffeine and you chat with a co-worker about the recent campaign you ran. You are being asked a lot of questions on reach and engagement, but you haven't had the time to follow up on the campaign yet. Well, instead of having to say "sorry I don't have the answer" you can pull your phone out of your pocket, open the Einstein Analytics app and you have the answers -- of course, given you have data available and preferable a dashboard ready. In other words, you can address questions as they come because you always have analytics at hand.
When you start looking at analytics you often have questions that you want to explore the answer to in the dashboard. Sometimes those questions lead to actions. Maybe you find neglected but highly valuable opportunities you want to remind the account executive to follow up on. Or maybe key opportunities have been lost and you want to understand why. Well, this becomes a possibility when you enable actions on your datasets. "All it does" is it pulls you actions from Salesforce and apply them to your data in Einstein Analytics. You will need to map an id from the dataset to the actions, so it knows where to apply them. But with this feature, you can post chatter messages to the account executive or maybe create a task for them. You can use all standard actions and create your own as well.
Taking this feature to the next level you can also apply an action to multiple records! So let's say you have a table of 10 opportunities you want to be updated with a primary campaign, you can do that with bulk actions. This sounds very simple and it is, but if you are not experienced with APEX and VisualForce then you may want to ask for a little help to get this up and running.
The best thing about Einstein Analytics is any dashboard is interactive. You can click on charts, see data change, add list selectors or toggle widgets so the user can quickly find answers to the dashboard. It also allows you to keep dashboard creations to a minimum. You do not have to create 10 different versions of a dashboard because users want a slightly different view of the data. Applying the right filters will allow users to explore data on the spot without you having to create yet another dashboard. You may also want to let users know they can save their own view of a dashboard, it will remember any selections and filters that have been applied and users can easily find them again via a drop-down on the dashboard similar to list views in Salesforce.
Recently I have learned that pages can also be used for an interactive and cleaner dashboard. When we create dashboards we often add a lot of charts to it, but that can quickly become an overload of information. You can use pages, in a cool way I may add, to hide and show information. There are other benefits of using pages the main one being dashboard performance, but using pages to explore your dashboard adds a new fun layer of being presented with analytics. I have recently been working on my DreamOlé dashboard and presentation and decided to include pages as I found it just "the thing" to illustrate the art of the possible, so below is an example of how to use pages in an interactive manner.
Don't Lose Your Money
If you have invested in Einstein Analytics I hope you are utilizing the features mentioned in this blog, because they are truly what empowers the platform and helps you get better insight and make better decisions. If you are not utilizing them get cracking, so don't lose your money. As always I am keen to hear if you have other examples of how to go above and beyond with Einstein Analytics.