In June of 2019, when Salesforce.com purchased Tableau, it was largely overshadowed by political and international news.  But, at 15.7 Billion USD, the purchase was anything but insignificant.   It was a bold move, pushed largely by Chairman and Co-CEO, Marc Benioff.

“Tableau is an extraordinary company, with an amazing product and team and an incredibly passionate community,” said Benioff. “Together we can transform the way people understand not only their customers, but their whole world—delivering powerful AI-driven insights across all types of data and use cases for people of every skill level.”

Benioff has a pretty long track record of betting on good horses in the data world, and he certainly didn’t miss the mark here.  Salesforce had long had limitations in Reports and Dashboards that made displaying data at times impossible.  In the year that followed, many customers saw the power of Tableau and Salesforce Combined.

  1. Data Collection Made Easy

With Salesforce, data collection is a normal part of your everyday interactions with the system.  Many times, SFDC is collecting data about our customers without us even having to be conscientious of the collection.  The data is stored safely and securely on cloud servers.  And, with Salesforce Connect and API’s, we can bring data(integrate) in from virtually any system in the world.

  1. Inherited Security

If you’ve ever setup wide-range report distribution or a CRM, you know that configuring access to the records in your system can be pretty tricky.  Salesforce comes with a hierarchy system that lets you inherit access to user records upwards throughout your org chart.  These same system permissions can be passed over to Tableau, so you’re only setting up access once across all applications.  Single Sign-On and Federation Logins can also work with other systems to build out permissions.

  1. Data is just Data. Tableau is Visualization

We’ve all asked for a report, and been sent a 25,000 row excel spreadsheet.  I remember discovering Pivot Charts early in my career.  “What can’t they do?” I thought.  I chuckle to myself about this after Tableau.  With Tableau, we can take built-in components/functions, and build out reports that a user can change dynamically as they’re inspecting the data.  As their questions about the data change, the report can change to reflect it right in front of their eyes!

 Salesforce Tableau Integration

After a year, Tableau just released a new way to embed and integrate their visual analytics solution to Salesforce. The integration allows Salesforce developers and admins to implement a tableau dashboard in any Salesforce Lightning environment. All you need to do is find the URL of your tableau dashboard. When you have the URL, paste it into the ‘tableau visualization’ tab in your Salesforce dashboard. Once you’ve published it, it should automatically add it to your dashboard.

But, Why?

So, we’ve seen that Tableau and Salesforce integrate into and augment each other very well.  But, maybe you aren’t sold on Tableau’s features.  Why do we need a better dashboard?

Ultimately, we often forget the purpose of reporting.  It can become to hit quarterly numbers; to meet a bonus quota; or, to get leadership off our backs.  These use cases are not living up to the potential of reports.  A report should be there to answer questions.  Questions about things like how we’re connecting to our customers, how changes we’re making are impacting the pipeline, and how our employees are functioning in different environments.  These should be questions that spark transformative change in an organization.

A well-designed report in Tableau will often leave you asking new questions.  And, as these questions we didn’t even know we had emerge, we can change the data to more appropriately answer them in real-time.

Don’t believe me yet?  Head on over to https://public.tableau.com/ and take a look through Tableau’s public gallery.  Be sure to click on things in the report.  They’re quite interactive.  Feel free to reach out to us at Alternative Solutions Consulting so a Tableau Subject Matter Expert can talk to you about growing your use of reports.  Bringing data into the culture of your organization starts with integrating the best data tools and providing them to the staff.

Alternative Solutions

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