April 2 Salesforce Data Analytics Meetup: DxContinuum & GoodData

Thank you to DxContinuum and GoodData for sponsoring and providing the food and drinks, as well as demos of two very interesting data analytics platform for Salesforce.

DxContinuum is an early-stage startup gaining significant traction with Fortune 1000 clients due to their predictive analytics capabilities around which leads and opportunities in Salesforce will close. GoodData showed off their embedded business intelligence and analytics tools for Salesforce, with some great looking data visualizations that are setting the standard for the next generation of BI.

Meetup04-02-14

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Next Meetup is June 4, 2014 - register here free.

Satish Kumar, DxContinuum

Satish Kumar is the Director of Product Management at DxContinuum. He has been in Software Product Management for the last 12+ years, with rich experience in CRM, Enterprise Big Data, and Analytics. Satish is passionate about driving business value using analytics. His experience in analytics ranges from  statistical analysis based reporting, scorecard applications, dashboard / visualizations, through predictive modeling & optimization. Prior to DxContinuum, Satish had been in Risk Management Solution (RMS) and Automatic Data Processing (ADP). Satish has a degree in Engineering from Annamalai University (India) and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Product / Demo brief

What if you can predict which leads and opportunities will become wins with 85%+ accuracy, with existing data in Salesforce? What if you can focus on the right leads & opportunities, enhance conversions & win rates, and increase revenues by 25%, with the same resources? We shall look at how to leverage predictive analytics to accomplish these business goals and answer questions such as:

1. What leads should be prioritized for a call right away?  What leads should be nurtured over time?

2. What is the quality of opportunities in the pipeline? What proportion of active opportunities are likely to be won?

3. Will quota be met? If not, what is the expected shortfall, and what can be done to reduce it?

 

Kyle Pistor, GoodData


Kyle Pistor is a Senior Solutions Engineer at GoodData. He is responsible for the presales technical evaluation, building proof of concept projects, as well as architecting the appropriate solutions for clients as they move from evaluation to implementation. Kyle has been with GoodData for two years, and has seen many clients – large and small – use GoodData to quickly go from messy, disparate data to clean automated data, reports, and dashboards. Prior to GoodData, Kyle worked at pre-IPO SolarCity, as well as a smaller solar company that collected and monitored massive data sets on large photovoltaic systems.  Kyle has a B.S. and a M.S in Engineering from Santa Clara University.

Kyle demoed GoodData’s Salesforce Sales Analytics capabilities, which deliver more relevant sales analytics, cross-object reporting, historical trending and beautiful, easy-to-use dashboards.

How to Customize Salesforce Dashboards

In this post I am going to show you how to customize existing Salesforce dashboards, such as those provided in apps you install from the AppExchange, or dashboards you may have inherited from a coworker or Salesforce consultant.

For examples I will be using two of my own Salesforce apps,

but the tips and techniques here are applicable to any Salesforce dashboards and reports.

This post also assumes you have the proper Salesforce permissions to modify Reports and Dashboards, and have some basic familiarity with Salesforce reports. If not, you may want to start with Salesforce’s Reports and Dashboards Quick Start documentation.

With all that out of the way, let’s get started!

Clone / Save As

The first rule of customizing dashboards and reports — and this is especially important if you are new to Salesforce’s reporting capabilities — is to ALWAYS make copies of the dashboards and reports you are modifying. That way you always preserve the original copy, in case you need it later.

For Dashboards, just click the “Clone” button that is above every dashboard. This creates a full copy of the dashboard you can rename and save.DashboardClone.png

For reports, after you click the “Customize” button, be sure to click “Save As” to make a copy of the report before going any further. This is even more important than cloning dashboards, since a report could be used in one or more dashboards, so modifying a report that you did not create might cause changes you did not expect in dashboards where that report has been used.ReportSaveAs.png

Changing Date Ranges or Date Groupings

One of the simplest changes to make in your dashboards is adjusting the date ranges displayed in the charts. Sometimes date ranges are just based on personal preference, but often you need to modify them based on your business. If you measure sales on a monthly basis or want to be able to see the immediate impact of a campaign, you may want to see shorter time periods, but if your sales cycle is long or you want to understand longer term trends, then seeing longer periods makes sense.

To edit the date range in a Dashboard chart, simply click on the chart to get to the underlying report, modify the “Time Frame” drop down, and click “Save As” (you can also do this through the “Customize” button, but Salesforce gives you the option of changing date range without changing the underlying report as well).ReportTimeFrame.png

Depending on how much data you have of a particular kind, you may also want to change the groupings of the dates. Salesforce Summary or Matrix reports can be grouped by any field in the report, which cause reports to be summarized by those groups — for example, you could group leads by Lead Source, or by Created Date.

When you group by a date field such as Created Date, you have a choice of multiple date ranges to group by — everything from days to years. As you can see by the graphs below, two charts showing identical data look quite different when one changes the grouping from daily to weekly. Changing the grouping to monthly would decrease the number of data points even further. It would smooth out the curve to show the month over month trends more clearly, but for some purposes it might not show enough data (for example, if you had atypical traffic spikes on a particular day, those events would not be visible in the monthly graph).

DashboardsGroupedDailyversusWeekly.png

To change a report date grouping, go to the report and click “Customize”. The groupings are shown in the shaded blue sections. Click the down arrow on the left side, and then select “Group Dates by” and change how you wish the range to appear. If you click “Save”, the dashboard that uses the report should automatically refresh the chart when you return to it. If you click “Save As”, just go to the dashboard and drag the newly named report onto the appropriate chart to update the dashboard.

DashboardDateGroupings.png

Remove Charts you don’t need

Some existing Salesforce dashboards will have a number of charts for areas where your company may not have data. For example, the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards have charts for all 20 goals that you can define in a Google Analytics account, but most organizations only have a few goals set up for their web site.

In these cases, after first cloning the dashboard it is easy to remove unused charts from the dashboard, and reposition the ones that are in use. Simply click “Edit” on a dashboard and click the “x” in the upper right hand corner of the charts you wish to remove. Any charts below will shift up when you delete a chart, so you may have to drag the remaining charts to reposition them as you wish.

RemovingUnusedCharts.png

Change Chart Types

I prefer line graphs for most of my dashboards, but you may prefer bar charts. Or perhaps your boss just loves pie charts. Depending on the type of data in your report, it may not be advisable (or technically possible) to switch to a certain type of chart, but generally it is quite simple to change a chart type in Salesforce dashboards.

After cloning your dashboard, just click “Edit”. Then go to the “Components” tab in the left hand side, select the type of chart you want, and drag it over where your current chart/report is positioned. That’s it.

ChangeComponentType.png

Use Charts Elsewhere

A final common task when customizing existing dashboards is the need to add certain charts to other dashboards. You may have an executive dashboard where you may need a certain chart of a key performance indicator (KPI), or be tasked with building a dashboard for the marketing department to review in a weekly meeting, where everyone just wants to see the high level reports.

If you don’t have a pre-existing dashboard, a good way to start is to find a dashboard that has some of what you want, and click the “clone” button (shown above). You can then delete charts you don’t want (also shown above), move some charts around, and you have a good starting point.

To add a chart to a Dashboard, and click “Edit”. Drag the Data Source (report) you want onto the dashboard, then drag the Component (chart type) on top of that to format it (or start with the Component and then the Data Source — it doesn’t matter which one you drag and drop first). You will see a blue box with a dotted line highlight the places you can place the new chart as you drag it.

AddReporttoDashboard.png

There are many other options for customizing Salesforce dashboards and reports, but those are some of the basics. Questions? Favorite dashboard customizations? Leave them in the comments below, and thanks for reading.

Guest post on the Salesforce blog: 6 Ways to build a Salesforce Lead Machine

Today CloudAmp Founder David Hecht published a guest post on the Salesforce.com blog that outlines some best practices for lead management and demand generation using Salesforce. The article is focused on small and medium businesses (SMBs), who face some particular challenges regarding budget and staff resources when it comes to these issues. But the good news David outlines is that SMBs can build their own “lead machine” using mostly Salesforce CRM’s built in tools, with a few affordable add-ons. Read more on the Salesforce blog. David’s recommendations include:

  1. Establish a Lead Process
  2. Use Web-to-Lead Forms
  3. Use Salesforce Lead Automation
  4. Track the Sources of Your Leads
  5. Set up Dashboards
  6. Develop an Email Program

Salesforce.com Blog >

“6 Ways to build a Salesforce Lead Machine” guest post >

Feb 5 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup: Tableau & Bluenose

We had a big crowd despite one of the first rainstorms of the California winter. Great demos by Tableau Software and Bluenose.

Thanks to Tableau Software for sponsoring and Geekdom for hosting the event.

IMG_20140205_184726062_HDR

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Next Meetup is April 2, 2014 - register here free.

Ellie Fields,  Senior Director of Product Marketing, Tableau Software

Ellie Fields is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Tableau Software, responsible for new product launch, industry solutions and Tableau’s community. Her data geek credentials come from time served in technology and finance companies. She works with people from all over the world who are trying to tell stories with data, from journalists to hospitals to high tech companies. She’s seen a lot of ugly data, beautiful data, and downright mean data. She’s a passionate believer that data used well can inform, excite and create value. Prior to Tableau, Ellie worked at Microsoft and in late-stage venture capital. She has an engineering degree from Rice University and an M.B.A. from The Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Why do people hate their sales reports? Because too often, they are static, hard to understand, silo’d, and even irrelevant. We’ll take a look at what great sales reporting is and briefly discuss some of the best practices of information design that apply to sales dashboards. We’ll use Tableau Software to show you how to quickly create and modify sales dashboards using data from Salesforce, and how to keep them up to date automatically. We’ll see how to blend other data with your salesforce data, and finally how to embed reports right into Salesforce so your company can have the data where it needs it, to make better decisions.

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Don MacLennan
Don MacLennan is co-founder and CEO of Bluenose.  Previously, he has held leadership positions at AVG, RSA and SAP.  He helped build a SaaS company from pre-revenue in 2001 to its sale to SAP in 2006.

Todd Graham
Todd Graham is co-founder and CTO of Bluenose.  Previously, has has held leadership positions at VMware and RSA and is a prior startup founder.

Bluenose provides a customer success platform for SaaS businesses to increase revenue, using predictive analytics to engage at-risk customers and identify drivers of churn.  We will demo our application live, including our Force.com module for sales and account managers.

New Spring ‘14 Release of CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards

Here at CloudAmp we try to release new features for our Salesforce apps three times per year, with some minor updates and bug fixes in between, much in the same way that Salesforce updates their platform.

Today we are pleased to announce a significant upgrade to our CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards app. The new Spring ‘14 release contains two significant enhancements that were requested by our customers: customizable date ranges for the initial import of Google Analytics profile data into Salesforce, and new Google Analytics goal conversion metrics and dashboards in Salesforce.

Customizable Date Ranges

Previously, when you added a new Google Analytics profile to the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards, it automatically imported the past 30 days of data from Google Analytics. Now, for each of the 5 Google Analytics profiles or web sites that the application supports, when you first add a profile you can select how much historical data to import, up to a maximum of 2 years worth of data. The options are:

  • 30 Days

  • 60 Days

  • 90 Days

  • From January 1st of Current Year (for Jan 1-March 31 it will be previous year)

  • From January 1st of Previous Year (for Jan 1-March 31 it will be 2 years ago)

  • 2 Years or back to when the Google Analytics profile was created (whichever is lesser)

ImportRangePopup2

After the initial large data import from Google Analytics into Salesforce, the automated daily imports are scheduled and will proceed as usual. Each day between 2 and 4 AM local time (as defined in your Salesforce org), the previous day’s metrics will be imported into Salesforce automatically.

Each daily import of metrics from Google Analytics into Salesforce is stored in a custom object called “CloudAmpGA Metrics” and takes up approximately 2k, so storage is generally not an issue – even if you import 2 years of data from all 5 Google Analytics profiles, that will still only take up about 7.12 MB inside Salesforce. Since each Salesforce Enterprise Edition user license gets 20 MB of data storage, with a 1 GB minimum per Salesforce org, it should not be a significant impact on the storage limitations of Salesforce. Note that if you are testing the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards in a Salesforce Developer account, those are limited to 5 MB of data storage, so you may not want to import the maximum historical data when adding a Google Analytics profile.

New Goals Dashboards

Also new in the Spring ‘14 release of CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards is the addition of Google Analytics Goals to the data import and dashboards. We’ve added the ability to import all the Goal names and Conversion metrics from each Google Analytics profile (up to the maximum of 20 per profile), and have designed two new dashboards for each profile (Salesforce dashboards  for goals 1-10 and 11-20).

Goals in Google Analytics are a way of measuring the effectiveness of your web site, by setting up certain objectives and then measuring the conversion of visitors with those goals. Completing a form would be a common goal, but other goals might measure the visits to a particular product page from the home page, or a certain duration or number of page views per visit that a visitor spends on your site.

CloudAmpGAMetrics-Goals1-10

For this reason, adding Goals to the metrics that we import from Google Analytics into Salesforce was a common request from many customers. With the new release you can now import all 20 Goal Names and Goal Conversion numbers on a daily basis from up to 5 different web sites / Google Analytics profiles, and see it in your Salesforce dashboards and alongside your other Salesforce data.

Now you can get even better visibility into the top of your funnel (visitors) and conversion process (goals) prior to leads coming in to your Salesforce system, and have that visibility right inside Salesforce.

CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards sets up in less than 5 minutes and has a 7 day free trial. Give it a try today and let us know what you think, or add a comment below if you have questions.

Importing Google Analytics Data into Salesforce

This is a tutorial on how to manually import Google Analytics data into Salesforce. It is designed for customers of the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards, who might want to import historical data beyond the last 30 days that is automatically imported when you first install the application (soon to be customizable for different time periods), but it will also work for any Salesforce setup.

If you are not a CloudAmp customer, keep in mind that you would need to create a custom object and fields to hold your Google Analytics data inside of Salesforce.  You could always try CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards free for 7 days, since it takes just a few minutes to set up. It might be just the thing you are looking for, since it gives you all of the data and dashboards preconfigured, not to mention automatically loading your Google Analytics data nightly into Salesforce. But obviously I am biased here. ;-)

Anyway, with that plug out of the way, how can you import Google Analytics data into Salesforce, either as a permanently manual process or to supplement data from an existing integration?

Here is a step by step tutorial. Please note that steps 1-3 are optional. If you like to live on the edge, you can simply export data from Google Analytics and then match up the columns when importing into Salesforce, rather than create an import template first.

Building an Import Template

1. Find the prebuilt report called “CloudAmpGA Metrics Export Report” (or create your own).

Google Analytics Import 1b

2. Export to CSV

Google Analytics Import 2b

3. Prepare the CSV file to become an import template. The main reason we exported was to get the appropriately named header row, and some of the profile data.

Google Analytics Import 3b

  1. Delete all rows of data except for the header and first row

  2. Delete these columns, since they will be auto-generated by Salesforce when new data is imported

    1. CloudAmpGA Metrics: Metrics Number

    2. CloudAmpGA Metrics: ID
      Google Analytics Import 4

  1. Delete all other data from first sample row, except for

    1. Profile_Id

    2. Profile Number

    3. Profile Name
      (you want to save these values to match with the Google Analytics profile(s) that you will be importing).

Exporting data from Google Analytics

Log into Google Analytics, select the profile you want, and set the date range to the periods of data that you wish to  import into Salesforce. Export the relevant data from Google Analytics for the metrics and date ranges you want into a CSV file.

This step can be the most difficult, as different metrics are stored differently of Google Analytics. Google Analytics limits which dimensions can be related to which metrics, so creating exportable reports that will be formatted in a useable way can be a challenge for some of the data. For the CloudAmpGA Metrics custom object in Salesforce, for example, where daily records are stored for the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards app, not all of the metrics are cleanly exportable as columns in a CSV file.

  1. Go to the “Customize” button and create a Custom Report.
    Google Analytics Import 6

  2. Select “Date” for the dimension

  3. Select the metrics that you wish to export.
    Google Analytics Import 7b

  4. Save the report and export to CSV.
    Google Analytics Import 8b

Important Notes:

  1. Only 500 rows of Analytics data can be exported at a time into CSV format. Google has some tips for exporting larger data sets in the Google Analytics help documentation.

  2. Note that not all metrics are available in custom reports, or at least not in an easy-to-export way. You many need to create additional reports and manually move data around, and/or use some formulas in certain columns of your spreadsheet to calculate some metrics. In the Custom Report example below, for example, adding “Traffic Type” as a second dimension produces some of the data we want (Organic Visits, Referral Visits, Direct Visits) but as multiple rows per date instead of a column.

  1. Google Analytics Import 11Google Analytics Import 10b

Preparing the Google Analytics data CSV file

  1. To prepare the CSV file, make sure column headings are as close to Salesforce field names as possible. Either use the CSV template created in the first part of this tutorial, or manually update the column headings to match the Salesforce field names.
    Google Analytics Import 9

  2. (If importing into the CloudAmpGA Metrics object): Ensure that the Profile Number is populated, and the Metrics Date column is populated by the dates from Google Analytics, so the new records will match up with existing data in Salesforce.

  3. You may need to change the dates into a valid date format for Salesforce:: MM/DD/YYYY since Google sometimes formats the dates as YYYYMMDD, and this can cause an import error.

  4. Double check the rest of the file for accuracy and any remaining cleanup issues.

Importing the Google Analytics data CSV into Salesforce

  1. Open a data loading app. I personally like MuleSoft’s Dataloader.io, though there are others as well. API access to Salesforce is required for all of these tools, but if you are using CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards you need to have Enterprise Edition of Salesforce, so that includes API access.

  2. Log into Dataloader.io using your Salesforce credentials

  3. Click on “New Task” on the top left
    Google Analytics Import 12b

  4. Choose the type of job (most likely “insert” for creating new records) and select the object in Salesforce where your Google Analytics data will be store (“CloudAmpGA Metrics” for CloudAmp customers)
    Google Analytics Import 13

  5. Select the CSV file you wish to import.
    Google Analytics Import 14

  6. Check to see that the column headings in your file were properly matched to the Salesforce fields. Unmapped fields will be indicated and give you a chance to select a mapping, or ignore and they will not be imported.
    Google Analytics Import 15

  7. Proceed to run the import. We recommend importing a small test file of 5-10 records initially, in case there are any issues.
    Google Analytics Import 16

  8. When the import has finished, Dataloader will update you as to the number of successes. If there are any errors, click to see what the issue was. You can always update the CSV and run the job again if records did not import due to a formatting issue or other problem.
    Google Analytics Import 17

  9. Spot check some of the imported records for accuracy and completeness. Refresh the appropriate dashboard(s) to see the changes from the imported data

So that is a lot of steps, but once you import data this way into Salesforce a few times, it will become an easier process. Combine that with a tool like CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards which automatically imports the previous day’s Google Analytics data into Salesforce every night, and you will have the best of both worlds.

Questions, or problems not addressed in the tutorial? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll do my best to address them.

Dec 4 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup

We had a decent crowd at the December 4, 2013 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup. After previous demo company Upshot won the $1 million Salesforce Hackathon at Dreamforce, and CloudConnect.com was acquired by Salesforce, perhaps some people were waiting to see what came next.

Demos by DataHero and Acme Data did not disappoint. Thanks to DataHero for sponsoring and Geekdom for hosting the event.

The videos below are by Aline. For all your video blog needs contact her at 415 377 0245

Next Meetup is February 5, 2014 – register here free.

Chris Neumann, CEO and Cofounder, DataHero

Chris is the CEO and Cofounder of DataHero, a data analytics company whose goal is to enable anyone to be able to visualize and analyze their cloud data. Chris was previously the first engineer at Big Data pioneer Aster Data Systems, where he held roles in engineering, professional services and business development. Chris holds an MS in Computer Science from Stanford University and a BS in Computing Science from Simon Fraser University.

Chris will demonstrate how easy it is for anyone to create dynamic visualizations and share insights from within their Salesforce data using DataHero’s online platform.

Tom Brennan, CEO and Cofounder, Acme Data

Acme Data is a provider of enterprise data quality software.  Our flagship product, DQ*Plus, was designed to make data quality easy.  Tom has worked in IT and professional services at five startups, has consulted for several large tech companies in Silicon Valley and now finds himself in the awkward role of selling software.

Tom will demonstrate how easy it is to achieve high quality data in Salesforce using DQ*Plus.

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