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.

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.

Salesforce1: A new mobile experience for Salesforce dashboards and custom data

Dreamforce is over, and boy am I tired. But I wanted to cover the biggest announcement at this week’s Dreamforce conference, while it is fresh in my mind: Salesforce1. Somewhat surprisingly, Salesforce1 really is a revolutionary change for the Salesforce mobile experience.

I say that a bit tongue-in-cheek because even though I am a Salesforce partner and big fan, they are so good at marketing and PR that the hype at Dreamforce often exceeds the reality. Product announcements are sometimes rebrands or announced before the releases are available. The Salesforce1 mobile experience delivers however, and is a huge step forward for Salesforce.

Salesforce1-Header
The part that I am most excited about is the ability to see dashboards and custom object data on the mobile device. You can view and refresh your dashboards in the Salesforce1 mobile app, which really comes in handy if you are dashboard driven like me. Here is the CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards app on the iPhone 4 (my only complaint is that it is “Optimized for the iPhone 5”, so the bottom of the chart is cut off a bit on the shorter screen of my iPhone 4).

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the iPhone 4.

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the iPhone 4.

I thought the experience was even better on the Nexus 7, where you have a bit more real estate. Now if you centralize data in Salesforce, like integrating back office systems (or in our case, Google Analytics metrics into Salesforce), that is also available on any smartphone or tablet.

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

A Dashboard on the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

Finally, from the perspective of someone who makes apps for Salesforce, the ability to see any custom objects in the Salesforce1 mobile app interface is a huge deal as well. For Salesforce apps that store data 100% natively in custom objects (as opposed to data that is iframed or otherwise shown from external sources but not stored in Salesforce), you can now see all the data in Salesforce1.

Here is an example of a record from the “CloudAmpGA Metrics” custom object in Salesforce, which is how we store each daily record import from Salesforce. Talk about access to data.

Google Analytics data in the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

Google Analytics data in the Salesforce1 app on the Nexus 7.

So there you have it. For those of us who love the analytics capabilities of Salesforce, now those dashboards and custom data are available on your mobile device with Salesforce1, no special configurations or mobile integration necessary. More (most) of Salesforce is now Mobile with Salesforce1.

CloudAmp Founder David Hecht’s Marketing Presentation at Dreamforce

CloudAmp Founder David Hecht will be giving a talk on online marketing tactics at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference, Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 3:45 PM in the Hilton SF Union Square, Community Success Zone Theater.

The presentation, entitled “Which Half is Wasted? AppExchange Marketing Best Practices” draws on David’s 18 years of marketing experience to provide an overview of marketing strategy and tactics for driving online signups and app sales.

TitleSlide

As part of the Partner User Groups sessions, David will focus his advice toward the ISV community working to promote Salesforce apps, but the tips and tactics will be broadly applicable to marketers of any product or service with an Internet presence. The 30 minute presentation will be divided into two sections, with topics to include:

AppExchange Marketing Tactics

  • Challenges of AppExchange Marketing
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Tracking your traffic (UTM codes and Google Analytics)
  • Blogging (It takes too much time but you have to do it)
  • Social Media (Be part of the conversation when it makes sense)
  • Automated Lead Followup (Use the tools Salesforce gives you)
  • Outbound Phone Calls (Does Sales follow up make sense for you?)

AdwordsSlide

Online Advertising

  • Pros and Cons of Advertising
  • Google Adwords (Not just for conversions but for research)
  • Social Media Advertising (Linkedin, Facebook enable amazing targeting)
  • Retargeting (Remind people who got distracted without signing up)
  • Other Strategies (Email marketing, Vertical Sites, Directories and more)

There will be time for questions during as well as after the brief presentation. If you are coming to Dreamforce this year, please come by and say hello.

RetargetingSlide

The Opportunity of ‘(Not Provided)’ Google Keywords

In late 2011, Google began encrypting searches from anyone logged into a Google service (Gmail, Google +, etc.), so site owners could not see many of the keywords from organic searches that were driving visitors to their sites. In October 2013 Google took additional steps to make search “secure”, so the majority of all keyword searches are now coming through as “(Not Provided)”. The trend is expected to continue until effectively all organic keyword data is blocked from your Google Analytics reports.

NotProvidedCount

This blog post isn’t about Google’s motivation for making this change, or about how to try to recover some of this lost data through other means. You can get some data from Google Webmaster Tools, or hope that a portion of your organic traffic comes from Yahoo and Bing, etc. There are plenty of good articles that cover tips for  that in detail, such as the following:

Instead, I’d like to focus on the opportunites this change provides for website owners and online marketers to go back to the basics and do a better job with some of the fundamentals of tracking. Search engine optimization (SEO) may be forever changed by this major change on Google’s part, but there are many best practices that haven’t changed — and in fact, this (Not Provided) trend makes them more important than ever before.

NotProvided

Opportunity 1: Google Adwords

This may seem to be playing into Google’s hands, since their stated motivation for encrypting the search results was to protect user privacy, but few have believed that.. Since paid advertising on Google still gives you the keyword data, most pundits have assumed the move to “(Not Provided)” for organic search was intended to keep the valuable search data for Google’s own use, and drive people toward paid advertising on Google Adwords and Google +.

However, I have long believed that every business should be doing some amount of Google Adwords experimentation. Even if you don’t have an advertising budget, spending $100+ a month on Google Adwords can provide some of the most cost effective research into your target market available anywhere. Get search volume and keyword data, see what types of ad text and headlines draws the most clicks, and more. Build out your keyword lists for your content marketing, see the keyword data you are no longer going to get from organic search, and hopefully get some conversions as a bonus.

utmcodes

Opportunity 2: Step up your Tracking

Since tracking of organic keywords is mostly if not completely going away in the age of ‘(Not Provided)”, time to step up your game in other areas. Be sure you are tracking everything else you can track, and plug up those gaps that have been on your marketing to-do list for months. Add tracking to your ecommerce, signup and contact us forms to get data on as many of your conversions as possible. (I am not objective in recommending my Campaign Tracker app for this, but please check it out  if you are using Salesforce CRM).  In the end, maximizing conversion tracking is more important than focusing on keywords that brought you clicks and traffic.

In addition, use Google Analytics campaign tags (utm_campaign, utm_source, etc.)  on any links to your site that you give out. Not just in your advertising URLs, but in your social media posts, links you give to your partners to publish on their sties, blog posts, directory listings and profiles, etc. Tagging your URLs will eliminate some of the untracked traffic from other sources (social media sharing or referral sites) and give you more consistent, better data for the incoming link data that you can control.

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Opportunity 3: Back to SEO Basics

Finally, for SEO go back to focusing on the basics — good site structure and good content. Without detailed organic keyword data, you won’t be able to do many of the search engine optimization tricks often promoted by some fly-by-night “we will increase your Google rankings” SEO firms — but you shouldn’t have been doing those things in the first place anyway. Tricks never work for long if they do work, and they can backfire badly.

Instead, accept that your site keyword data is going to be lacking, but use aggregate data from elsewhere — Google Webmaster Tools, Google Adwords — and start producing content that your audience would value. Blogging is very difficult to do regularly, but critical to this back-to-basics approach. Though for most busy professionals with multiple work responsibilities it is nearly impossible to find time to write regular blog posts, not only will they generate positive SEO returns, but they have the added benefit to establishing a voice and thought leadership for your particular field (or at least I hope so!)

What do you think of the Google ‘(Not Provided)’ change? Any tips you think I missed? Let us know in the contents below.

Oct 8 Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup: Arrowpointe & Upshot Demos

At the most recent Salesforce Integration & Analytics Meetup here in San Francisco, we had some good networking as usual, followed by a demo of Arrowpointe’s geo-analytical application for Salesforce, Geopointe. Very cool mapping technology that overlays your Salesforce data. We also had an early preview of Upshot’s new Salesforce reporting app. Because it is not yet in beta, we did not video the presentation — you should have been there though, as it was very innovative.

Don’t miss the next meetup! Register FREE now.

Thanks to Arrowpointe for sponsoring the event and providing food and drinks, and to Geekdom by Rackspace as usual for allowing us to use their San Francisco meeting space.

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

About our Speakers

Scott Hemmeter, CEO & Founder, Arrowpointe

Scott Hemmeter is the CEO / Founder of Arrowpointe Corp. Arrowpointe has been working with Salesforce solutions since 2006 and evolved from a professional services firm to an app-focused firm in 2010. Geopointe, the flagship, application provides mapping and geo-analytics solutions on the Salesforce platform. Geopointe has over 1000 organizations using it today and is the leading geo app on the AppExchange. Scott originally comes from Chicago, spent a couple years in San Francisco and currently resides in Orange, CA (SoCal).

Scott will demonstrate the Geopointe application and show how location information can be appended to Salesforce data and used in unique ways to provide productivity benefits and analytical insights.

Thomas Kim, CTO & Founder, UPSHOT

Formerly an engineer at Salesforce for 9 years.  Lead engineer on Salesforce Analytics.  Tech lead for Custom Report Types and many other reporting features.  Currently CTO of UPSHOT.  We are using NLP and Machine Learning to create a radically simplified way to query and explore your data.

Creating even simple reports in Salesforce is a complex task.  Even experienced users have difficulty creating reports with outer joins, exception reports, etc.  Our product UPSHOT lets you query Salesforce data in a simpler and more accessible interface.  Users who have never created a report in Salesforce before can use our interface immediately with no training.  Our goal is to enable every user in your organization to ask data questions without having to learn SQL or a complicated tool.  We’re currently seeking users to participate in a private beta of our product.

New Version of CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards Released

CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards, the AppExchange app which integrates Google Analytics data into Salesforce, has released a major upgrade today. The new version now supports up to 5 different web sites or Google Analytics profiles, automatically importing data for up to 5 profiles into Salesforce daily to be displayed in 5 sets of dashboards.

Simply install the 7 day free trial from the AppExchange, click a button to connect to Google Analytics, log in through your Google Account, and all Google Analytics Profiles available to that Account will be displayed for you to select. In less than 5 minutes you can see your web site traffic and visitor source breakdown, all displayed in Salesforce dashboards.

GADashboard-Installation-10-v2

With this new upgrade to the Analytics Dashboards app, not only can you choose to see data for up to 5 different web sites, but Google Analytics profiles (being renamed to Google Analytics Views) can also be filtered versions of a single web site’s analytics data. Common use cases of Google Analytics profiles / views include:

  • Exclude/include a certain section or directory of a web site

  • Exclude/include visitors from certain geographical areas

  • Exclude/include traffic from certain domain names

  • Any other filters you can apply in Google Analytics

This means that even if you only have one web site which you wish to keep track of in Salesforce, with support for 5 profiles you can now have geographical or content area filtering in some of your Salesforce dashboards.

Marketers wishing to focus on geographically targeted campaigns can now see the top of their funnel (web site visitors) in multiple sets of dashboards, typically an “All Website Data” profile as well as a geographically filtered profile. Salesforce users in larger organizations could select a profile of just the subsection of their corporate web site that they are responsible for.

CloudAmp Analytics Dashboards imports aggregate data for 13 different web analytics metrics daily, and displays it in prebuilt dashboards. It includes 5 sets of 3 different dashboards, with over 100 reports behind them. All data is stored natively in Salesforce, so everything can be modified and used in other reporting and dashboards. Try a free trial today, contact us for more information, or post any questions in the comments below.

Use Case 2: Automating Salesforce Dashboards for your Boss

We’ve talked about the general philosophy of centralizing data in Salesforce, and both the advantages and challenges of making your CRM system your analytics platform and “single source of truth.” Automating manual imports was our Use Case 1, and we now continue the series with a focus on automating reporting for your boss.

Your boss asks to see a weekly dashboard of your online marketing activities and web site traffic. Do you:

  1. Spend 3-4 hours each week exporting or copying and pasting data from various online systems into an Excel spreadsheet, cleaning it up, and then creating graphs?

  2. Spend 3+ months and $50,000+ to implement a Business Intelligence system and data warehouse

  3. Spend a few hours connecting data sources to Salesforce, building the reports and dashboards, and then set it once to automatically update and be emailed to your boss weekly

EmailDashboardSample

Unless you are dealing with huge volumes of data (otherwise known by the misused buzzword “big data”), the choice of number 3 should be obvious. An independent survey of more than 4,000 Salesforce customers found that they were able to cut the time needed to prepare reports by an average of 52 percent using Salesforce’s reporting module.

By automating dashboard updates in Salesforce, not only can you get your boss what she / he wants, but you can refresh the data any time you want with the click of a button, for a real-time update on the data. And you could get the dashboard emailed to you daily, while your boss gets it weekly or monthly. That way you can be on top of any trends and spot potential problems sooner, all without any manual updating of spreadsheets.

You often already have some of the data you need in Salesforce, and integrating additional missing data has the added benefit of making that information available for other purposes, right where you do much of your work as a marketing or sales professional — Salesforce.

Here’s How:

Step 1. Get the data you need into Salesforce

This can be challenging in some cases, depending on what data you need in there. Hopefully you already have lead source tracking data (we are clearly biased but recommend our Campaign Tracker app for this purpose, and there are lots of other options for apps or developing your own lead / registration tracking).

For web site traffic, CloudAmp’s Analytics Dashboards product automatically imports web site traffic and visitor metrics into Salesforce, and stores the data natively in Salesforce for use in reports and dashboards. Other Apps such as Zapier can integrate data from marketing SaaS apps like MailChimp, Twitter, Shopify and more into Salesforce. And of course the larger data integration platforms like Mulesoft’s CloudHub or Jitterbit’s Connect can sync data from hundreds of other on-premise and cloud-based applications into Salesforce.

Advertising metrics like impressions and clicks can be more of a challenge to get into Salesforce. Unfortunately, outside of Google, most online advertising companies either have internal-use-only APIs that are not available to their customers, or they are very choosy in who they allow access to their advertising reporting APIs (for example, Linkedin and Facebook only give access to a few of their select partners, unfortunately). So that part of your funnel may require an export or cut and paste from an advertising dashboard or two, if you want to include it in the dashboard.

Step 2: Building the Reports and Dashboards

Once you have the data you need loading regularly into Salesforce, time to build some reports and dashboards. The dashboard and report builder in Salesforce is one of my favorite parts of the product, but it has a bit too much depth for me to cover here, so I’ll just link to Salesforce’s reporting and dashboard overview, and embed an introductory video here:

One tip would be to “clone” existing dashboards that you have already, either ones that were provided with various apps above, or internal ones that you have built. That way you have a good starting point, and can modify to suit your needs without affecting anything that others may be using. And be sure to “Save as” any reports into your own dedicated folder after you customize them, so you don’t alter any current dashboards that may be referencing those reports.

Step 3: Schedule the Refresh and Emails

In Enterprise Edition and Unlimited Edition of Salesforce, you can schedule dashboards to refresh daily, weekly, or monthly. If you have Professional Edition you are out of luck, and if you have Group Edition of Salesforce you are really out of luck, as it does not support dashboards at all (other than those included by Salesforce).

The data in Salesforce dashboards is not automatically updated. For those on the correct version of Salesforce, you can schedule the dashboards to refresh, so you don’t have to manually refresh them. As part of the refresh, you can have an HTML version of the dashboard emailed to you and/or others in your Salesforce organization.

  1. Click the arrow on the side of the “Refresh” button when you are viewing a dashboard.

    DashboardRefreshButton

  2. Select the notification settings (if desired):

    1. Click To me to send an email to your user’s address.

    2. Click To others… to send an email to additional Salesforce users.

      ScheduleDashboardRefresh

  3. Schedule the refresh

    1. Choose Daily, Weekly or Monthly

    2. Select start and end dates

    3. Select the Preferred Start Time for the refresh

  4. Click Save

ScheduleDashboardRefresh2

One tip is to make sure the refresh schedule makes sense relative to how frequently data is being loaded into Salesforce, otherwise it can be confusing if some data is updated as frequently as the dashboard refreshes, but some is not (for example, the dashboard is refreshed and emailed daily, but one of the data sources for the underlying reports is only updated in Salesforce once a week). Clearly labeling the graphs with time periods and refresh schedules can also be helpful.

That’s all there is to it! Your dashboard will be automatically refreshed, and a nicely formatted HTML email will be sent to you and your boss with all the graphs as PNG graphics, clickable to the source reports just the same as when the dashboard is in Salesforce.

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