We live in the age of big data. Enterprises are collecting more information than ever before, and theoretically, it should be helping improve customer relations, drive sales and enhance marketing campaigns. The problem has been that access to business intelligence has been limited to only a few users — and required top-notch technical skills (usually IT staff or an outside vendor) to provide that access. The problems can be exacerbated if you have legacy data that needs to be migrated or integrated that is currently “siloed.” Therefore, while the data exists, it is trapped inside complex technology that makes it so difficult to access that it (almost) might not exist at all.
Salesforce Analytics Cloud eliminates the problem of trapped data that requires users to ask for help from IT to access or compile the information. Furthermore, because there is no need to wait for assistance, users can obtain data while it is still fresh. This means that they can access today’s data today, not tomorrow or next week.
Why your users need to view data depends on the specifics of your enterprise — after all, Salesforce is a powerful tool for more than just the sales department — but try to place yourself in one of these scenarios:
- John wants his salespeople in the field to have the latest information on their customers’ accounts. He has created a series of spreadsheets using pivot tables to deliver the reports. John spends between two and three hours a day updating the spreadsheets and sending them out. However, the data contained in the spreadsheets is seldom 100-percent accurate and up-to-date. On more than one occasion, John’s field reps have complained of embarrassing errors that came to light while meeting with customers.Now suppose that instead of spreadsheets, each rep could access a report of each customer’s complete transaction history. In addition to total sales, the rep could drill down to every line item on every invoice. Reps could see back-orders, returns and shipments in transit. How much more meaningful might the conversation be?
- Mary supervises a team of customer service representatives. By the time she learns that a shipment has been delayed, it is often already past the scheduled delivery date. Her reps are placed in the uncomfortable position of having to react to irate customers who may be the first notice the reps have that there is an issue with the order.Now suppose that Mary’s reps could run reports two or three times a day to check for delayed shipments. They could immediately notify the customer, apologize, offer alternative products or determine what it would take to make the customer happy. Instead of reacting to a problem, the reps can be proactive in resolving an issue that the customer does not even know exists.
- Your organization has planned a three-phase marketing campaign. Each phase is to be implemented within 24 hours of the closing of the previous campaign and is capable of standing alone as well as building on the last campaign. However, the campaigns will be quite expensive. You are trying some new strategies that are unusual for your company and are anxious about how your customers will receive the campaigns.Viewing the success of each campaign through historic data is not going to give you the level of comfort you need. Suppose you could access the data throughout the campaign to determine how well things are going and what adjustments you need to make to the next phase? Suppose you could use your data to predict overall effectiveness as well as effectiveness in specific territories or demographics?
In all of the scenarios described, the Salesforce Analytics Cloud could help provide the information needed. The Analytics Cloud is designed to deliver the right data to the users who need it at the time that they need it. After all, what is the purpose of collecting data if the people who most need to see it are left without it?