Salesforce.com Updates Wave Analytics Cloud

Salesforce.com today announced updates to its Wave Analytics Cloud, which the company first introduced at Dreamforcei n October. The updates will allow users to import and analyze new data sources, build entirely new dashboards, and share insights.

The Wave Analytics Cloud was designed to enable sales reps to interpret large data sets and analyze customer trends through their mobile phones without referring to another machine or expert. Using an advanced computing engine, it eliminates the need of going through a sorting process before analyzing information.

With the updates, Salesforce aims to make the product even more accessible to ordinary users, rather than just specialists or data scientists. The additions will allow users to create and customize dashboards on their phones and to select the types of data they'd like to display at any given time. If, for instance, a marketing executive wants to highlight a set of campaign metrics, such as the number of clicks the company's Web site attracts, or any social media posts, she can do so using Wave Mobile Dashboard Designer. With Wave Mobile Connector, users can import their own raw data sets, including CSV or Excel files from their email accounts, and convert the information into a more presentable and navigable visual aid. Wave Links creates a bridge between the Salesforce1 app and the Analytics cloud app, which allows users to embed links from the Analytics Cloud into the Service Cloud.

Since the product's launch, Salesforce has received feedback to suggest that the demand for a greater mobile experience is just as great as they'd anticipated. "The last few months have reaffirmed that we need to focus on mobile as the next round of innovation, because over half of the activity today that happens in the analytics cloud happens through mobile cloud," says Anna Rosenman, director of product marketing at Salesforce.com.

Howard Dresner, chief research officer at Dresner Advisory Services, reiterates that the trend toward on-the-go use is apparent. "We've been researching mobile computing and mobile business intelligence (BI) for six years now and have seen its importance grow dramatically since then," he says. "There are some users that will never use BI on a laptop or desktop, and those numbers will continue to grow. So, mobile-first makes great sense as a forward-thinking approach to usage."

Although the product is designed first and foremost with a positive mobile experience in mind, that doesn't mean it will render the desktop obsolete. "One thing that was important [to us] with this product," Rosenman says, "is that the design of the mobile experience informs the design of the desktop experience and vice versa. In general, what we're trying to deliver here is not something that's mobile only, but rather something that creates continuous experience that you don't feel a jarring change when you move from one device to another."

A free Playground Version is available for desktop computers or mobile devices from Salesforce.com's Web site and as an app from the Apple store. With it, anyone can experience the power of the Analytics Cloud using their own imported data or a variety of preloaded data sets.

Salesforce also plans to release a Web version of the product.

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