Salesforce.com Releases Industry-Specific Apps for Wave Analytics
Salesforce.com today expanded its Wave Analytics product portfolio, adding role- and industry-specific releases, including B2B marketing and financial services apps, as well as apps created by independent software vendors and new dashboard customization features.
While consumers have had access to data-driven, purpose-built mobile apps that help them manage their personal goals—programs such as Mint, which helps guide users track their financial progress, for instance—professionals haven't been accommodated in the same way, says Ben Pruden, director of product marketing at Salesforce.com. "Analytics [have] really failed to make employees work smarter; the tools that we have in business are really fragmented," Pruden says. Often "you've got one system for handling one type of analysis, and a bunch of people sharing spreadsheets all around the business; [or] there's a service bureau of experts that know how to get certain metrics, but they've often got a backlog and can take weeks and even months to get you a metric."
Since its release, the Wave product line has aimed to provide customer-facing professionals with insights that allow them to take quick actions within the interfaces they're most comfortable using. In the past year, the vendor has added functions to the benefit of sales and service departments. Today, "we're continuing our path to empower every business user to be smarter about their customers" by placing an emphasis on marketers and popular verticals, Pruden says.
The Wave Analytics App for B2B Marketing allows marketing and sales teams to collaborate and assess the effectiveness of their campaigns, while determining how to get the best return on their investments. With the app, "you can really quickly and easily understand where there's need in your pipeline and where you should be driving more activity," Pruden says. Users can home in on data pulled from their CRM systems to examine lead volume, lead-to-opportunity conversion rates, and the ROI of campaigns. They can then distribute dashboards, reports, and instructions regarding their next best moves. Among other things, a marketing leader can assess pipeline according to region, while drawing on data regarding product sales or event attendance, to see where operations can be optimized. The marketer might determine a new strategy is necessary for a campaign geared toward specific locales and suggest alternate messaging (such as a custom email series), for instance.
Wave for Financial Services Cloud is designed specifically to help financial advisers focus on their most promising customers. "An interesting stat is that only 7 percent of financial advisers are able to segment their customer base, which means that really they're kind of flying blind and don't have a clear understanding of where they're spending their time, where their investments are performing," Pruden says. The app is designed to help users classify and identify clients according to their potential value to a business.
A set of applications from Salesforce partners aims to further extend the benefits of Wave Analytics across industries and roles. Available now on the AppExchange are more than 20 apps, from the likes of Everis, ThinkLP, and Vlocity. The Everis ehCOS app is designed to help healthcare providers get a better read on their patients and provide them with the best care. ThinkLP's Loss Prevention offering seeks to minimize the common losses retailers experience as a result of inventory complications. Vlocity's Clickstream Analysis app helps contact center managers improve agent performance by linking to data surrounding call times, likelihood to purchase, and service histories.
Salesforce has also introduced new dashboard capabilities. A Dataset Designer allows users to connect and join data using "clicks, not code,” extending information flows to give users access to records from external sources, Pruden says. For instance, a service manager can connect sensor data from smart objects with data from the Service Cloud to better understand how customers are using a product and solve any issues they might be having.
And with the new Wave Dashboard Designer, "it’s easier than ever to customize layouts and extend your Wave Apps for role-specific dashboards, and quickly enable them with triggers, alerts, and notifications that will push to the users so they know when they should be engaged with their data,” Pruden says.
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