Salesforce.com Unveils Einstein Analytics Apps

Salesforce.com today broadened its tool set with Einstein Analytics, a set of additions that unites artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities with the analytics tools available in Salesforce.com's CRM system. According to Amruta Moktali, vice president of product management at Salesforce's Analytics Cloud division, the offerings grant sales people, B2B marketers, and customer service professionals access to data-driven insights and recommendations in the context of their workflows, while allowing them them to take quicker actions and make more "intelligent decisions."

"Salesforce has always had analytics at the front and center of CRM," Moktali says. But while "millions" of its users across sales, marketing, and service have been running operational analytics, Einstein Analytics brings the journey a step further by "infusing AI into every application." It is a portfolio consisting of native self-service apps, preconfigured with KPIs built in Salesforce.com, designed to give business users an intuitive method by which to assess their most recent data, uncover opportunities, and collaborate to take action from their mobile or stationary devices.

Einstein Analytics apps have been created specifically for the customer service, sales, and marketing roles. With the Service Analytics app, customer care professionals and call center managers can work to boost customer satisfaction scores, agent efficiency, and channel performances. The Sales Analytics app gives reps and managers tools with which oversee their forecasts and pipelines as well as monitor team and individual performances. B2B Marketers can leverage data-driven insights from the Marketing Analytics application to improve customer engagement efforts, strengthen pipelines, and increase their campaigns' effectiveness.

Within a typical organization, "every decision is a collaborative decision," Moktali says. So "that's where storytelling comes in." The Einstein Discovery add-on conducts statistical checks across large sets of data to confirm the validity of trends and give users intelligent explanations about the patterns it uncovers. It not only provides recommended steps for acting on findings but also assists users in communicating those findings to coworkers by automatically generating materials that make the process easier—including "consumable versions" that can be shared, consisting of slide presentations with accompanying images and text.

Within Sales Analytics, for example, Einstein Discovery can sift through a vast number of closed deals to reveal the top factors that impact close rates across industries, product categories, company sizes, regions, and more. Business analysts and operations professionals can access the models and algorithms behind the analysis to see how the system arrived at each prediction and recommendation. "You don't have to know math or algorithms to do this," Moktali stresses—an important point, given that the average business user is not a data scientist, she says.

Salesforce.com users can build out their own custom analytics apps using the analytics app designer, visual data preparation, and outside data connectors. Additionally, independent software vendors can use the Einstein Analytics capabilities to enhance their apps; they can then offer them via Salesforce.com's AppExchange. So far, 20 have been built. Moktali points to offerings from Vlocity and ThinkLP as standouts; the latter app can help retailers understand the factors contributing to lost revenue within their brick-and-mortar stores.

Both the Sales and Service Analytics apps are available now, and priced at $75 per user per month. The Marketing Analytics app, which supports up to five end users, costs $300 per seat—the higher price tag the result of heavier customization, Moktali explains. Einstein Discover is available at an additional $75 per user per month. Custom Einstein Analytics apps are generally available as well, starting at $150 per user per month.

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