An Overview of Salesforce Wave & The Analytics Cloud

In Dreamforce’14, Salesforce has launched Wave, its analytics cloud, in a move that broadens  its platform for other business use cases and applications designed to make data fun and intuitive for the masses.
Wave, the Salesforce Analytics Cloud, is aimed at the broader subset of business users beyond sales and marketing professionals. Salesforce’s analytics efforts are designed to be mobile first with the ability to pluck data from any source.
 Wave Analytics
The Analytics Cloud is new age cloud BI (Business Intelligence) tool built on the Wave platform. There has been a lot of buzz around this new product since its release, but many of the users are not aware of  how this product fits into the existing Salesforce product suite.

Wave vs Analytics Cloud

You may have heard both of these terms being used interchangeably when people have talked about this new product, but they are actually very different.

The Analytics Cloud is a Salesforce product, like  Sales & Service Cloud, you can buy this product and start using it out of the box. However, Wave is the platform on which the Analytics Cloud is built on. This relationship might seem familiar, and that’s because it’s exactly the same as Salesforce.com and Force.com.

Analytics Cloud vs Reports & Dashboards

One thought may come to our mind that, “Why the Analytics Cloud is needed when Reports & Dashboards provide graphical representations?” Depending on the type of business you work for, this statement may be true,  not all companies have a need for the Analytics Cloud. However, for the ones that do, it will be down to limitations of Salesforce Reports & Dashboards.

Report & Dashboards are excellent for viewing quick real time operational data to get a snapshot of what is happening inside your CRM.  But to determine trends from extremely large sets of data can become problematic to process millions of rows. One of the main attractions of the Analytics Cloud and other BI tools is the speed they can process large amounts of data.
Speed and processing power becomes even more apparent when you realise that Analytics Cloud can process data from external systems as well.  It can grab data from ETL, CSV upload (also from iOS devices) and of course from Salesforce CRM.

Wave Analytics2

Report & Dashboard can only historically report on data over 90 days, and the graphs and visual representations of data is far superior in the Analytics Cloud.
For more information around Analytics Cloud vs Report & Dashboard, please check out this comparison complied by Salesforce.

Wave Analytics Components

Apps

A fancy word for folder. An app contains a group of datasets, lenses and dashboards that you can share with other users. By default, you get the following apps:

My Private App
This app is visible to you and only you. You can’t share My Private App with anyone.
Shared App
This app is the complement of My Private App. The Shared App is accessible by anyone who has access to Wave. Although it’s accessible by everyone, you can still ensure stricter security on datasets through row-level security, as you can learn in the Wave Analytics Security Implementation Guide.
Wave Analytics3

 

Dashboards

      A curated set of charts, metrics, and tables that gives you an interactive view of your business data. The Wave dashboard is a combination of reports (known as “Lenses”) with possible filters.

Lenses

        This is basically a single report based off a dataset in Analytics Cloud.

Datasets

The name says it all — a dataset is simply a set of data. For example, it could be a list of campaigns or a list of users. You also might have an augmented dataset, which basically combines two datasets into one (e.g. campaign member and campaign information).

The data used in these datasets can enter Analytics Cloud through any of three channels:

      1. A built-in standard Salesforce connector.
      2. A manually uploaded CSV file.
      3. Custom integrations through a middleware layer, like  Informatica.

Wave Analytics4

Also check here is the limits of Wave Analytics.

Excited to Learn?

To learn Wave Analytics, I would recommend you to go through these trails.

Keep Trailing, Keep Learning.

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