How Tableau Solves Your Salesforce Reporting Problems

October 16, 2020
July 25, 2023

Built-in reporting with Salesforce is limited: leads and sales opportunities are siloed, making it difficult to track the entire journey from marketing lead to a closed sale. Salesforce users cannot pull in data from outside sources with Salesforce alone. Tableau solves this problem with a platform that is designed to integrate with Salesforce seamlessly.

Salesforce Teams Up with Tableau

Image Source: Tableau

The Salesforce family has recently welcomed Tableau on board to create a complete analytics solution that is visually driven and easy to use thanks to Natural Language capabilities and built-in AI/Advanced Analytics. Tableau is a trusted platform with tens of thousands of users, and this new integration with Salesforce offers users flexibility and choice depending on your specific needs, along with reliable security and governance to keep your data safe and protect its quality. This solution can be deployed enterprise-wide to enable collaboration across the entire organization and is native to the Salesforce CRM workflow, so both platforms smoothly integrate.

This new capability allows Salesforce and Tableau to provide the exact right analytics solution for various roles in an organization.

How Tableau Improves Salesforce Reporting

The Salesforce and Tableau integration gives you the ability to see data from your Salesforce CRM system blended with whatever other sources of data you have available for Tableau to pull. You can then put all that information into an easy-to-read visualization available to all your users. Users can subscribe to those visualizations, which can save time by eliminating the need for meetings to review stats on how your business is doing – this information will instead be available to users on demand. This reporting can help managers get quick and clear visibility into performance, answer questions, and help users prioritize tasks.

You can embed Tableau visualizations within Salesforce (check out some various options below), and securely pass data back and forth so visualizations are automatically customized to each account/opportunity.

A Rundown of the Business Benefits that Tableau Offers when Combined with Salesforce:

Holistic Reporting for Better Decision-Making Support

Tableau can pull in data from various sources, greatly expanding visibility into the entire sales funnel to enable better decision-making regarding marketing and sales strategies.

Some examples of data that Tableau can pull into Salesforce:

  • Customer lifetime value, recency, and frequency from sales history data
  • Customer satisfaction from call center data
  • Quote spreadsheets to compare Actuals vs. Quotas
Self-Service Analysis and Visualization

Tableau enables business users with no previous IT or data analytics experience to analyze and visualize data themselves to democratize data and drive more informed decision-making.

Data Blending

Tableau allows Salesforce users to combine data across modules, making it easier to compare/contrast data points and draw meaningful conclusions from the information.

Knowledge and Skill-Sharing

Salesforce can’t become a standard tool throughout the entire organization because its reporting is limited to only what’s inside the system. Tableau doesn’t have this limitation and allows information to be easily shared across departments.

How to Get Started with Tableau and Salesforce

Image Source: Tableau

Embedding Salesforce data into a Tableau dashboard can be done using Salesforce Canvas and Tableau Sparkler adapters, both of which are free.

You can also edit what’s on your current Salesforce home screen and add a Tableau dashboard to it:

  • Go to the Settings gear () in the top-right corner on the home page inside of Salesforce.
  • If you are an admin, you can create a new default, profile, or App-specific Home page from the Lightning App builder. Just go to Setup > Lighting App Builder, click New, and choose Home Page.
  • Choose a layout and use the drag-and-drop feature to bring over a Visualforce component for each Tableau dashboard you want to display.
  • You can add additional items like list views or report charts that are also useful in your organization.

Tableau has also released some out-of-the-box dashboards to get you started using the two together.

You can create a custom dashboard and post it as a Web Tab:

If you are a manager or a salesperson, you could create a dashboard to help your sales team prioritize their time. A dashboard like this can help your team answer questions like:

  • “Are there any opportunities that haven’t been addressed in a while?”
  • “Are any opportunities waiting on an action from me?”
  • “Are any projects in danger of going off-schedule or have missed milestones?”

If there is already a Tableau dashboard your team uses to manage their data, now it’s even easier to access within Salesforce.

How to reference a Tableau report from within the page layout of a Salesforce Record:

Create a tab on your Account page to show the answer to questions like:

  • “How much revenue are we doing with this client?”
  • “Are any maintenance or subscription products coming due?”
  • “What work have we done with this client before?”

You can add this as a Visualforce component or tab on the Account page. If you want it to filter for the specific Account page you are on, make sure the Tableau report is filtered by Account ID and that you add an object reference to the ID in the markup for your Visualforce page.

The integration between Tableau and Salesforce helps everyone in your organization see and understand their data. They can unlock Salesforce data, empowering every business user to analyze it with Tableau.

But Wait, There’s More!

Using visualization and reporting platforms like Tableau enable your organization to use your data to make better decisions. Bringing Salesforce data into Tableau is a great use case for building a more data-driven strategic organization, but combining data from Salesforce with other sources such as accounting, project management, and customer service can truly help you understand your market.  

For example, if your Salesforce organization also uses Microsoft solutions primarily, Onebridge can help you get improved Salesforce reporting and similar results through Power BI instead of Tableau, and integrate data from the entire Microsoft 365 Suite as well. If you’d like to learn more, contact us today.

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