Creating Actionable Insights Using Tableau CRM

By Mark Tossell

Early Access

This is an Early Access product. Early Access chapters haven’t received a final polish from our editors yet. Every effort has been made in the preparation of these chapters to ensure the accuracy of the information presented. However, the content in this book will evolve and be updated during the development process.

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About this book

Tableau CRM, formerly Einstein Analytics, is a powerful and versatile data analytics platform that enables organizations to extract, combine, transform, and visualize their data to create valuable business insights. Despite being a highly capable tool and in high demand in the industry, proficiency in Tableau CRM skills is hard to find.

Creating Actionable Insights Using Tableau CRM provides a hands-on approach to Tableau CRM implementation and associated methodologies that will have you up and running and productive in no time. The book provides you with detailed explanations of essential concepts to help you to gain confidence and become competent in using the Tableau CRM platform for data extraction, combination, transformation, visualization, and action. As you make progress, you'll understand what Tableau CRM is and where it provides business value. You'll also learn how to bring your data together in Tableau CRM, build datasets and lenses for data analysis, create effective analytics dashboards for visualization and consumption by end users, and build dashboard actions that take the user from data to insight to action with ease.

By the end of this Tableau book, you'll be able to solve business problems using Tableau CRM and design, build, test, and deploy Tableau CRM analytics dashboards efficiently.

Publication date:
December 2021
Publisher
Packt
Pages
368
ISBN
9781801074391

 

2Developing Your First OOTB Analytics App in TCRM

What is a Tableau Customer Relationship Management (TCRM) analytics app? TCRM provides a variety of out-of-the-box (OOTB) analytics applications that get you started with data analytics for a variety of generic and industry-specific use cases, such as sales analytics or wealth management analytics. These apps provide prebuilt data flows and dashboards that can be configured to suit the use case and available data. OOTB apps are a great place to begin using and customizing TCRM analytics, and to get a feel for the TCRM user interface (UI), assets, and tools.

You have to walk before you can run. We are going to begin right at the start—setting up a trial TCRM organization (org), getting to know the TCRM environment, and learning basic asset definitions. We will then dive in and get our feet wet by creating and customizing our very first TCRM analytics app.

By the end of this chapter, you should have a detailed understanding of what an OOTB analytics app is in TCRM and be able to create and customize one in a development (dev) org. You should also be able to navigate the TCRM UI and use basic TCRM tools. In addition, the goal is to understand and appreciate the various TCRM assets, such as lenses and stories. We will also address some common questions and challenges in this process.

In this chapter, we will cover the following topics:

  • Getting hands-on with your own TCRM environment
  • What is a TCRM analytics app?
  • Installing and configuring a TCRM analytics app
  • Customizing a TCRM analytics app
  • Common questions answered
  • Troubleshooting
 

Technical requirements

You will need the following to successfully execute the instructions in this chapter:

 

Getting hands-on with your own TCRM environment

Let’s first walk through the initial process of setting up a dev playground for TCRM so that you can use it to work along with me as we move along with the process of installing TCRM.

In order for you to get hands-on with the TCRM platform, you first need a sandbox environment that is yours to edit as you see fit—one that is already enabled for TCRM and is populated with sample data. This playground environment is known as an Einstein Analytics-enabled Developer Edition org. So, let’s set this up.

Setting up your dev org

To sign up for and set up your dev org, follow these next steps:

  1. Sign up here for your own Einstein Analytics-enabled Developer Edition org: https://developer.salesforce.com/promotions/orgs/analytics-de. The sign-up screen should look like this:

    Figure 2.1 – Sign-up screen for dev org
  2. Go ahead and fill out the form, and then select Sign me up. Note that your username will be in the form of an email address, but you will create a unique username that should not be your email address. Make something up that you can remember easily. Go to your email app, where you should see an email with a subject such as Welcome to Salesforce: Verify your account.
  3. Save the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) and username somewhere safe, and click the button that says Verify Account. This will bring you to a page where you will create a password for the org and choose a security question. Fill this out and click on Change Password. You will now arrive at the Salesforce home page for your dev org. It should look like this:

    Figure 2.2 – Salesforce home page for the TCRM playground

    Important note

    Note that this dev org is enabled for TCRM/Einstein Analytics, and is populated with enough dummy data to enable you to learn the ropes. If you are using your own environment, you’ll need to make sure you have the necessary licenses, permissions, and settings. These are detailed at the end of this chapter in the Common questions answered section.

    Let’s now jump into the TCRM platform so that we can learn our way around the home page, understand the various asset and menu options, and later launch the OOTB analytics app creator.

  4. Go to the App Launcher in the top left-hand corner and click on Analytics Studio, as per the following screenshot:

    Figure 2.3 – Salesforce App Launcher with Analytics Studio highlighted
  5. You should now see your new happy place—the home page in Einstein Analytics Studio, as illustrated in the following screenshot:
Figure 2.4 – Einstein Analytics Studio home page

Now that you have created a TCRM sandbox playground for your work, it’s time to become familiar with the UI and assets that you will be using from now on.

Finding your way around the Analytics Studio home page

Now that we have successfully signed up for our happy place that is Analytics Studio, it will be worth exploring the Analytics Studio home page to get a better understanding of the different features present. So, let’s go ahead and do that.

What do we have in our menu on the left-hand side? As you saw in Figure 2.4, there are a variety of options available on the left-hand side of the screen. Let’s explore them next.

Summary of home page menu items

Here is a list of items that will be available on the home page:

  • Home—The TCRM landing page that gives you access to your Analytics Studio assets.
  • Notifications—TCRM notifications are listed here. When notifications are created in dashboards, you can manage them in this section.
  • Watchlist—TCRM watchlist items are listed here. When watchlist items are created in dashboards, you can manage them in this section
  • All Items—To be discussed in detail in the next section.
  • Favorites—You can choose to make any TCRM asset a favorite, such as a dataset or a lens, and add it to this list for ease of access.
  • Shared With Me—All items that others have shared with you are accessed here.
  • Created By Me—All items that you create are accessed here.
  • Learning Center—Links to various learning resources for TCRM users are listed here for ease of use.
  • Data Manager—Data sources, datasets, and data tools are accessed here.
  • Template Gallery—You can launch a new analytics app from a template here. This is explained in much more detail in this chapter.
  • Model Manager—View and manage your Einstein Discovery machine learning (ML) models here. Note that Einstein Discovery ML is not covered in this book.
  • Community—Links to the Trailblazer community, where you can collaborate with other TCRM trailblazers.

We will now look at one of these menu options in detail: All Items.

All Items

You will see several options and assets when you click on All Items under the Browse heading.

What are all these items on the home page? We call them TCRM assets. Let’s find out a little about these now—there’s much more detail to come! The following screenshot shows these assets:

Figure 2.5 – TCRM assets as seen in a list view on the Einstein Analytics home page

Here are simple definitions of the items you see in the preceding screenshot:

  • Apps—A container, similar to a file folder. This is used to organize and share analytics assets as required.
  • Dashboard—A collection of data visualizations, metrics, tables, text, and other items, designed to tell a data story. You can create a new dashboard from scratch, edit an existing dashboard, or work from a template.
  • Story—An Einstein Discovery story (supervised ML insights and predictions). Einstein Discovery stories are used to create intelligent, predictive insights. Note that Einstein Discovery ML is not covered in this book.
  • Lens—A self-contained exploration of data; one query with a visualization or table. Lenses are created to explore data and save it for later use, share it with others, or add it to a dashboard.
  • Dataset—A data table. Datasets are used to drive business insights. The creation and customization of datasets will be explained later in Chapter 3, Connecting Your Data Sources.

Search functionality

TCRM has a powerful search capability that enables users to quickly find the assets they are looking for, as seen here:

Figure 2.6 – TCRM search interface

For example, as you see in Figure 2.6, you can search for assets on the home page, such as the My DTC app, which contains datasets, lenses, and dashboards relating to Direct to Consumer (DTC) business data. If more than one asset appears in the results list, you can narrow your search using the filters on the right.

Analytics settings

You shouldn’t need to make any changes to the TRCM settings yet, but should you need to at any time, you can find the settings by clicking on the settings gear icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page, as follows:

Figure 2.7 – How to reach the Settings tab

This is what the Settings tab for Analytics looks like:

Figure 2.8 – Analytics Settings tab for TCRM

For example, you see in Figure 2.8 that you can enable the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) output connector. This allows you to export comma-separated values (CSV) data from TCRM data preparation to an Amazon S3 bucket.

 

What is a TCRM analytics app?

Before we dive into the deployment and customization of a TCRM analytics app, we first need to understand what one exactly is. A TCRM application is essentially a container for four TCRM assets: dashboards, stories, lenses, and datasets. Here is a simple visual overview of a TCRM app:

Figure 2.9 – Overview of a TCRM app

Open up the existing app, My DTC Sales, and you will see the previously listed assets, as well as a Details tab that displays system information.

As you explore the My DTC Sales app, and as we prepare to build our very own app, there are some basics you first need to grasp. There are three things to note about TCRM analytics apps, outlined as follows:

  • An app is secure. That is, it can be restricted to the creator or can be opened up to other users. App-level security is one form of TCRM security.
  • An app can be shared. There are three ways to share the contents of an app with others for collaboration, listed as follows:

Give access via TCRM

Post to chatter feed

Share via the app URL

  • An app can be templated. This is a powerful tool that enables the Analytics dashboard, data flow, and so on, to be packaged and deployed elsewhere.

Note

See here for more information about app templates: https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.bi_dev_guide_wave_templates.meta/bi_dev_guide_wave_templates/bi_templatesdev_intro_wave_templates.htm

 

Installing and configuring a TCRM analytics app

Let’s now go ahead and create our very first analytics app. We will follow the simple, intuitive OOTB process offered by TCRM, beginning with the Create button. The steps are listed as follows:

  1. App creation
  2. Basic app configuration
  3. App exploration

Let’s explore these steps in the following section.

App creation

Let’s start by creating our app. To do so, follow these next instructions:

  1. First, head up to the top right-hand corner of the page, click on Create, and select App, as illustrated in the following screenshot:

    Figure 2.10 – How to begin the app creation process by using the Create button

    You should now see a screen where you can select an app template. A template is a preconfigured, customizable app that is built for a particular use case.

  2. Let’s type sales in the search window and select the Sales Analytics app, as illustrated in the following screenshot:

    Figure 2.11 – Creating a new app
  3. What then follows is a helpful synopsis of the app, along with technical details and sample dashboard screenshots. Feel free to explore these, then go ahead and click on Continue, which brings us to this dialog box:

    Figure 2.12 – Creating a brand new analytics app
  4. Select Create a brand new app and click Continue. Einstein will then run a quick check to make sure you’re ready to create an app; click on Looks good, next.

The app template is loaded and is ready to be configured to suit your unique requirements.

Basic app configuration

Let’s begin with a basic setup; we will configure it soon. Proceed as follows:

  1. Choose Basic in the Sales Analytics - Personalize screen, as follows:

    Figure 2.13 – Sales Analytics - Personalize screen
  2. Name the new analytics app, then click on Create. You now have to wait a few minutes while Einstein works its magic. You should see the following screen in your browser:
Figure 2.14 – App creation screen

Once this process is complete, your analytics app will then appear. In creating the new app, the TCRM platform has delivered an OOTB sales analytics application, complete with data flow (more about that later), prebuilt lenses and dashboards, and the datasets necessary to drive the insights.

Note that a new data flow, My First Analytics App eltDataflow, was implemented and run, creating 11 datasets, which you can see listed in your new app.

App exploration

Take some time now to explore the new app—your new app! Don’t change anything, but click around the app, explore the assets, and get a feel for the environment. For example, try diving into the PERFORMANCE dashboard, which looks like this:

Figure 2.15 – OOTB PERFORMANCE dashboard

Play with the global filters at the top, click on charts to view and filter the information, watch how the table view at the bottom changes, and just get your hands dirty. You can also try creating your first lens—more about that later—by simply clicking on a dataset and experimenting, which will create something like this:

Figure 2.16 – A lens created from the Opportunities dataset

Now that you’ve created your first TCRM app, what if you want to change the way it is configured? What if you want to tweak the setup? Or even make sweeping changes? Read on!

 

Customizing a TCRM analytics app

By the end of this section, you should be able to edit the configuration of an app and thus customize it to a limited extent. These two steps are required for you to customize an app:

  1. Change the app settings to custom settings
  2. Customize the detailed app settings

Let’s explore these steps in the following sections.

Changing the app settings to custom settings

Let’s go into the app we created and edit the settings, as follows:

  1. Click on Reconfigure app in the app, as per the following screenshot:

    Figure 2.17 – Beginning the app reconfiguration process
  2. Next, confirm that it’s okay to overwrite existing settings and customizations by clicking the checkbox and hitting Continue. You will then see the Sales Analytics - Personalize screen again, so continue, and this time select custom settings when asked Choose how you would like to create Sales Analytics.You can add additional objects if desired, as illustrated in the following screenshot:
Figure 2.18 – Choosing additional objects for the analytics app

For example, if your organization uses product schedules in Salesforce, you can include that object in your analytics app by adding it here.

Customizing detailed app settings

We can now go in and start to customize the detailed settings that impact what users will see in their analytics. Let’s walk through these dialog boxes and make some changes together.

The first box pertains to segmenting your customers; go ahead and edit these fields to change the app configuration, as follows:

Figure 2.19 – Making changes to the customer segmentation settings

A series of dialog boxes will follow and you can make changes as you see fit, such as these:

  • Customizing fields to segment geographies
  • Customizing fields to segment products
  • Controlling data visibility
  • Adding additional fields to datasets and dashboards

Note that every OOTB analytics app has its own set of configuration options. When you get to the point where you are able to create your own app from scratch and build a custom template, you will create a new configuration wizard to suit.

Once this process of personalization is complete, you will be asked Are you sure you want to reconfigure your app? Absolutely! Click OK, then wait while your app is reconfigured.

Once the app has been rebuilt to your custom specifications, you can dive in and look around, and you will see your revised settings reflected in the assets.

Well done—you have created and customized your very first TCRM app!

However, what if the standard OOTB apps don’t meet your requirements? What if you need far more bespoke analytics assets, such as a totally custom dashboard or a dashboard that brings in data from a data warehouse? Don’t worry—TCRM is incredibly flexible, and your questions will be answered in the following chapters.

 

Common questions answered

As you follow along in this chapter and build your own app, you may encounter some challenges or have questions; four of the most common ones that are faced or asked are outlined next.

Which licenses do I need to build and use TCRM?

TCRM requires either Einstein Analytics Growth (without Discovery) or Einstein Analytics Plus (with Discovery) licenses. Information regarding your user licenses and permission set licenses (PSLs) can be found in Setup, as depicted in the following screenshot:

Figure 2.20 – Locating user license information in Setup

Salesforce auto-assigns an Einstein Analytics Growth permission set license to the user to whom you assign any TCRM permissions in your org. A PSL can also be manually assigned to users. The process of creating and assigning a permission set is detailed in the following steps:

  1. In the Setup menu, under Administration, click Users, then Permission Sets, and then click New.
  2. Associate the new permission set with a PSL. You must have purchased a TCRM license before you can select any PSL for TCRM.
  3. Add permissions to the permission set from those available in the PSL.
  4. Assign that permission set to users.

Which permissions do I need to access, build, and edit analytics apps?

There are two prebuilt permission sets included in the Einstein Analytics Growth license, detailed as follows:

  • Einstein Analytics Platform Admin: Here, all permissions that are required to administer the TCRM platform are enabled. This includes permissions to enable the user to create TCRM templated and custom apps.
  • Einstein Analytics Platform User: Here, all permissions that are required to use the TCRM platform and TCRM templated apps are enabled.

The basic setup involves choosing and assigning the prebuilt permission sets, via Setup. There are two prebuilt permission sets included in the Einstein Analytics Plus license, detailed as follows:

  • Einstein Analytics Platform Admin: This set implements all the permissions that are required to administer the TCRM platform. This includes permissions to enable the user to create TCRM templated and custom apps.
  • Einstein Analytics Platform User: This set implements all the permissions that are required to use the TCRM platform and TCRM templated apps.

Choosing and assigning the prebuilt permission sets via Setup is part of the basic setup, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure 2.21 – Various TCRM permission sets, accessed via Setup/Users/Permission Sets

Under the appropriate permission set, add or remove assignments as required.

To create your own custom TCRM permission sets, employ an advanced setup by using the following link:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=sf.bi_help_setup_advanced.htm&type=5

Highly detailed setup and configuration information can be found here:

https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=sf.bi_help_setup.htm&type=5

How do I turn on TCRM in my org?

If TCRM has not been enabled, you can enable it by going to Setup | Analytics | Getting Started, and then switching it on.

Do AI and ML come with TCRM?

Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of supervised ML is known as Einstein Discovery. This comes with Einstein Analytics Plus licenses. However, Einstein Discovery is a complex tool that is often misunderstood and easily misused, and it is not covered in this book. Stay tuned!

 

Troubleshooting

In this section, we will quickly go over some problems that you might face when getting started with TCRM. These problems might sound simple, but they are a common occurrence for people who are getting familiar with the tool.

I can’t find my TCRM app or assets

If you do not see your app on the TCRM Analytics Studio home page, click on the All Items option on the far left, under Browse, and you should see your app.

I can’t get to the TCRM home page from the Salesforce home page

If you do not see Analytics Studio in the App Launcher in Salesforce, do the following:

  1. Click on View All
  2. Search for Analytics
  3. Click on Analytics Studio

You will then reach the TCRM home page.

 

Summary

Now that we have completed the journey of creating and personalizing an OOTB TCRM analytics app, you should have a good grasp of what an analytics app is and how it works. You should have learned that TCRM app templates provide prebuilt data flows and dashboards that can be configured to suit the use case as required, and you should now be comfortable building and personalizing an app. Also, you should have gained a hands-on feel for the TCRM UI, assets, and tools, and should be confident in navigating the Analytics Studio home page. Finally, you have the Troubleshooting section as a handy reference tool, should you get stuck.

Some key takeaways that you should have gained are: first, a TCRM app is a container of TCRM assets, in the form of datasets, lenses, stories, and dashboards. Next, a TRCM app can be secured. Thirdly, a TCRM app can be shared with others in a variety of ways. Then, a TCRM app can be templated and reproduced in another environment. Lastly, you can deploy an OOTB TCRM app with standard settings or configure it to meet your personalized requirements.

In the next chapter, you will learn how to extract, connect, combine, transform, and register business data in order to create a useful dataset within TCRM.

 

Questions

Now try answering the following questions to test your knowledge:

  • What is a TCRM asset? Give one example.
  • How can a TCRM app be shared?
  • What is a TCRM lens?
  • True or false: A TCRM app is restricted to standard, OOTB settings.
  • What is the purpose of the Favorites link on the side menu of the TCRM home page?
  • What do you do if OOTB TCRM apps don’t meet your requirements, even after you have customized them?
  • How do you turn on TCRM in a Salesforce environment?

About the Author

  • Mark Tossell

    Mark Tossell is passionate about solving problems and improving processes using data. Tableau CRM (Einstein Analytics) and Tableau, powered by AI, are the tools of his trade. He is a proud wearer of the Salesforce Gold Hoodie and recipient of the inaugural APAC Awesome Admin award. He is also a Trailhead learning addict, having earned over 420 badges. In addition, he is honored to be a Tableau CRM Ambassador and a Salesforce Partner Solution Engineer. Mark lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, Christina, and son, Adam.

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