Meet Slack-First Analytics

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At Tableau, we know that data, and insights from data, can help answer questions that ultimately drive business growth. But in order for this to happen, all business users need to be able to access the insights in a simple way, right within their workflows. We have witnessed this with embedded Tableau CRM dashboards and Einstein Predictions. Customers report that requests to analysts for help finding insights are drastically reduced when the insights are embedded in context, within the Salesforce home or record pages. And now in this all-digital, work-from-anywhere world, collaboration and decision making is happening in apps like Slack. But getting those insights in the flow of work can be challenging. That’s why we’ve been focusing on ways to integrate analytics into Slack conversations, so that insight can be part of the team.

How can we effectively integrate Analytics into Slack?

First, we surveyed our customers to get feedback from business users and analysts on their needs related to analytics in Slack. Our research confirmed that creating a unified, in-context flow for engaging with analytics would drastically enhance our users’ experience working with data and getting their own insights. In addition, we found that:

  • Business users are focused on getting analytical insights to complete their job and to propel their business.
  • Must-have jobs revolve around finding, viewing, and sharing analytical insights as well as monitoring business performance.
  • Analysts are focused on enabling business users on analytics.
  • While collaborating on building/curating analytical assets and monitoring the status of analytics are important, analysts concentrate on monitoring business performance and finding and sharing analytical assets.

Guided by these findings and our desire to quickly learn and iterate, we developed an initial Tableau CRM app for Slack pilot that enables users to browse, search, preview, share, and stay up-to-date on their data. To take advantage of these capabilities, a user first needs to connect their Salesforce account in the Tableau CRM Slack app. This ensures that we can surface their analytics and map to their Salesforce sharing and permissions. The pilot app requires Tableau CRM Plus licenses since we are exposing Einstein Discovery stories and predictions, however, we hope to enable for all Salesforce users in future versions. Once connected to their Salesforce org, users are able to:

  • Browse reports, dashboards, lenses, and stories in the Tableau CRM app home. These items are surfaced as recents and favorites listings.
Initial design showing the Tableau CRM Slack app home tab that has been connected to a Salesforce account and associated listings of recent and favorite analytics items.
Initial design showing the Tableau CRM Slack app home tab that has been connected to a Salesforce account and associated listings of recent and favorite analytics items.
  • Use /tcrm-search to search and /tcrm-recents or /tcrm-favorites to browse analytics items.
  • View images of analytics items in Slack. Clicking on the View Details action for any report, dashboard, or lens renders the item as a real-time screenshot, with any user sharing permissions applied. Thanks to a new headless browser service on Hyperforce (running Salesforce on public clouds), we can run the analytics item in Puppeteer and generate screenshots and PDFs. This allows users to get a quick, point-in-time view of their analytics. If they want to dive deeper or do additional analysis, users can then open items in Salesforce.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM app Slack message returning a view of a Tableau CRM dashboard with metadata of the dashboard, an image of the dashboard, and actions to Share, Manage Subscription, Open in Salesforce, and Download as PDF.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM app Slack message returning a view of a Tableau CRM dashboard with metadata of the dashboard, an image of the dashboard, and actions to Share, Manage Subscription, Open in Salesforce, and Download as PDF.
  • Share analytics items within Slack. Users can choose to share analytics with or without previews, depending on whether or not they want recipients to see their view of the data.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM Slack share modal with the sales team channel specified in the recipient input field, a short message to the team, and a preview of the asset details that will be shared with the team.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM Slack share modal with the sales team channel specified in the recipient input field, a short message to the team, and a preview of the asset details that will be shared with the team.
  • Receive a daily digest of trended watchlist metrics. Users can choose to get their existing Tableau CRM Watchlist metrics sent to them or their team channel in Slack as a daily digest.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM app Slack message returning a watchlist digest for key trended metrics; in this scenario, the trended metrics of Open Pipe and Opportunities Past Close show the amount and the percent increase and a chart image of the trend line.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM app Slack message returning a watchlist digest for key trended metrics; in this scenario, the trended metrics of Open Pipe and Opportunities Past Close show the amount and the percent increase and a chart image of the trend line.
  • Get data-driven alerts when metrics meet thresholds. Users can choose to get their existing Tableau CRM threshold-based Notifications to be routed to Slack.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM app Slack message returning a notification that was triggered; the notification message includes a name, Team Quota, the current value of 95%, and the criteria for the notification of when the team quota is greater than 90%, and a flat gauge chart depicting the 95% value.
Initial design showing a Tableau CRM app Slack message returning a notification that was triggered; the notification message includes a name, Team Quota, the current value of 95%, and the criteria for the notification of when the team quota is greater than 90%, and a flat gauge chart depicting the 95% value.
  • Schedule regular delivery of dashboard snapshots. When viewing a Tableau CRM dashboard in Slack, users can choose to subscribe to the dashboard and specify the delivery schedule and Slack recipients. The subscription will run the dashboard on the headless browser service and deliver an image of the dashboard to the user or channels.

What’s next?

In the Winter ’22 release, we are piloting the above-mentioned features. If you would like to learn more or participate, please reach out to your Salesforce Account Executive about the Tableau CRM Slack App Pilot.

In addition to the features above, other features on the near-term roadmap include:

  • Integrating filters and shared views when viewing images of analytics in Slack. Typically, a single Tableau CRM dashboard is generated to have many views or shared states. We plan to enable users to specify these filters or views when sharing in Slack.
  • Sharing from Salesforce to Slack. After deeper analysis on dashboards, users will be able to post a snapshot and link to Slack as DM or to a channel. They’ll also be able to share directly via link unfurl.
  • Subscribe to Lightning reports and dashboards and Tableau CRM lenses and stories. We plan to extend the Tableau CRM dashboard subscription capability to all analytics items.

Initial customer conversations have also made it clear that Slack is currently used for asking questions to find certain metrics or insights, and these questions are answered by sharing links to existing dashboards or screenshots of visualizations. Due to this behavior, there is significant value in enabling users with self-service access to insights within Slack. Suggestions included a natural language, conversational bot experience to query data, find existing assets related to queries, or ask predictive questions. This feedback is very exciting as Tableau CRM has made significant advancements with Ask Data for Salesforce around intelligent recommendations, semantic search, and natural language querying. And we are well-positioned to integrate these powerful AI capabilities into a conversational bot experience in Slack. Stay tuned for future developments and announcements in this area.

What about Tableau Customers?

For Tableau customers, there is a Tableau app for Slack that will help users stay on top of their data by bringing important notifications to them directly via Slack. With the upcoming release of Tableau Online 2021.3, users can get notifications for data-driven alerts, shared content, and comments they’re tagged in. Learn more about putting the Tableau app for Slack to work in your organization.

Forward-looking Statement

This content contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. If any such uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions proved incorrect, the results of salesforce.com, inc. could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements we make.

Any unreleased services or features referenced in this document or other presentations, press releases or public statements are not currently available and may not be delivered on time or at all. Customers who purchase our services should make the purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available. Salesforce.com, inc. assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

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