In June of last year, we implemented Salesforce Financial Services Cloud at our boutique wealth management business, InFusion360. We also implemented integrated apps to improve efficiency, including Process Composer and Elements.Cloud. As complex, costly and challenging as this implementation has been, along with the significant culture change associated with changing systems and overhauling processes, it has been very worthwhile indeed.
The native Salesforce analytics functionality was adequate, at first. However, as we began to realise the extraordinary power inherent in business analytics and insight (BA and BI), we found ourselves hitting a wall. When I asked our friendly Salesforce Solutions Engineer, Andrew Foster, for help, he suggested I look at Einstein Analytics (EA), formerly known as Wave Analytics.
I had heard of EA, but had never tried it out. I began with some Trailhead modules, played around in an EA dev org, and was blown away. I shared my findings with our CEO, Neil Moodley, and he agreed that we should go ahead with EA. After receiving a quote for US$60,000 to implement EA and build four dashboards (!), I decided to implement it myself and build the dashboards. As we are on Financial Services Cloud, we don’t have access to the standard Sales and Service Analytics Apps, so I built our dashboards from scratch. It has been quite a journey!
Business analytics are just that – Business analytics. At least, they should be. No matter how pretty or clever your charts and dashboards are, they are an expensive waste of space if they don’t give actionable, meaningful data that results in smart business decisions. Analytics without insight are just white noise to your leadership team. Or, worse still, they can be misleading, resulting in catastrophic business decisions.
Neil and I have worked very hard indeed to ensure that what I build with EA is sensible, insightful, and actionable. With Neil’s business acumen and my technical expertise, we have built a formidable and powerful suite of custom dashboards that enable our leadership team to make the right decisions, at the right time, based upon the right data.
What is the result? Our service stats are improving, the pipeline is bursting, and we are hiring quality staff to keep up! Neil and our leadership team have a better grasp of the health of our business than we ever had before. After all, we used that most ubiquitous of “analytics” tools for years – Excel!
For example, we built an adviser dashboard which captures crucial data around our financial advisers, covering such things as pipeline, appointments, leads, and activities, all fully interactive and filterable by adviser. Within moments, Neil can have a detailed insight into the world of each of these crucial team members, and they, too, can measure their own productivity. Powerful stuff.
The way in which we run our meetings has been transformed. We don’t need an agenda or discussion points – we simply bring up the appropriate EA dashboard on our big screen, analyse the data, and action as appropriate. Meeting times have been halved, and meeting effectiveness has soared.
No longer do we run our business by the seat of our pants, relying upon numerous spreadsheets, conflicting reports from multiple systems, and gut instincts. We make data-driven decisions based upon simple, interactive analytics. Best of all, it works – this is borne out by our business growth and team morale.
For example, the standard Salesforce pipeline dashboard is useful, but it doesn’t give an accurate picture of the true pipeline, because each stage has a very different probability of resulting in revenue. Therefore, I built a weighted pipeline dashboard that gives an accurate indication of expected revenue, one that can quickly be filtered by adviser, product, etc. Does Neil like it? You bet he does! It simply takes the guesswork out of executive decision making.
Most companies, no matter the size, have a wealth of data in their systems, data that could transform and empower their business. However, that priceless data is worthless and wasted as long as the leadership team have no real insight into it. If you have ever tried to make sense of multiple spreadsheets and fudged and fiddled the data to make it work, you know what I mean.
It doesn’t have to be this way in 2017! I hate to date myself, but as the doctors told Steve Austin in The Six-Million Dollar Man, “We have the technology.” We can harness the incredible power of dormant data.
Business Insight and Analytics have revolutionised our business, and they can do the same for yours.