Take Reporting to the Next Level with Einstein Analytics


Most Salesforce Admins know the basics of Salesforce reporting. If you have been in the Salesforce world for a while you have probably utilized custom report types, bucket fields, and formula fields. You’re comfortable with a user asking you to create a summary report. In other words, you know how to navigate the Report Builder and create relevant reports and dashboards for your business.

But how about Einstein Analytics? Salesforce is featuring more and more solutions using Einstein Analytics, so you as an Admin have probably thought, “should I introduce this to the business?” And more importantly, “how do I use it? It’s a different tool and it doesn’t look remotely like Report Builder.”

Fear not! Einstein Analytics may look like you’re at the foot of Mount Everest ready to climb to the top, but it’s actually more like a hill with both straightforward and steep bits. So if you are at the beginning of your Einstein Analytics journey here are a few tips on how it differs from Reports and Dashboards in Salesforce that will help you navigate the trail in no time.

Data, data, data!

When we want to create a dashboard in Salesforce, each graph is based on a report and each report is based on a report type. This report type can contain up to 3 objects. For instance, start with Account, connecting Opportunities and Opportunity Products. Now, if you want to have the same report view in Einstein Analytics you will need to turn that model upside down and start with the lowest grain Opportunity Product, then connect it with Opportunity and then Account. Note that Einstein Analytics doesn’t stop you at 3 objects!

Salesforce reports queries live data where Einstein Analytics takes the latest scheduled extract of the data in a dataset. Why is that? Well, when you have lots of data it can take a long time for the engine to grab it all from different objects. Einstein Analytics is tuned to work extremely fast by extracting the data in a flat file via the dataflow and indexing all of your dimensions. This is what allows you to slice and dice your data on the fly, which you probably have seen in a few very cool demos.

Security and access

Salesforce reporting is available to all users with the correct system permissions. Once a report is created it can be shared in a folder, and depending on the folder permissions a user can view, edit, or manage reports in that folder. When a report is viewed the general security settings kick in only allowing a user to see data that is defined by OWD, profile and role hierarchy.

Einstein Analytics works similarly to Salesforce reporting with a few exceptions. First of all, you can only see Einstein Analytics assets if you have the feature license and a permission set that defines what system permission you have. All Einstein Analytics assets are saved in an App, and this App works exactly like a folder does. Once you have access to Einstein Analytics the App defines if you can view, edit or manage the assets within that App. When it comes to the actual data you can see in a dashboard you can either enable security inheritance which will use the security settings from Salesforce, or you can apply a security predicate. If none of these are set a user can see everything in that dataset.

It’s worth remembering that security inheritance has a limit of 3,000 rows, so if you expect more than that as a result of your query then make sure to use security predicate. Another thing to remember is Einstein Analytics only cares about row-level security and not field level security.

Reports, dashboards, lenses, steps, and widgets, oh my!

Both tools have their own concepts so a mini-glossary might be a helpful tool for orienting yourself at first. Take a look:

Report Type (Salesforce): The combination of objects from which a report can be based on.
Report (Salesforce): A single exploration of data consists of a table and potentially a graph.
Dashboard (Salesforce): Collection of reports shown as graphs.
Data flow (Einstein Analytics): Data prep tool in Einstein analytics to extract, transform and finally register the dataset.
Dataset (Einstein Analytics): Data that can be explored.
Lens (Einstein Analytics): A single exploration of a dataset.
Step (Einstein Analytics): A query or set of instructions to define measure, grouping, filter, order, and limit.
Dashboard (Einstein Analytics): A collection of steps.
Widget (Einstein Analytics): Visual representation of a step for instance in form a chart, table, list or date selector.

It’s like comparing apples and oranges, but roughly your report type is similar to your dataset. A report is your lens and a dashboard is, well, a dashboard. The cool thing about Einstein Analytics is that you don’t have to save your lenses in order to add them to your dashboard.

Design is universal

So now we know how Salesforce reporting and Einstein Analytics are different from each other. One thing that doesn’t change between them, however, is storytelling with data. Remember who you are creating the dashboard for, what they want to know, and keep it simple and easy for them to understand the data story. Regardless of the tool, we want them to get value from your hard work!

Tell me more!

Are you are ready to become an Analytics Trailblazer? Now you can “get the edge” by building your proficiency with Einstein Analytics through newly designed Trailmixes. And, you can win great prizes, including one of three VIP trips to Dreamforce! Read about the prizes and how to enter here. And, don’t forget to leverage the Learning Map. Soon you’ll be ready to take the brand new Einstein Analytics Data Prep Superbadge!

(Enter the Analytics Edge campaign from 10th July, 2018 at 8:00am PT to 31st August, 2018 at 9:00pm PT. Open to legal residents of the U.S. (incl. D.C.), Canada (excl. Quebec), India, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.K. See Official Rules)

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