Salesforce Transforms Big Data Into Customer Success with the Salesforce Analytics Cloud

The Big Data bug has Just About Bit Everyone. Salesforce announced their Analytics Cloud ecosystem will include: Google, Cloudera, Hortonworks, New Relic, Informatica and Trifacta. It’s true there is more data that ever before. But the ksalesforce analytics cloud natalie petouhoffey with data is to not let it turn into a data lake. It’s great that Salesforce recognizes the need to beef up their analytics could, but the data still needs to go from data to actionable, real-time, right-time in-jounery customer experiences to provide the data employees (think call center agents or sales people or marketers) need to create amazing experiences.

Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud is Powered by the Wave Platform, and will bring together a  dynamic user experience, indexed search and a powerful computing engine to explore any data source. Designed from the ground up to be open, more than 80 partners have now joined the Analytics Cloud ecosystem to extend analytics for every conceivable use case and enable data-driven companies to connect with customers in a whole new way. That’s a lot of partners and a lot of APIs.

Is the Tech Landscape Becoming Too Complicated? My fear for business users is that the landscape of technology is becoming so complex – with thousands of choices for varying needs, that business users will get lost in the mirage of chooses. (Maybe that’s where being friendly with IT will help.) If the businesses users do get overwhelmed, they will likely get halted in choosing something. That’s never good for software vendors when that happens, as it makes for long sales cycles or comments like, “Hhhmmm looks interesting, we’ll get back to you.” That is usually a polite way of saying no. Or at least “no” for now and for a while.

Salesforce’s goal was to empower the business user with more data. For examples, so that sales, service, marketing and other business professionals can discover correlations and patterns across any combination of transactional data—such as CRM, ERP, finance, and HR systems—and unstructured or semi-structured big data sets, all from within the Analytics Cloud. Each of the announced partners brings something to the table:

      Google offers a set of cloud big data services to ingest, process, store and analyze billions of rows and quickly run advanced queries without having to manage any infrastructure. Using Salesforce Wave for Big Data, a marketing manager can analyze the correlations between customer profiles in Salesforce and actual customer engagement data from the Google Cloud Platform—such as purchases, clickstream and mobile app usageto optimize marketing spend and increase customer acquisition.

      Cloudera enables companies to deploy an enterprise data hub, a secure analytics platform powered by Apache Hadoop, to store, process and analyze any data type at scale. Now a marketing executive will be able to identify patterns between a product usage log from Cloudera alongside CRM demographics to target the right customers for a loyalty campaign.

●      Hortonworks provides an enterprise-grade data management platform based on 100 percent Apache Core that enables companies to use the power of Hadoop-drive analytics to optimize the performance of Hadoop cluster. Now a retail bank associate can explore massive amounts of operational, transactional and balance data to understand local economic trends to provide better banking services and counsel to each customer.

      New Relic delivers a software analytics platform that provides real-time insights on the performance of a company’s Web and mobile apps. As a result, companies can better understand how customers are engaging with their digital brand, including clickstreams, mobile activity, end-user experiences and transactions. Now correlations between customers’ behavior on a retail mobile app and history of customer purchases can be visualized together to enable a sales rep to improve cross-selling strategies.

My POV: The  EMC Digital Universe study*, “The Digital Universe of Opportunities: Rich Data and the Increasing Value of the Internet of Things,” the digital universe is doubling in size every two years and will multiply 10-fold between 2013 and 2020 – from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion gigabytes. That’s a lot of data. And while it is true, the large amount of data is the OPPORTUNITY for companies to reinvent themselves through data analytics, the question is will they? While legacy analytics software was never designed to manage the volume, variety or velocity of big data, I don’t think that was the only issue why companies didn’t change the customer experience.

BIG DATA Needs to Accompany Organizational Change: Changes to the customer experience required a change in mindset at the senior executive levels as well as throughout the organization. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s really about organizational change management. Dang- I wish I could come up with a new word for that. It’s got baggage. So while one is doing their “regular” job, they have to take on what’s needed to transform their business. It’s a tall order and a valiant one at that. I just hope that we don’t “buy-in” to the big data craze, like companies did with ERP and CRM and then not really go the extra miles it takes (people with the right skills to turn data into actionable, in journey insight,  strategy, process, and then actually doing something) to make the big data realization a reality that does change the customer experience. Something needs to. Something needs to prevent the data lake from overflowing. (and yes it’s available on the iPhone and other mobile devices to come….)

@Drnatalie VP and Principal Analyst, Covering Marketing, Sales and Service to Make Amazing Experiences.

*http://www.emc.com/about/news/press/2014/20140409-01.htm

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