Carina Martins

Tableau & Salesforce integration: 5 benefits for companies

Nowadays, data is the foundation of business and nothing is complete without getting the best data you can, then turning this same data into insight using tools like Tableau. Tableau provides an intuitive analytics platform that empowers people of any skill level to work with data, and it’s widely known for helping companies model, explore and visualise their data.

Salesforce is a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform, amazingly customisable with tons of integration functionalities. With Salesforce, companies can manage important functions such as sales management, accounting planning, time management and team collaboration. It’s a leader in the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) sector and is implemented in thousands of companies around the world. It’s also a really useful software for managing sales data and it performs even better if you combine it with Tableau.

In this blog post, I’m going to give the 5 integration benefits for companies and why it brings more value than the two tools do separately. If you’re interested in finding out how to connect Tableau to Salesforce, here’s a how-to guide to do just that.

Looking at the long-term perspective:

Tableau Improvements

As part of Salesforce, Tableau will be positioned to scale and further its mission to help people see and understand data, delivering even more innovation to more people, faster than ever before. Tableau will have access to the Salesforce Customer base and more resources, which means we can expect a big push in terms of new features and functionality, bringing a distinct advantage over other competitors in the market. This will enhance the engagement of the Tableau community with Salesforce and possibly boost Salesforce’s market share.

Artificial Intelligence & Business Intelligence blend

Salesforce Einstein is the first comprehensive Artificial Intelligence (AI) for CRM. It’s an integrated set of AI technologies that makes Salesforce Customer 360 smarter and pioneer every way. With the 360-degree view of your company’s business, it’s possible to know which prospects to target, which territories to align, which cross-sell opportunities to pursue and which leads to prioritize.

Innovation on Salesforce Einstein will fuse with BI capabilities of Tableau, which will give rise to a best-in-class unbeatable platform capable of delivering the next level of customer success with advanced AI capabilities, making Salesforce the world’s smartest CRM. We are really interested in this one and have big hopes for this to work and improve this sector.

However, there are already immediate benefits:

Salesforce improvements

Salesforce will play an even greater role in driving digital transformation, enabling companies around the world to tap into data across the entire business and get deeper insights to make smarter decisions.

An easy fusion of Salesforce products (Sales, Marketing, Commerce, etc.) and complex customer data will deepen the system’s capability of understanding the data resulting in deeper insights into business opportunities, making existing CRM systems more intelligent than ever before. The combination will also let customers visualise data and share insights across various levels of the organisation. With Tableau, Salesforce will bring data to life with new and innovative dashboards and reports, getting all the information needed on the same page, saving time and making better analyses of the data.

Get analysis in minutes

Tableau’s Dashboard Starters allows Tableau Online customers to quickly visualise data. This feature provides pre-designed dashboards, built to help you hit the ground running with actionable data analysis in minutes.

Sales teams are given important metrics to track a world-class sales department: how far ahead of quota you are, the size of your pipeline, what’s going well and what could use some improvements. With Salesforce Starters, you can fine-tune the sales funnel and improve the power of sales data faster than ever before.

Self-reliant Salesforce for everyone

Tableau’s Salesforce Canvas Adapter embeds dashboards in Salesforce to help you put analytics where and when your team needs them, ending the fear of missing out on potential opportunities inside the system, due to a lack of necessary intelligence. One of the best ways to ensure your people have the data to make the best decisions is to put analytics right into the systems they use every day. Most salespeople live inside Salesforce, deciding who to call and planning account strategy.


In conclusion, Salesforce and Tableau will together revolutionise the perspective of how businesses understand their customers using data.

Marc Beniott, Chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, says: “We are bringing together the world’s #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform. Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers. It’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers – bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand the world”.

Carina MartinsTableau & Salesforce integration: 5 benefits for companies
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Tableau 2019.3 Beta is out; let’s take a quick look!

Tableau is a software that helps people see and understand data, transforming the way it’s used to solve their problems. It makes analysing data fast and easy, beautiful and useful, to ensure that data makes an impact.

This is Tableau’s goal: translate data into value for business with a positive impact.

There’s a new version being launched, Tableau 2019.3 Beta, and installing this version we can see an interesting set of new capabilities. Using the new version, we were able to improve on our goals. Below we’ve highlighted the features we liked the most:

  • Explain Data— A new feature to help you understand the ‘why’ behind unexpected values in your data;
  • Tableau Catalog — A new capability of the Data Management Add-on to ensure you are using the right data in the right way.

Explain Data

Explain Data provides explanations, using Bayesian statistical methods, for unexpected values in data. With this feature is possible to identify causes and see new relationships between data and it’s enabled on all the existing workbooks for Creators and Explorers. No data prep or setup is required.

It’s very simple: select a mark and learn more about it.

The figure below presents a possible example of an explain data from a selected mark.

In this example, we are analysing a visualisation of products and their average profits. We can see that the product Copiers has a profit way higher than the others. With Explain Data, we learn that this happened because in the product records there is a really high value that increases this measure. This feature also displays a few visualisations related to this explanation, such as the first table that shows the record with this higher value.

The panel displayed by this feature presents the following components:

  1. Selected Mark Information – indicates what mark is being described and analysed;
  2. Measure Selection – shows the measures available to select the one in use for explanation;
  3. Expected Range Summary – describes whether the value is unexpected or not given the other marks in the visualisation;
  4. Explanation List – displays a list of the possible explanations for the value in the selected mark. Selection an explanation in the list will display more details in the Explanation Pane on the right;
  5. Explanation Pane – displays the selected explanation using a combination of text and visualisations.

Tableau Catalog

This new feature aims to help organisations manage their data better, because we are facing a time where is very hard for users to find and trust that they’re using the right data in the right way. This feature will be available for Tableau Server and Tableau Online.

With Tableau Catalog it’s easy to get a complete view of all of the data being used in Tableau, and how it’s connected to the analytics. Data owners can automatically track information about the data, including user permissions, usage metrics and lineage, as shown in the figure below.

In this example, the view with this feature is as though we’re looking into a catalog of data on this database. We can see the warnings that appear when there are errors in data quality (a), such as missing fields, and we can see the lineage of the data (b), such as which tables are related, and the workbooks and sheets the data is being used in.

Tableau Catalog also helps to build trust in the data across an organisation, creating a panel with data details (shown in the figure below):

  • Data Quality Warnings is where users can quickly see when there’s an issue with data being used in a dashboard – such as a missing field or maintenance interruption.
  • Definitions and additional metadata can be added in order for users to have a better understanding of the data itself.

These data details are included alongside the dashboard, enabling users and viewers to understand the source and lineage of data from within a visualisation.

In conclusion, with these new features, Tableau aims to:

  • Eliminate duplicate content, time wasting and prevent analysis based on bad data with Tableau Catalog. With the data quality warning, you may be more aware when there is something wrong with the data values and resolve them. One of the biggest changes is being able to see all the data sources that are being used, helping to avoid publishing duplicate data;
  • Provide faster explanations for unexpected values in data with Explain Data. This feature provides more detail about the data, especially outliers, and lets you explore other scenarios that can be further explored/investigated, saving data exploration time, especially when there is a data set with lots of data.

With these new features, Tableau is getting stronger in the market, bringing unique characteristics to bear against its competitors. This is an advantage because nowadays there are many solutions levelling up, and it is necessary to try to make a difference.

For more information and further details on the new features of Tableau 2019.3, click on the following link.

Carina MartinsTableau 2019.3 Beta is out; let’s take a quick look!
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