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Salesforce.com Analytics Edition [Pros and Cons]

Posted February 8th, 2012 in New Releases and tagged , by John Coppedge

Analytics Edition has been a bit of a ride.  Initially it was to be a paid add-on, pricing was rumored to be $50/per/month with the requirement all users in the org must be licensed.  Customer reaction (myself included) to this pricing was negative enough that it garnered press attentionSalesforce responded by offering Analytics Edition for free.  Well done Salesforce for listening to and responding to your customer base.

 

Release schedule for Analytics Edition:

Sandboxes: Released 2/7/12

Production: Scheduled 2/12/12

 

My full sandbox has the new features as of 2/8/12 so let’s have a look!

 

Test 1

Success criteria: Create a joined report between leads and opportunities, and report on lead status/opportunity stage grouped.

I had an immediate business need to solve. I need to report leads and opportunities at the same time. Most opportunities in this org would be converted from leads, except those created during the data migration. This leaves a substantial gap in reporting that requires exporting two separate reports and an ugly mashup in Excel (or another 3rd party solution).

Steps:

  1. Create new report Leads
  2. Change format to joined report
  3. Add report type opportunities

Problem: Lead Status and Opportunity Stage are not listed as common fields.  Nor are system fields such as Last Modified Date  or Record Owner.

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Also, discovered that report blocks limit results to 2000 records and cannot be exported.  This doesn’t appear to impact summarized data.

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Tried a lead with converted opportunity information joined with an opportunity report.  This worked for converted opportunities but left all unconverted leads as status “-“.

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Tried adding Status__c (TEXT of Stage/Status) on lead/opportunity.  Joined report does not show them as common fields.

Adding report types User –> Lead and User –> Opportunity and joining those reports will show user fields as common but not status/stage.

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In order for the join to find common fields, the joined reports need to share the same parent object.  That unfortunately isn’t very helpful in this case.  Lead/opportunity reporting has been long-standing gap in Salesforce reporting, and I was really hoping that analytics edition would solve it.

I’ve created an idea to allow users to select common fields, please vote: https://sites.secure.force.com/success/ideaView?id=08730000000gPVNAA2

Verdict:  Fail

 

Test 2

Success criteria:  Create an opportunity report, summarizing several stages into groups (bucket report).

In another org, opportunity stage has gotten a bit out of hand.  Instead of using Status (Stage renamed) and Status Detail (dependent picklist of Status), this org has a long list of statuses.

Steps:

  1. Create opportunity report
  2. Add new bucket, group status (stage)
  3. Select values and group into buckets, run report

Very easy and straightforward to accomplish.

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Verdict: Pass

 

Test 3

Success criteria:  Create a lead reporting showing all leads in status ‘Appointment’ that do not have a follow-up call scheduled.

When the activity date field cannot be used these reports are tricky (activity date lists the date of the last completed activity so it cannot be used for reporting uncompleted tasks).  With cross-filters, this is a breeze.

Steps:

  1. Create lead report
  2. Add filter status “Appointment”
  3. Add cross-filter Leads without activities, status not equal to “Completed”

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Verdict: Pass

 

The new features in Analytics Edition extend the reporting capabilities significantly and plug several long-standing gaps in the platform.  It won’t solve all of your reporting woes, but it is an impactful step in the right direction.  I hope that future iterations will give even more power to users with enhanced joined reporting.

 

Cheers,

 

John

8 Responses so far.

  1. Jonathan MaherNo Gravatar says:

    Great post, looks like this really is going to solve several of our problems.

    Also, I agree the functionality expressed in your Idea would be very nice. I’ve “promoted” it.

    Thanks!

  2. TyesonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John – thanks for the quick, concise review. Imagine if you had paid steeply only to find out about the limitations on joins, common fields. So it’s not really like “outer joins”, but “sibling joins”? Good to hear that bucketing works well, as in any org that has outrageous pickist organic growth like Lead Source, being able to categorize will be great. Also excited about cross-filtering.

    Hope all is well, and let me know when you’re in town to catch up!

  3. Thomas TobinNo Gravatar says:

    What were you trying to join by in the leads and opportunities case?
    There’s nothing common between the two lists – apart from the owner (who’s info was visible), there’s nothing common between the two lists. We have no way of knowing that the status field should be the same between the two… the fields could just have the same name.

    What you could do, if you want to join on status is:
    1) create a new object; status
    2) create lookups from lead and opportunity
    3) create status object records for each status you want
    4) workflow rules on lead and opportunity set the lookup to status to the value from the record’s status.

    Then you’ll be able to join them by status, and the status mapping will make sense (because you’ve set it)

  4. John CoppedgeNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks all for the feedback and votes, appreciate it.

    @Thomas – lead status and opportunity stage aren’t the same from a data perspective, but absolutely are from a reporting perspective. What I’m suggesting in the idea I posted is that you allow users to decide what’s considered “common” between reports so that they can mashup their data in any way that is meaningful to their organization.

    Great work on Analytics Edition as well, it really is a vast improvement.

  5. Thomas TobinNo Gravatar says:

    If the fields really are the same, I’m not sure a single report is where I want to declare that.
    Somebody has done the work of telling us what’s the same, and that’s in the schema, in the system of lookups and other relationships that allow us to get data.
    The way we’ve done it doesn’t allow you to get unrelated things and just smush them together – average users won’t figure out what could make sense. But they can see related lists and now bring those together on the same report…

  6. John CoppedgeNo Gravatar says:

    I would love to declare two unrelated objects in a single report, but that could be just me 🙂

    Alternatively you could create an analytic snapshot and report on the joined data but that’s less ideal.

  7. KVNo Gravatar says:

    Did you have to activate anything to see the analytics option? My Enterprise sandbox still doesn’t see any updates…..

  8. John CoppedgeNo Gravatar says:

    KV,

    The features should show up automatically, although your sandbox likely had to be created before a certain date (e.g. before 2/7). If it still doesn’t show I would either request a feature activation… or wait til Monday and it will be in prod 🙂

    Cheers,

    John

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