Data Conversation in Salesforce

“How are you?”  That’s how we begin a conversation with each other. Conversations are integral part of our daily activity. Same way have you ever wondered about the idea of having “Conversations with data?”  It sounds weird but that’s an integral part of our business activity. Yes through metrics, dashboards and reports we converse with data.  How?. Say you have a question of “What is the number of customers in a particular geographical region?” .You get an answer through a report/dashboard which is built over data that’s collected through on-going business transactions.

Salesforce provides a range of reporting options-from real time dashboards to yearly summaries. With its customizable features available in Salesforce, we can always create customized reports and dashboards based on our need. But how to create reports/dashboards to derive insights to gain best insights for maximum business value?

It begins with having a repository of “clean” (i.e.) consistent and updated data .If the data is not clean, even the right queries shall yield wrong answers. It is not hard to imagine the disaster of making business decisions based on wrong data. Organizations have to set up a process validates data  at crucial check-points ,set up “mandatory” data fields in Salesforce  wherever needed and define the range of “valid”  values for each data  field .This would help a long way to minimize bad data.

You may have accurate data but what if you’re asking the wrong queries? Say if you want to identify the growth of customers .You think that the difference between lead conversion percentages will yield you the right measure. It was 62% in the last month and 60% this month. You decide that the lead conversion was bad this month. But someone else asks to check for the “Actual number of converted leads”. You find that it was 31 out of 50 last month and 72 out of 120 this month. The reality is that this month has generated 40 customers more than last month. This appears like a silly example but it shows how things can become silly if we look for answers at the wrong places or ask wrong questions to get right answers.

The tips to be successful with data are nearly the same as having a successful conversation. Have clean and clear information. Do not assume anything easily. “Listen” through the whole data before deriving a conclusion. Tools like Salesforce are like language in a conversation. They can help to  hold and show information. But clinching success with information is at our hands