One exciting trend over the past several years has been an increase in integrating visualizations and content from analytic tools into web applications to deliver insights to users in the application where they need to take action on those insights.

We are going to work with several leading analytics solutions to create, embed and filter visualizations in Salesforce. In this series of posts we will look at the steps for embedding each of the tools, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Evaluation Criteria

Before we get started, let’s review some of the factors we will consider.

  • Effort and skills required: how much effort and specialized skills are required to use the analytics solution?
  • Look and feel: ability to customize the chart types, colors, background, layout, etc.
  • Multiple devices: responsive designs, works in Lighting Experience with variety of screen sizes and also the Salesforce mobile app
  • Single sign-on: are users seamlessly authenticated into the analytics system? What is the authentication experience?
  • Accuracy of data: is the underlying data queried at run time or periodically? If the data is stored in the analytics system, how frequently is it updated?
  • Data security: does the analytic solution understand and respect the object and field-level security, as well as the row-level sharing that has been implemented in Salesforce? If not, what type of data security controls are available?
  • Large data volumes: can the analytic solution perform well when processing large data volumes?
  • Data sources: can the analytic solution handle multiple data sources? If so, what types of connectors does the solution provide?
  • Data model: Some visualizations require a specific data structure. Can the solution support changing the relationships between tables and/or enhancing the data model as needed?
  • Deployment process: Salesforce applications typically go through some type of development flow where features are first built in a development environment, then deployed to another environment for testing, etc., and finally deployed to production. How easy is it to sync up the development and deployment process for the embedded visualizations?

Sample Use Case

We will use the same sample scenario as we evaluate each of the options. We want to show revenue pipeline by quarter for each account record in Salesforce.

Set up the Salesforce Org

We are going to use a Salesforce org that is pre-populated with sample data. If you want to complete the steps in this series and see roughly the same results, you can create a developer edition org with Salesforce Analytics enabled. This org will include the Salesforce features, permissions and data needed to follow along.

Analytics Solutions

We will set up an embedded visualization using the following solutions and summarize our findings.

  1. Salesforce Reports and Dashboards
  2. Salesforce Einstein Analytics
  3. Tableau: iframe | Canvas Sparkler Connector | JavaScript API
  4. Qlik Sense
  5. Microsoft Power BI

Next post: Embed Report Chart in Salesforce Records


This series of posts culminated in a presentation in the architect track at Dreamforce ’19.

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