Where Classic Reports and Dashboards Fall Short

One of the questions we get asked most often is why should I invest in Einstein Analytics? Everyone has built standard reports and dashboards, and they wonder what Einstein Analytics can do that classic Reports and Dashboards can’t. Since Einstein Analytics requires separate licenses, customers need to know they will see a high return on their investment. Whenever customers ask us this question, our short answer is that classic Reports and Dashboards simply fall short when it comes to achieving today’s complex analytical goals that every business has. Einstein Analytics, on the other hand, will help you achieve these goals and unlock your analytical potential. To dive deeper into this topic, we are going to cover five examples of how Einstein Analytics picks up the slack where classic Reports and Dashboards fall short.


Cross-Object Reporting

The most common complaint we hear about classic Reports and Dashboards is limitations around cross-object reporting. Users want a holistic view of their business, one that gives them a 360-degree view of what is happening. With classic Reports and Dashboards, we can go cross-object 3 levels. Creating that holistic view with data from multiple objects can be impossible. With Einstein Analytics, there is no limit to how many times we can go cross-object. Creating that holistic view just became a lot easier. Imagine a dashboard that gives you a 360-degree view of your Accounts, with related Opportunities, Contacts, Activities, Orders, Products and those two custom objects included? Although you wouldn’t be able to build this via classic Reports and Dashboards, it is possible with Einstein Analytics.

This Einstein Analytics dataset transverses 7 different objects and 10 different object relationships


Reporting on External Data

With classic Reports and Dashboards, there is no capability to report on external data. Data that resides within Salesforce is only a drop in the bucket of the data available to a business. Most data needs to be reported on, which can cause headaches around multiple sources of truth and multiple Business Intelligence tools in use. With Reports and Dashboards, you can’t point to an external source and create a report on it. But with Einstein Analytics, creating external source datasets can be as easy as point-and-click, with remote connections to sources like Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Dynamics, Google Big Query and external Salesforce orgs available. If the external source isn’t available via a remote connection, we can integrate the data via an ETL. If that external source has Salesforce IDs, we can even create a combined external source-Salesforce dataset. Remember that Account-360 dashboard we mentioned earlier? It’d be a lot more powerful if we included data from other sources, such as billing and invoice details from Great Plains.

These report external connections can be set up via point-and-click. Don’t see your connection? No worries – we can connect to those via an ETL.


Mobile and Tablet Device Usability

Classic Reports and Dashboards also fall short on usability on mobile and tablet devices. In today’s digital age, business is run on the go. Most of us don’t have access to a desktop around the clock, but we still need to generate views into data on the move. Although we can view reports and dashboards in Salesforce1, we are basically stuck with the view we’ve got. Navigation is tricky, filtering is difficult and takes a few clicks, and sharing an insight you find isn’t possible within the app. You aren’t able to generate that critical view you need on the go. The Salesforce Analytics app solves this problem. Navigation is easy, filters allow you to change the view in one click, and you can share insights with your colleagues directly, even with the ability to draw marks or create messages next to the most critical information. With the Einstein Analytics app, you can manage your business on the go.

Psyched about your Best Case pipeline? Share the great news from your mobile device.



Actionable Analytics

The most powerful type of analytics lets the user take action from data. Rather than simply tell us what has already happened, we should take action to correct or improve an insight we have gained from the data. With classic Reports and Dashboards, that isn’t really possible. We can look at the view in front of us, scribble a couple of notes down, and perhaps navigate to a different page to conduct an action. With Einstein Analytics, you can execute an action directly from your view in a single click. For example, when viewing that Account-360 dashboard, you could create a Task to schedule a product demo on a related Opportunity, or create a new Opportunity when you realize the Account hasn’t bought a certain product yet. With just the click of a button, you took action to drive more sales for that account. Isn’t that convenient?

See something that stands out? Simply click on the dropdown to take action!



Self-Service Data Discovery

All dashboards are supposed to answer an underlying question. However, these questions constantly change, and new questions are asked on the fly. Imagine that when viewing a dashboard, a particular insight stands out to you that you want to investigate further, or that your manager calls and asks for details about something he is seeing on a dashboard. What would you do in these circumstances? With classic Reports and Dashboards, you’d be caught pretty flat-footed. You might create a new report, which is time-consuming, or even worse, make an assumption without the data to back it up. With Einstein Analytics, you have the power to conduct self-service data discovery. With the click of a button, you can open up a lens to create a new view on the fly, such as changing the measure or grouping, or adding a new filter. You can investigate that insight that stood out to gain new ones, and you can confidently answer your manager’s question with the evidence to back it up.

Need to know the breakdown of best sellers by Region? Click the dropdown and Explore to turn this…

Into this!


If you are still using classic Reports and Dashboards to achieve your analytical goals, you are doing a disservice to your analytical potential. Whether it be its limitless cross-object potential, external data reporting, mobile and tablet usability, actionable analytics or self-service data discovery, Einstein Analytics picks up the slack where classic Reports and Dashboards fall short.