About two months back, I changed my career. With my educational background — a Ph.D. in climate change — the path to the scholarly world or a career in research appeared to be the best career move. I never imagined I would end up in business. This is my transformational journey from research scientist to business analyst.
Connecting Climate Change Research with Salesforce
During my research tenure, I worked on a project called Impact of Climate Change on Meteorological Variables. In this role, I predicted future meteorological variables using artificial neural networking and machine learning algorithms.
While researching, I read various review papers, technical articles, and blog entries on climate change, and I came across an article about Salesforce, a San Francisco CRM software company that set a climate change goal of accomplishing zero greenhouse gas emission (GHG) by 2050.
Salesforce declared in March 2017 that it had achieved the goal — 33 years early! The CRM company decreased GHG emissions by investing in green office spaces and enhancing data center efficiency. As a result, it reduced emissions by securing renewable energy.
In 2013, the organization resolved to power all data center operations with a sustainable source of energy. In 2016, Salesforce acquired 37% of their electricity from sustainable sources, mostly from renewable energy credits. The company also purchased wind energy power, which creates 227,000 MWh of clean power every year. Salesforce’s data center in India heats water using solar energy, where solar water heaters replaced electric water radiators in homes, colleges, and businesses.
Discovering Salesforce’s Connection to the Environment
Preserving the environment is important to Salesforce. The company wants to create a more sustainable future and takes on bold climate change-related activities, so they empower their people and design products to reduce adverse impact on the planet.
This aroused my curiosity, so I started reading up on Salesforce and discovered that it is the most technologically advanced CRM to date, and it’s powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
This compelled me to learn more about Salesforce and about Salesforce Einstein, a Salesforce product embedded with AI to allow everyone to discover new insights about their customers faster and more efficiently. I could only achieve this if I worked closely with Salesforce, so I decided to join AppShark, a Salesforce consulting company.
I started working for AppShark as a data scientist and began with training on AI-powered Salesforce’s Sales Cloud Einstein and Analytics Cloud Einstein.
Get Predictions and Recommendations with Sales Cloud Einstein
Sales Cloud Einstein is an intelligent platform that uses AI to empower sales teams. Natural language processing (NLP) digs through the text of emails from customers. In analyzing the email exchanges, NLP estimates the likelihood of a potential sale, predicts the best deals, forecasts the deals with the highest risk of being lost, and gives recommendations for improving the sales process.
The work process of Salesforce Einstein includes capturing data, learning that data, and associating it with customers. Like any AI project, we need a lot of data, which we collect from multiple sources, such as Salesforce, Internet of Things (IoT), email, social media, and calendars.
Salesforce Einstein generates hundreds and thousands of models by applying machine-learning (ML) algorithms including deep learning and NLP at the individual customer data level.
For instance, everyone’s Salesforce organization is different. My org is different from your org. Both of our orgs may create our own custom objects, fields, and workflows per your customer’s requirement. Salesforce Einstein is capable of handling our orgs’ customization because it is metadata-driven. After the model is built, it runs in the background, accessing new input data to provide predictions and recommendations. It also shows new, important discoveries to users.
Sales Cloud Einstein includes:
- Einstein activity: Salesforce automatically captures interactions with customers from the linked Calendar and Gmail accounts to save hours of manual data entry every week. The user can create custom email response templates and a calendar manager for single-click responses and scheduling. This saves a lot of time. Furthermore, activity data that is automatically captured activity data becomes part of the dataset that will be analyzed for insights.
- Einstein-lead scoring: Using AI, it predicts and recommends the leads that are most likely to convert, which sales reps can prioritize and call first for a better chance of making the sale.
- Opportunity insights: This secures opportunities and reduces forecast risk by alerting you when things are going well and provide warning signs when things may not be going well.
- Account insights: Sales reps can get key business developments of their accounts including the latest news and company updates of their accounts. They can use the information in their conversations to build relationships.
- Lightning dialer: This feature connects the sales team with prospects faster with the use of a “click to call” smart dialer. Sales reps can close more deals without having to enter any data.
- Einstein component/Salesforce Engage: This gives real-time alerts based on your prospects’ and clients’ engagement.
Automate Analysis with Einstein Discovery
Einstein Discovery automates the entire analytics workflow by analyzing vast amounts of data combinations in minutes to surface and answer critical business questions. Users get interactive, actionable insights and recommendations without exiting Salesforce.
With a single click, these insights can be turned into a PowerPoint presentation with a pictorial rendition. It outlines key findings and talking points that explain the findings, allowing users to communicate results quickly.
Einstein Discovery contains:
- Automated analytics: Automatically analyzes millions of data combinations in minutes — not days, weeks, or months as with manual methods. This program takes in data and statistical summaries of big data and uses machine learning to automatically spot correlations and patterns in that data. It automates the analysis without requiring you to build mathematical models or write algorithms.
- Unbiased insights: Using descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, it tells you what’s relevant, why, and what to do about it. You can drill down and easily combine different variables to perform a “what-if” analysis as well as automatically be shown key predictions and recommendations.
- Narrative explanation: Insights are useless if users can’t understand them and take action. Thus, this feature provides answers in plain language and empowers users to give feedback for elaboration. It instantly exports reports, including speaker notes, in Salesforce or Microsoft Office. You can also export models in R code for further analysis.
- Recommended actions: User can provide simple thumbs up or thumbs down feedback to improve the accuracy of the machine-led analysis. The system creates a report with a list of recommended actions — in order by rank — for the users to take that will get the best results, faster.
Transform Business With SMART
AI has proliferated into every aspect of business today. Our team builds a smart model for your business process using Salesforce to harness the power of AI, ML, and NLP.
To do that, we need a practical framework that can help you to wrestle with your data monster to gain new insights as shown in Figure 1. To cut the confusion and sheer volume of data, we “Start with strategy” by looking at your business objectives. Looking at objectives first will point you to the question that you need to answer, which will immediately reduce the volume of data.
Once you know your business problem, we figure out how to get the necessary information so that we can “Measure the metrics and data.” When we know what type of data is available and have accessed that data, you need to “Apply Salesforce Einstein” to extract and predict useful insights that can help you to answer your business question. Of course, the insights can’t do anything until you “Report results.”
Salesforce Einstein underpins these three stages of SMART business. Einstein helps you to collect the data from different sources. It will run analytics in a way that you have probably never considered before. It will allow you to convert the insights into data visualization and provide recommended actions that you can easily understand. When you deal with data and analytics from this focused and practical perspective, and with a clear explanation, you can eliminate confusion and transform your business.
Salesforce caught my attention because it’s one of the most technologically advanced carbon-neutral cloud companies in the world. It continued to impress me with its complete end-to-end, AI-embedded CRM platform. Furthermore, these are not the only features it has. It is stacked with many upgrades to help make your business process easy.
To learn more about it, stay tuned for my upcoming blog posts to get a detailed summary of Einstein Analytics and Salesforce Einstein (Einstein Platform Services, Prediction IO, etc.).