Analyzing Salesforce Data with Amazon QuickSight
Salesforce Sales Cloud is a powerful platform for managing customer data. One of the key functions that the platform provides is the ability to track customer opportunities. Opportunities in Salesforce are used to track revenue, sales pipelines, and other activities from the very first contact with a potential customer to a closed sale.
Amazon QuickSight is a rich data visualization tool that provides the ability to connect to Salesforce data and use it as a data source for creating analyses, stories, and dashboards and easily share them with others in the organization. This post focuses on how to connect to Salesforce as a data source and create a useful opportunity dashboard, incorporating Amazon QuickSight features like relative date filters, Key Performance Indicator (KPI) charts, and more.
In this post, you walk through the following tasks:
- Creating a new data set based on Salesforce data
- Creating your analysis and adding visuals
- Creating an Amazon QuickSight dashboard
- Working with filters
Note: For this walkthrough, I am using my own Salesforce.com Developer Edition account. You can sign up for your own free developer account at https://developer.salesforce.com/.
Creating a new Amazon QuickSight data set based on Salesforce data
To start, you need to create a new Amazon QuickSight data set. Sign in to Amazon QuickSight at https://quicksight.aws using the link from the home page. Enter your Amazon QuickSight account name and choose Continue. Next, enter your Email address or user name and password, then choose Sign In.
On the Amazon QuickSight start page, choose Manage Data, which takes you to a list of your data sets. Choose New Data Set, and choose Salesforce as your data source. Enter a data source name—in this example, I called mine “SFDC Opportunity.” Choose Create Data Source to open the Salesforce authentication page, where you can enter your Salesforce user name and password.
After you are authenticated to Salesforce, you are presented with a drop-down list that lets you select data from Reports or Objects. For this tutorial, choose Object. Scroll down in the list to choose the Opportunity object, and then choose Select.
To finish creating your data set, choose Visualize to go to where you can create a new Amazon QuickSight analysis from this data.
Creating your analysis and adding visuals
Now that you have acquired your data, it’s time to start working with your analysis. In Amazon Quicksight, an analysis is a container for a set of related visual stories. When you chose Visualize, a new analysis was created for you. This is where you start to create the visuals (charts, graphs, etc.) that will be the building blocks for your dashboard.
In Amazon QuickSight, Salesforce objects look like database tables. In the analysis that you just created, you can see the columns in the Fields list for the Opportunity object.
The Opportunity object in Salesforce has a number of default fields. Salesforce administrators can extend this object by adding other custom fields as required—these custom fields are usually marked with a “_c” at the end.
In the Fields List, you can see that Amazon QuickSight has divided the fields into Dimensions and Measures. You use these to create your visualizations and dashboard. For this particular dashboard, you create five different visuals to display the data in a few different ways.
Opportunity by Stage
For the first visualization, you create a horizontal bar chart showing “Opportunity by Stage”. In the Fields List, choose the StageName dimension and the ExpectedRevenue measure. By default, this should create a horizontal bar chart for you, as shown in the following image.
Notice that this chart includes the Closed Won category, which we aren’t interested in showing. Choose the bar for Closed Won, and in the pop-up menu, choose Exclude Closed Won. This filters the chart to show only opportunities that are in progress.
It’s important to note that for this dashboard, we only want to show the opportunities that are not Closed Won. So in the menu bar on the left side, choose Filter.
By default, the filter that you just created was only applied to a single visualization. To change this, choose the filter, and then choose All Visuals from the drop-down list. This applies the filter to all visuals in the analysis.
To finish, select the chart title and rename the chart to Opportunity by Stage.
Opportunity by Month
Next, you need to create a new visual to show “Opportunity by Month.” You use a vertical bar chart to display the data. On the Amazon QuickSight toolbar, choose Add, and then choose Add visual. For this visual, choose CloseDate from the dimensions and ExpectedRevenue from the measures.
Using the Visual Types menu, change the chart type to a Vertical Bar Chart. By default, the chart displays the revenue by year, but we want to break it down a bit further. Choose Field Wells, and using the CloseDate drop-down menu, change the Aggregate to Month.
With the change to a monthly aggregate, your chart should look something like the following:
Select the chart title and rename the chart to Opportunity by Month.
When working with Salesforce opportunities, there are two measures that are important to most sales managers—the first is the total amount associated with the opportunity, and the second is what the actual expected revenue will be. For the next visual, you use the KPI chart to display these measures.
Choose Add on the Amazon QuickSight toolbar, and then choose Add visual. From the measures, choose ExpectedRevenue, and then Amount. To change your visualization, go to the Visual Types menu and choose the Key Performance Indicator (KPI). Your visualization should change and be similar to the following:
Select the chart title and rename the chart to Expected Revenue.
Opportunity by Lead Source
Next, you need to look at where the opportunity actually came from. This helps your dashboard users understand where the leads are being generated from and their value to the business. For this visual, you use a Horizontal Bar Chart.
On the Amazon QuickSight toolbar, choose Add, and then choose Add visual. From the measures, choose Amount, and for the dimensions, choose LeadSource. To change your visualization, go to the Visual Types menu and choose the Horizontal Bar Chart. Your visualization should change and be similar to the following:
Note: If you can’t read the chart labels for the bars, grab the axis line and drag to resize.
Select the chart title and rename the chart to Opportunity by Lead Source.
Expected Revenue vs. Opportunity Amount
For the last visual, you look at the individual opportunities and how they contribute to the total pipeline. A tree map is a specialized chart type that lets your dashboard users see how each opportunity amount contributes to the whole. Additionally, you can highlight if there is a difference between the Expected Revenue and the Amount by sizing the marks by the Amount and coloring them by the Expected Amount.
On the Amazon QuickSight toolbar, choose Add, and then choose Add visual. From the measures, choose ExpectedRevenue and Amount. From the dimensions, choose Name. To change your visualization, go to the Visual Types menu and choose the Tree Map. Your visualization should change and be similar to the following:
Select the chart title and rename the chart to Expected Revenue vs Opportunity Amount.
Creating an Amazon QuickSight dashboard
Now that your visuals are created, it’s time to do the fun part—actually putting your Amazon QuickSight dashboard together. To create a dashboard, resize and position your visuals on the page, using the following layout:
To resize a visual, grab the handle in the lower-right corner and drag it to the height and width that you want.
To move your visual, use the grab bar at the top of the visual, as shown here:
When you are done resizing your visuals, your canvas should look something like this:
To create a dashboard, choose Share in the Amazon QuickSight toolbar. Then choose Create Dashboard. For this dashboard, give it a name of SFDC Opportunity Dashboard, and choose Create Dashboard. You are prompted to enter the email address or user name of the users you want to share this dashboard with.
Because we are just concentrating on the design at the moment, you can choose Cancel and share your dashboard later using the Share button on the dashboard toolbar.
Working with filters
There is one more feature that you can use when viewing your dashboard to make it even more useful. Earlier, when you were working with the Analysis, you added a filter to remove any opportunities that were tagged as Closed Won. Now, as you are viewing the dashboard, you add a filter that you can use to filter on a relative date.
This feature in Amazon QuickSight allows you to choose a time period (years, quarters, months, weeks, etc.) and then select from a list of relative time periods. For example, if you choose Year, you could set the filter options to Previous Year, This Year, Year to Date, or Last N Years.
This is especially handy for a Salesforce Opportunity dashboard, as you might want to filter the data using the Close Date field to see when the opportunity is actually set to close.
To create a relative date filter, choose Filter on the toolbar. Choose the filter icon, and then choose CloseDate, as shown in the following image:
At the top of the Edit Filter pane, change the drop-down list to apply the filter to All Visuals. The default filter type is Time Range, so use the drop-down list to change the filter type to Relative Dates. For the time period, choose Quarters. To view all the current opportunities in your dashboard, choose the option for This Quarter, and choose Apply.
With the date filter in place, you have the final component for your dashboard, which should look something like the following example:
It’s important to note that at this point, you have added the filter when viewing the dashboard. If you think this is something that other users might want to do, you can go back to your Amazon QuickSight Analysis and add the filter there—that way it will be available for all dashboard users.
In this post, you learned how to connect to Salesforce data and create a basic dashboard. You can apply the same techniques to create analyses and dashboards from all different types of Salesforce data and objects. Whether you want to analyze your Salesforce account demographics or where your leads are coming from, or evaluate any other data stored in Salesforce, Amazon QuickSight helps you quickly connect to and visualize your data with only a few clicks.
About the Author
David McAmis is a Big Data & Analytics Consultant with Amazon Web Services. He works with customers to develop scalable platforms to gather, process and analyze data on AWS.