Create CRM Analytics Apps
- Understand the iterative lifecycle of a prebuilt CRM Analytics app.
- Create CRM Analytics prebuilt apps.
- Understand how to use the configuration wizard that helps you create apps.
- Reschedule the app to refresh its data at a time outside normal business hours.
The App Lifecycle
Now that you have your special, CRM Analytics enabled Developer Edition org, you can configure and create a prebuilt CRM Analytics app. In this case, you’ll use Sales Analytics, but the same principles and techniques apply to the other prebuilt CRM Analytics apps.
Your worldwide sales manager, Laura Garza, is anxious to get the app. She needs to prepare for a big meeting with her boss, the DTC Electronics CEO. The CEO is flying in next week to take Laura and her team to a celebratory lunch for exceeding their targets last quarter. BUT... first, he wants to see how the current quarter is looking. And you’re happy to help because now it’s time for the fun part—actually creating a CRM Analytics app!
This is your first app, but not the last. That’s because the process of creating an app is easy. Prebuilt apps usually include a handy configuration wizard. Sales Analytics takes that a step further with a basic create option, which bypasses the wizard to create an app with a single click.
When you use the wizard, it asks you a series of questions about your data. Your answers tell CRM Analytics how to present data in the dashboards it creates for your app. That means you can create an app multiple times quickly with different settings until the app works just the way you like.
We’ve designed apps for business users, not data scientists. Apps make it easy for you to explore your data without knowing what you’re looking for first. Other business intelligence tools can make you jump through hoops before your data can give you the insights you need. CRM Analytics apps do most of the work for you by building dashboards that let you get answers about key aspects of your business.
That’s why we made apps easy to create—and create again. As you try different configurations, you learn what gives you the most useful views of your data. You can get useful results the first time you create an app, especially if you have a standard Salesforce implementation. Then you can refine your results over time as you know more about what you need. And you can create apps quickly every time—without expensive developer or data scientist resources.
To realize the full benefits of an app, most people go through a process like this:
- Create the app using the default answers in the wizard wherever possible just to see what it looks like. Sales Analytics makes this especially easy with its basic creation option. We’ve built our apps so that customers with standard Salesforce implementations get a good result with the defaults. Some apps require you to answer questions where defaults have not been pre-selected. We’ve tried to keep those questions as simple as possible.
- Check out the app and see that it’s cool, but notice possible improvements.
- Create it again, choosing your answers to the wizard questions more deliberately. With Sales Analytics, select the custom creation option to use the wizard.
- Show the app around, get ideas for how it could be improved, then use the wizard to create a new version of the app.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as you like because it’s so fast and easy to create apps.
- Dig into the app. You’ll quickly notice you can change dashboards by selecting different filter options. You can personalize it with a few routine data security customizations using CRM Analytics platform functionality. You can also augment dashboards by adding actions or changing dashboard label names and colors.
Create Your First App
- In your Developer Edition org, open CRM Analytics. From the App Launcher ( ), find and select Analytics Studio. Make a mental note of this step: Throughout CRM Analytics trails, you have to navigate to CRM Analytics and CRM Analytics apps, and this is the way to do it on the desktop. The first time you open Analytics Studio, the Welcome screen appears, offering resources to help you get started. You can dismiss it now, and open it again anytime from the Help menu. Click the question mark in the upper right to open the menu. Then select Welcome to Analytics.
- On the CRM Analytics home page, click the Create button and select App.
- Scroll through the list of templates. Lots to choose from, right? Browse through them to see all the apps you can create—maybe some of them will really help your business. For now, you just want to learn about Sales Analytics, so select that template.
- Click Continue. This opens the preview page for the app, which gives you an idea of what you can expect to see in the app you create. Scroll through it to see what the finished app contains, including preview images of all its dashboards. (If you want, you can take a minute or two to learn about some of the other templates, click Back, and select other templates. When you’re done, select Sales Analytics again.
- Click Continue and select Create a brand new app.
- Click Continue. This kicks off a compatibility check to be sure your org has all the data needed to create the app. We’ve set up your special Developer Edition org to be sure it has all the right data. (When you create Sales Analytics in your own org, you might see error messages with instructions on how to fix any issues.) Click Looks good, next, and move ahead.
- You see two options: Basic, which uses the default settings to create the app, and Custom, which lets you go beyond the defaults and choose your own settings. Select Basic, since you’re creating your first app to see how it goes. Later, in the Sales Analytics App Trailhead module, you create the app again with the Custom option and try out the configuration wizard. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
- Click Looks good, next, and give your app a name. Let’s call it “My First Analytics App”. Then click Create and let the magic begin! This starts another check, this time in the background. Your Developer Edition org passes the check with flying colors and starts creating the app, which can take a few minutes. (Keep in mind that in your own org you might see error messages along with the info about how to fix any issues.)
How easy was that? Just a few clicks and you're pouring yourself some coffee while Sales Analytics goes to work. CRM Analytics also makes it easy to revise configuration settings. Next time you create an app, CRM Analytics gives you the choice of creating a brand new app or using the settings from an existing app. Choose an existing app to open the configuration wizard with those settings. That gives you an easy way to see what you selected the last time you created the app.
When the app completes creation, you will receive an email stating that the app has been created successfully.
Optional: Refresh CRM Analytics Data with the Trailhead Data Manager
If any of the dashboards are missing data, you may need to refresh your data. Your org comes loaded with data—opportunities, accounts, activities, and so on. This step wipes old data and creates a fresh set of up-to-date data, with dates relative to today. Sales Analytics looks at relative date ranges, such as “this quarter” or “last month,” so without running this step, your dashboards might be empty. Run this step anytime you've been away from Trailhead for too long.
Here’s what to do:
- Go to Analytics Studio in Salesforce by selecting the App Launcher in the upper left, then clicking the Analytics Studio tile.
- On the For You panel, you can see your Analytics assets—app, dashboards, datasets, and lenses.
- Click My First Analytics App—the app you just started to create. If your app is still being created, it isn't ready for the Trailhead Data Manager yet. Wait a few minutes and refresh your browser until you no longer see that message and the window contains dashboards and datasets. Once you see dashboards and datasets, you’re ready to run the Trailhead Data Manager.
Also, you only need to use the Trailhead Data Manager in Trailhead. You won’t have to use it to set up Sales Analytics in your own org.
- Make sure you’re in Analytics Studio. From the app picker in the upper right, select Trailhead Data Manager. If you don’t see it right away, scroll down a bit.
- Click the Refresh DTC Data button.
Schedule Your App to Refresh
Here’s what to do:
- Go to Setup and in the Quick Find box, enter App Install History, then select App Install History.
- Find the My First Analytics App.
- To the right of the app, click. This menu allows you to immediately refresh your app or to schedule daily refresh.
- To schedule your app refresh, click Schedule. This opens the Schedule App window. In your own org, you’d schedule the app to run outside normal business hours when nobody is working in the org.
- Select the time of day and days of the week to run the app refresh and click Save.
Your App Is Ready
Way to go! You have your first CRM Analytics app. Now let’s see what all the excitement is about!
- Go back to Analytics Studio by opening the App Launcher ( ).
- And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Look for My First Analytics App, click it, and you go to a page showing all the app’s assets, including dashboards, lenses, and datasets. Keep this page in mind: If you and your team want to customize your experience, typically you’d start here.
- But for now, you want to get to your app as quickly as possible. Click Run App at the upper right and … Voila—the app’s home dashboard, where you can see top-level KPIs. Scroll down to see a list and descriptions of all the other dashboards. We’re not going to linger here—you can learn more about Sales Analytics dashboards in the Sales Analytics module. For now, let’s take a quick look at one of the dashboards.
- Scroll to find the Team Benchmark dashboard, and click to open it.
- As its name suggests, the dashboard shows how the sales team is doing over a given period. To see how dashboards work, try changing the Time Period filter at the top right from This Quarter to Current Fiscal Year.
Interesting! At a glance, you can see how much business each member of the team has created for the selected time period. This dashboard is a great example of charts and specially filtered data tables that give you immediate insights into your data. And from here, you can quickly drill in for more detail. Or, click the home button in the upper left to go back to the home page. Impressive, right? Laura’s going to love it!
Your app’s just been born, and you’re already seeing a lot. Imagine what can happen as you get further into its lifecycle by going through the app creation process again, this time giving a little more thought to how you answer the wizard questions.
It’s a Wizard, But It’s Not Magic
- Go to Analytics Studio, click Create, and select App.
- Select Sales Analytics, click Continue, and then click Continue again.
- Select Create a brand new app and click Continue. After the compatibility check runs, click Looks good, next.
- Click Looks good, next to open the wizard’s first page.
- Take a short trip through the wizard by clicking Looks good, next (or Back, if you want) on the next few screens. When you get to the screen where you can name your app, close it by clicking the X in the upper right corner. Don’t create another app just yet.
- Read through the questions before you answer any of them. It’s helpful to slow down and get a good idea of what information you need to provide. Look at the menus containing possible answers and explanations, too. The wizard lets you move forward and backward through the questions.
- When in doubt, go with the defaults. Since apps are intended to deliver value right away, the preselected answers to wizard questions should result in a useful app. With some apps, all the questions don’t have preselected answers. In those cases, CRM Analytics reminds you to make a selection.
- The wizard only lets you fine-tune your analytics experience. Wizard settings let you change certain parts of dashboards, such as filters and the fields apps use to calculate KPIs. But you can’t control the layout or most app content. We’ve predetermined most app elements to give you a useful experience right out of the box.
- You can only choose a field once. The wizard asks you to select fields from standard Salesforce objects, and you can choose a field on each object once and only once. This includes standard Salesforce fields as well as any custom fields you’ve set up on an object.
- Only some answers make sense given the question’s context. While wizard questions may let you choose from a multitude of fields, only some work for your app. For example, sorting accounts by Photo URL simply doesn’t make sense.
We won’t show you all these rules in action, but as you experiment further with your own app creation, keep them in mind. Until you get the hang of them, go slowly. Maybe at first, change just an answer or two. Then you can see exactly what each change does.
Wow, you’ve accomplished a lot! You’ve seen how easy it is to create a prebuilt CRM Analytics app. Along the way, you’ve seen a couple of prebuilt dashboards and seen how to schedule your app to keep your date fresh. And you’ve learned about the configuration wizard. The techniques you just used with Sales Analytics apply to any prebuilt app.
Now you can see how the interactive, ready-made dashboards give you a visual summary of your data with only minimal setup on your part. CRM Analytics prebuilt apps show you the state of your business using the data you already have in Salesforce.
Even though there’s more to learn, now you know enough to create any prebuilt CRM Analytics app quickly and to experiment further on your own. As you can see, it goes fast, and if you happen to make mistakes you can quickly recover. In the next unit, you’ll take care of some admin tasks and then share your app!