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Meet Your On-Call Data Scientist

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe what Einstein Discovery is.
  • Explain which kinds of questions it can answer.
  • Know what kinds of data you can work with.

What Is Einstein Discovery?

Einstein Discovery enables business users to discover relevant facts and themes using data in their Einstein Analytics datasets. It’s like having your own personal data scientist who can quickly sift through huge amounts of data to find the important correlations and make accurate predictions. Once it’s done analyzing your Einstein Analytics dataset, Einstein Discovery generates answers, explanations, and recommendations in a way that is easy for business users to understand.

Sure, maybe you already have a team of business intelligence (BI) experts on staff to provide analyses and recommendations. But what happens when the amount of data you’re analyzing is large, and the time you have is short?

Business intelligence team
Einstein Discovery provides answers to key business questions:
  • What happened? What was significant or unusual?
  • Why did it happen? What are the factors that possibly contributed to the observed outcome?
  • How do some factors compare with other factors?
  • What might happen in the future, based on a statistical analysis of the data? Is there a trend, or does this data represent an isolated incident?
  • What are some possible actions that could improve the outcome?

But even more, Einstein Discovery guides you in asking the next questions, the ones you didn’t know that you had. Most complex incidents have causes that weave through layers of interrelated variables, so go below the surface. Drill down. Einstein Discovery shows you where to drill.

But Einstein Discovery isn’t a replacement for your team. While Einstein Discovery can surface correlations and possible influencers, help point your investigations in the right direction, and suggest possible answers, you and your team know your business best. Einstein Discovery is an additional team member!

Now that you know what Einstein Discovery does, let’s look at an example. We use Einstein Discovery to understand what’s driving profitability by figuring out ways in which we can improve margin.

Let’s Figure Out Why Those Margins Are Shrinking

Imagine that you are the VP of operations for a major automotive supplier. You're responsible for the on-the-ground performance of your company’s business. Opening the Salesforce app while heading into work on a Thursday morning, you’re greeted by a rapidly growing Chatter thread. The company’s CFO started it to find out why, all of a sudden, company margins are headed south. Then the CEO chimes in: “We must solve this issue immediately!”

You know what that means: Working overtime with your team to sift through thousands and thousands of transactions across different regions and verticals. And after you discover the causes and brainstorm solutions, you need to put together an executive summary.

So you pull your team together and focus them on the task at hand. By evening, you’re staring at a huge table of data, but you have no idea what caused margins to slip. Never mind how to fix the problem.

You’ve got the data, but now you see some roadblocks between you and an answer. You email the team with the following list of roadblocks, hoping that the team can brainstorm a breakthrough:
  1. There’s too much data. It’s hard to draw out all of the relevant relationships in such a large dataset.
  2. Separating the significant problems from the minor ones takes time. Each potential problem we spot can lead down a rabbit hole.
  3. Even if a lead seems significant, it’s not always clear what action to take because the underlying (secondary) causes aren’t always apparent.

Einstein Discovery Saves the Day (and the Weekend)

Then you see an email from someone on your team about a new Salesforce product, one that can possibly save the day. It’s called Einstein Discovery and, as the email says, it’s like adding a team of data scientists to your effort.

Your teammate is excited because Einstein Discovery is already available in your company’s Salesforce org. It's being used on a weekly basis to monitor changes in cost-to-serve. How can your team get started? Just open up Einstein Analytics, grab the Einstein Analytics dataset that contains the relevant data, and tell it the variable (business metric) you want to learn about.

Minutes later, you get a story, which represents a comprehensive statistical analysis of your dataset. A story provides an organized presentation with a logical flow and related sections. The story, says your colleague, is filled with insights about your data that pertain to the outcome variable you're interested in (margin). It also helps you understand the possible underlying causes and relationships among possible influencers, anticipates what to expect next based on a predictive analysis of your dataset, and suggests ways in which you might improve the outcome.

Story about margin by product

Even better, you can tune the story to focus on exactly what’s important to you. You can use your team’s knowledge of the business to choose which insights to act on.

After some research and thought, you decide to use Einstein Discovery to find out why your margins are shrinking so fast. Maybe your weekend plans are safe after all!

Now It’s Your Turn

You can’t control the slings and arrows of outrageous business conditions. But armed with Einstein Discovery and your deep knowledge of the business, solutions to your problems are minutes away. Using Einstein Discovery is like having a personal data scientist doing the heavy lifting to speed up your work.

Wait, can all this really be true? Yes, as you’re going to prove next!



Rights of ALBERT EINSTEIN are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.