Today I got my hands on Data Visualization Cloud Service for the first time and wanted to share this experience.
What is Data Visualization Cloud Service
Sales Cloud offers great reporting tools to create and add reports to the application in order to give insight in how a sales organization is performing. Sales reps and sales managers can consumer these reports in order to find new leads, analyze their performance or understand how much compensation they will earn at the end of the quarter.
But what if …
- What if an analyst wants to perform a what-if analysis?
- What if a sales manager wants to combine the existing report with an excel sheet he made with data that is not available in Sales Cloud?
- What if you want to analyze data coming from multiple different applications?
Data Visualization Cloud Service (DVCS) is another BI Cloud application in the analytics arsenal of Sales Cloud that allows you to do exactly this.
In a series of posts, I will discover little by little the possibilities of DVCS and want to share them with you here. Let me first start by creating a simple analysis based on a report that I created in Sales Cloud.
Getting started with DVCS
In order to get started, I downloaded Data Visualization Desktop which is exactly the same tool but it runs on my laptop instead of in the cloud. As a former techie, I off course refused to read any instructions, manual or any other form of training and just got started 🙂
Using Sales Cloud as a data source
I wanted to build an analysis on data I had in a Sales Cloud report so my first step in building an analysis in Data Visualization Cloud Service, was to get data from one of my Sales Cloud reports. I have a simple opportunity list that was perfect for the job, so I started adding it as a new data source. I chose to use the ‘From Oracle Applications’ data source type as it allows me to connect to any Oracle Cloud application.
All I had to do to get access to my Sales Cloud reports was adding a ‘Oracle Applications’ connection by providing my Sales Cloud BI URL and my Sales Cloud credentials.
Once a connection was made, I could access the Sales Cloud report catalog and select one of my Sales Cloud reports to be used as a data source in DVCS.
So I created a data source to be used in DVCS. This does not mean that the data from my Sales Cloud report gets copied into Data Visualization Cloud Service. Each time I will be using analysis in DVCS based on this data source, DVCS in real time will go looking for the latest data in Sales Cloud. This also ensures that every user can only see the data in Data Visualization Cloud Service that he or she is allowed in Sales Cloud, respecting whatever data security mechanisms were implemented through Territory Management or the Security Console.
Creating my first Visual Analyzer analysis
Visual Analyzer is the name of the tool with which you can create analysis in DVCS. It is an easy to use but powerful tool that allows for some amazing analysis to be built. As I selected my ‘Open Opportunities List’ as a data source, I noticed that I added the data source to a project, not to a report. What a project allows me to do on top of just creating an analysis is subject for another post in this series.
Once I added the data source to a project I finally got to see the Visual Analyzer user interface. I notice straight away it is very different from what I was used to and hinted towards all kinds of new possibilities that I had not seen in any other Oracle BI tool so far:
- Notice how it says that I can drag and drop columns into my report
- The ‘Story Navigator’ and ‘Stages’ icons in the top menu bar look really intriguing
- What are colors, shapes or sizes?
- There is such a thing as a presentation mode ??
I resisted to go and explore all these as I will discuss them in subsequent posts and go back to creating my first analysis.
I started dragging fields onto my analysis …
… and very quickly I had something that looks like a report.
Adding a filter is not that hard either. All it requires is to drag and drop a field into the area above the report where it is indicated I can create a filter or click on one of the selected columns and choose ‘Create Filter’ from the popup menu as shown in the image above. I chose to drag the industry field into the filter area and could very easily select the industries I wanted to see in my analysis.
I chose to start with creating a basic table, but off course other view types can be created. Notice how DVCS apparently allows us to put data on a map ! And have you ever heard of a ‘Sunburst’ report? I definitely need to check these out, but I will do so in a separate blog post.
After some experimenting I realized that just by dragging some columns to ‘Colors’ and ‘Sizes’ I can make this analysis look very fancy:
- Colors by sales stage show me which opportunities are in what stage in the sales cycle
- Sizes by ‘Open Opportunity Revenue’ allow me in no time to find the large opportunities
It is not exactly what I wanted my first analysis to look like, but it is a perfect ending to my first hands-on experience with Data Visualization Cloud Service.
Stay tuned for my discovery of more Data Visualization Cloud Service features. My next post will be about combining this sales cloud based analysis with an Excel based data source !