Tableau enhances links to Salesforce AI as it works to blend more into ecosystem

When Salesforce spent almost $16 billion to buy Tableau in 2019, it was getting a company with a goal of bringing data to the masses. As a cloud solution, it fits nicely into the growing Salesforce federation of cloud products and services. Over time, it makes sense that the two companies are finding ways to integrate with each other’s technology and across the family of products.

Today at Tableau’s customer conference in Las Vegas the company announced deeper integration with Einstein, the Salesforce AI platform. Perhaps it’s not surprising that this integration involves CRM data, the bread and butter of the Salesforce platform.

Tableau CEO Mark Nelson talked about the possibilities for customers when you combine the two companies’ capabilities. “Salesforce Einstein AI generates more than 152 billion predictions every day. By harnessing these insights, even beginners can see beyond the what of their data and understand the why or they see what could happen in the future. And what you should do about it,” he said at a press event on Monday ahead of the conference.

Francois Ajenstat, the company’s chief product officer, says the two companies saw the value of integrating and exploring how Einstein could augment Tableau. “About a year ago, we introduced Einstein Discovery in Tableau, which was the first integration of Einstein into Tableau and that enabled people to do more, but it still required a lot of configuration,” he explained.

This time around the goal was to simplify the integration and make it more accessible by automating the creation of a predictive model.

“It leverages everything that a customer has already configured in Tableau, their data connections, through data sources, through security, through their governance model. You don’t have to go anywhere else,” he said. What’s more, although the models are fueled by Salesforce AI technology on the back end, they are built and live in Tableau.

While AI is a great integration point, the company has also built connections into Slack where you can discuss data as it’s generated, into MuleSoft where it drives connections with APIs to a number of systems for which there might not be out-of-the-box connectors, and Salesforce Flow, the company’s automation product which can use data as triggers to drive actions based on certain data points.

Ajenstat says the goal of these integrations is to make customer data more accessible and more actionable and to ultimately drive more business. “It is just a new world of opportunity. It’s an opportunity…to accelerate innovation, accelerate customer success and ultimately accelerate the mission that we’ve been on to help people see and understand data,” he said.