Dreamforce 2016 is officially behind us, and Salesforce didn’t miss a beat with the roll out of Einstein. The entire event was based around the launch of the integrated Artificial Intelligence program, which is fully integrated within Salesforce. The foundation of Salesforce is finding ways to connect and engage with the customer.
Technology is more sophisticated, and information is more abundant. Every interaction online leaves a data trail to be analyzed. Data is growing exponentially. How do you avoid getting swallowed in all the data?
Predictive, descriptive, and diagnostic analytics…brought to you by Einstein.
Ask the right questions, use trial and error to find insights automatically. Leverage customer information to provide proactive recommendations. Servicing the customer has evolved to influencing the customer.
AI and predictive analytics are the future.
Salesforce knows this. Acquisitions of AI startups MetaMind, Prediction.io, and MinHash, and BeyondCore signaled the rollout of Einstein. Marketo isn’t missing the boat either, launching an ABM solution to complement their core marketing automation business. Wringing more value from data, to benefit the customer. This is the key.
Let’s not forget about the data though. Remember, Salesforce is really just a big empty shell. Data is the filler. CRM’s are useful because they allow users to store and organize customer information. Predictive insights from AI are only as good as the original data.
Here lies the core issue: the quality of your data. Einstein sounds great, the presentation was certainly impressive, and it has potential. But predictive analytics mean nothing if the data is cr*p. Technology is knowledge of information embedded in machines. Bad information = poor returns from technology. As it turns out, poor quality data is still the main issue for all Salesforce users.
It always will be.
Dirty data plagues CRM and marketing automation systems, it’s unavoidable. Unfortunately, data ages like fish not wine: it decays. People change companies, job titles, get married and divorced. Data is corrupted on manual entry (forms fills, downloads..), list uploads, and through system integrations.
For all these reasons, businesses cannot neglect data quality as a primary priority. If you want to make use of Einstein’s bells and whistles, start with the basics: take care of your data!
The future of CRM’s and marketing automation systems is in predictive analytics. I’m not disputing the potential of gaining insights from technology. In order to maximize the potential of artificial intelligence you must pay attention to data quality first. Don’t put the cart before the horse. Love your data and you’ll love predictive insights.