Salesforce.com has a good reporting system built in; however, it has some limitations including the ability to report on a parent object with multiple child objects, trends over time, exception reporting, and more.
Given the limitations of the Salesforce reporting, one of our clients, Education Pioneers, asked me to evaluate business intelligence (BI) tools (with Salesforce integration) for them. They were looking to purchase an application to augment the basic reporting capabilities. Specifically, they were interested in full parent plus multiple child reporting and filtering.
I started the process with a short discovery at Education Pioneers in order to better understand their current Salesforce architecture, needs, and challenges. Once this step was completed, I interviewed and tested multiple BI applications including: Apsona, Conga Queries, BI OnDemand, Crystal Reports, GoodData, and Birst.
Here is the list of items I evaluated in each system:
- Reporting on all sets of data
- Object and a single child object reports
- Object and multiple child objects reports
- Creating charts and dashboards within the application
- Creating formulas within the report
- Ability to export the information
- Report Scheduling
- Level of Salesforce Integration
- Training needed
- Hosted/ Desktop/ Within Salesforce
- API availability
I created the bellow table* to provide Education Pioneers with a full picture of the available BI applications; I would like to thank them for allowing me to share this information on the blog. I hope that you will be able to use it to make smarter decisions at your organizations.
Please click on the image to view the full report.
*The table results only reflect the Cloud for Good findings during the discovery on July 2012; they do not reflect the Education Pioneers experience or results.