Salesforce provides two powerful but different solutions to provide insight into the data: Salesforce Reports and Dashboards and Wave Analytics. Here’s a comparison of both to give an idea of when to use what.
Usage: R&D can be used to provide snapshot view of the operational metrics present in a Salesforce org (sales, service, marketing and other Salesforce data). Wave Analytics is the way to go when there is massive amount of data from multiple sources and serves a strategic purpose. Wave stores data as key-value pairs with the principle of an inverted index which ensures faster and reliable access of data.
Setting Up: Salesforce R&D comes out of the box and one can use it right away by using the existing Report types or creating new ‘Custom Report types’. Wave is 100% cloud and it can be up and running in a few weeks. It also requires setting up permissions and creation of datasets and lenses.
Real Time Data: R&D delivers a snapshot view of key metrics on real time data. In Wave, the data has to be imported from other operational data sources as data sets and hence cannot be real time.
Historical Trending: R&D can provide trending analysis of historical data for only 90 days and this can be extended by using Reporting Snapshots. Wave provides insights into year over year historical analysis and trending.
Analytics: Wave Analytics as a ‘self-service-data-discovery tool’ empowers users to not only see the data but to turn it into smart decisions. It gives insight into not only the current metrics but also what they should, what they were last year and what they mean in the context of national trends. It also allows drilling down data to analyze further.
Data Sources: R&D can work on data present only in a Salesforce org while Wave integrates seamlessly with CRM data from Salesforce, back-end systems, external big data sources, desktop data, public data and even spreadsheets to provide a unified view of business. Data can be in a structured, semi-structured or non-structured format.
Flexibility: Wave as a NoSQL database, has no predefined model or a fixed model as the data is stored as key-value pairs. This makes it easier to pull data from any source which is in any format.
Ease of Use: R&D is very simple to use and can be used to create complex operational reports and dashboards. Data needs to imported to Wave to create data sets.