- On Monday, Salesforce launched the beta of a new feature augmenting its Einstein Analytics platform. Conversational Queries allows users to informally type in queries related to their data — such as, "show me the top accounts by annual revenue" — and immediately receive the answer in chart form.
- Einstein Analytics suggests the most fitting visual representations of the data based on what the user asked. For example, it may offer the answer in a bar chart to clearly display rankings or in a map to show geographic spread, and users can tailor charts to their needs with additional design options.
- The feature will maintain a visual history of questions and answers so that users can go back and select the most helpful charts.
Creating a chart has generally taken an average of 12 clicks and demands preexisting understanding of how to create and structure a chart to best reflect the data, writes Amruta Moktali, VP of product for Einstein Analytics. Conversational Queries streamlines the process by using AI to figure out the best way to represent data, reducing the action and knowledge requirements on the user.
Tools like Salesforce's are becoming more important for businesses as the amount of data available and the expectation of making mission-critical decisions based on data increases.
"You know your data, you know what you're looking for, but you don't always know how to get to those answers — there's a lot of complexity and understanding normally required to do this," said Moktali, in a statement provided to CIO Dive. "Conversational Queries is a more intuitive way to interact with your data."
One of the most important parts of data analysis is asking the right questions, but this is also one of the hardest parts. "These advancements with non-technical, conversational language allow anyone to ask a series of follow-up questions of their data, without waiting in the queue for a data scientist," writes Moktali.
By allowing users to interact with data in terms they understand, Conversational Queries is bringing Salesforce customers closer to "self-service data exploration."
The new feature is sure to be a hit among businesses without a substantial data science team and a boon to the Einstein platform overall. At Salesforce's earnings call last week, CEO Mark Benioff revealed that the AI platform was making more than 1 billion predictions for customers everyday and still growing.
By integrating the AI offering throughout its clouds and services, Salesforce is keeping abreast of its rivals, which Benioff said are lagging because they have not implemented AI at a comparable quality or scale.