Einstein Analytics Guide: Features, Setup, Alternatives (2024)

What Is Einstein Analytics (Now Salesforce CRM Analytics)?

Salesforce CRM Analytics, a part of the Salesforce Analytics Cloud suite, is designed to harness the power of Salesforce's AI, offering insights across sales, service, and marketing, and providing a competitive edge by turning data into actionable insights.

Note: For consistency, we'll refer to Salesforce Einstein Analytics as Salesforce CRM Analytics throughout this blog. Also, CRM Analytics should not be confused with Sales Cloud Einstein.

Since its inception as Wave Analytics in 2014, Salesforce CRM Analytics has undergone quite the evolution — rebranding to Einstein Analytics, then Tableau CRM, before landing on its current name. 

Each update brought smarter features, from AI and machine learning to better data visualization and predictive modeling.

CRM Analytics is ideal for organizations that aim to enhance Salesforce's native reporting capabilities with more actionable and collaborative analytics. It achieves this by integrating data from Salesforce and external sources.

If you’re a Salesforce-powered organization, CRM Analytics could help your:

  • Sales & Service Teams: See customer data & predictions within Salesforce for faster, data-driven decisions.
  • Analysts and Managers: Gain a complete view of sales, spot trends, and forecast better.
  • Whole Crew: Data-driven insights benefit everyone across the Salesforce data gamut — marketing, product, success, and revenue teams alike.

CRM Analytics encompasses a variety of standalone solutions, including a few from the Einstein AI toolset, such as Einstein Discovery and Einstein Prediction Builder. Many of these tools were part of the ‘Einstein Analytics Plus’ suite before it was rebranded as CRM Analytics.

CRM Analytics also offers specialized analytics applications for:

  • Salesforce Sales Cloud — Sales Analytics
  • Salesforce Service Cloud — Service Analytics, Service Intelligence Dashboards and AI
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud — B2B Marketing Analytics (available to users of Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) — Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation platform)


The cost of Salesforce CRM Analytics depends on your business needs. Some Salesforce editions like Sales, Service, or Industry Cloud already include CRM Analytics. 

For others, you can choose from different CRM Analytics solutions with different prices based on your business needs: 

  • Einstein Predictions: $75/user per month, and includes Einstein Prediction Builder and Einstein Discovery.
  • CRM Analytics Growth: $140/user per month
  • CRM Analytics Plus: $165/user per month
  • Revenue Intelligence: $250/user per month
  • Industry Cloud Intelligence: $250/user per month, suitable for sales teams in specific industries like manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, and more.
  • Service Intelligence: $250/user per month

At this point, you might be thinking, what can CRM Analytics really achieve? Let’s find out.

Core Features of Salesforce CRM Analytics

Key features of CRM Analytics in 2024 include:

  • Trend and Pattern Analysis: It presents data in a way that highlights broader trends and patterns across the customer dataset, going beyond basic Salesforce report options to provide more in-depth insights and analysis.
  • Sales Forecasting: It leverages historical sales data to identify trends and patterns that can inform sales forecasting and projections.
  • Customer Service Analytics: It analyzes service data to pinpoint common customer issues and areas for improvement in issue resolution processes.
  • Marketing Campaign Analysis: For marketing teams, CRM Analytics tracks campaign performance metrics, allowing them to evaluate which campaigns are effective and which may need adjustments.
  • Customer Behavior Insights: The tool aims to provide customer behavioral insights that businesses can leverage for personalized experiences through tailored recommendations and targeted messaging strategies.
  • Real-Time Data Monitoring: CRM Analytics continuously updates dashboards with live data, allowing instant visibility into sales, service, and marketing activities. Enhanced with predictive analytics and automated alerts, it helps you quickly respond to emerging trends and issues.
  • Data management: CRM Analytics features essential tools like Data Sync and Data Manager. Data Sync ensures seamless integration and synchronization between Salesforce and external data sources. Data Manager is the central hub for managing data in CRM Analytics, enabling configuration of data ingestion, dataset creation, and data transformation for analysis.

If Salesforce CRM Analytics seems like a lot to take in at once, you're not alone. We're here to make it all easier for you.

Step-by-Step Guide to Get Started With Salesforce CRM Analytics

Let's begin with the basics: setting up your environment and creating your first dashboard. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you going:

Step 1: Ensure You Meet CRM Analytics Requirements

Before you get started, it’s crucial to ensure your setup meets CRM Analytics requirements. This includes using browsers supported by Lightning Experience edition, setting your browser zoom to 100%, and more. 

For mobile users, CRM Analytics supports iOS devices with iOS 16.0 or later and Android devices running Android 5 or later.

Visit Salesforce support for a complete overview of all technical requirements, including hardware and network specifications.

Step 2: Set Up Your Environment

Log into your Salesforce account. CRM Analytics is deeply integrated into the Salesforce platform, but availability may vary for your specific Salesforce edition.

Some editions, particularly higher-tier ones like Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited, are more likely to include CRM Analytics or offer it as an add-on. Smaller editions may require an upgrade or separate purchase to access CRM Analytics.

Step 3: Enable CRM Analytics in Salesforce Setup

  • Click on the gear icon in the top right corner to open the Salesforce setup menu.
  • Enter "Analytics" in the Quick Find/Search field and select "Getting Started" under the Analytics section.
  • Click on "Enable CRM Analytics" and, if necessary, select and assign user permissions to ensure the right team members have access.

Step 4: Assign the CRM Analytics Admin Role

Organizations often assign the admin responsibility for CRM Analytics to one of their Salesforce admin. However, you may want one of your analysts to take up this role, preferably someone experienced in generating stakeholder reports.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Navigate to Users and then to Permission Sets.
  • Choose either the "CRM Analytics Growth Admin" or "CRM Analytics Plus Admin" permission set, depending on your organization's needs. The Growth Admin set encompasses all necessary permissions for administering the CRM Analytics platform, including creating and managing templated apps. The Plus Admin set includes the same, with the addition of Einstein Discovery.
  • Click "Manage Assignments," then "Add Assignments," and select the admin by checking the box next to their name. Click "Assign" to finalize the setup.

Step 5: Assign User Permission Sets

Still in the Permission Sets section, pick a permission set for other users based on their role and access needs: "CRM Analytics Growth User" for basic platform and app usage, or "CRM Analytics Plus User" for those also using Einstein Discovery.

Use "Manage Assignments" to see which users are already assigned and "Add Assignments" to include more users. Simply check the boxes next to their names and click "Assign."

Step 6: Build Your First Dashboard

  • Open the App Launcher: Look for the App Launcher icon in the top left corner of your Salesforce interface. The icon looks like nine dots arranged in a square.
  • Access Analytics Studio: Type "Analytics Studio" in the App Launcher's search bar, select it from the search results, and click to open. This action will take you to the Salesforce CRM Analytics workspace for creating and managing dashboards and reports.
  • Create a New Dashboard: Click 'Create', select 'Dashboard', and choose 'Blank Dashboard' to start with a clean slate.

  • Set Dashboard Properties: Configure your dashboard's properties, such as adjusting the number of columns (e.g., changing from 12 to 19 columns for more space).
  • Add a Container: Drag and drop a container onto the canvas. Containers help organize widgets (charts, text, etc.) on your dashboard.

  • Add Dashboard Title: Insert a text widget at the top of your dashboard for the title (e.g., "Superstore Dashboard Overview"). Customize the text size and alignment as needed.
  • Insert and Configure Widgets:
    • Text and Number Widgets: Use these for simple data displays like total sales. Configure a query to pull the correct data from your datasets.
    • Charts: Add various charts (line charts, bar charts, tree maps) to represent different data points. Configure each chart to display data appropriately, adjusting settings like axes and legends as needed.

  • Customize and Arrange Widgets: Place each widget in the desired container. Adjust the size and alignment to ensure the dashboard is visually appealing and data is easy to read.
  • Copy and Adjust Widgets for Similar Data Displays: Use copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) to duplicate widgets, adjusting each new widget's data source and appearance to match different data needs.
  • Preview and Adjust: Regularly preview your dashboard to see how it looks with real data. Make adjustments to widget placement and settings to optimize clarity and visual appeal.
  • Save Your Dashboard: Once satisfied with the layout and data representation, save your dashboard.

Additional Tips for Beginners

Here are a few beginner-friendly tips that can significantly enhance your experience with CRM Analytics:

  • Start Simple: Kick off with basic dashboards to grasp the platform's essentials before tackling more complex tools.
  • Use Templates: Leverage pre-built templates to quickly create professional-looking dashboards with minimal adjustments needed.
  • Learn Key Terms: Familiarize yourself with key CRM Analytics terminology like "datasets," "dashboards," and "SAQL" to navigate the platform effectively and communicate insights clearly.

5 Ways Salesforce CRM Analytics Enhances Salesforce’s Native Features

CRM Analytics builds upon the fundamental reporting and dashboard functionalities of Salesforce Analytics (the platform's native analytics capabilities) by offering more advanced features, including:

  • Integration with Multiple Data Sources: CRM Analytics seamlessly integrates with various data sources, both within and outside the Salesforce ecosystem, allowing for a comprehensive view of customer interactions and business operations.
  • Dynamic Dashboards: It offers interactive, real-time data visualizations for uncovering valuable insights through user interaction.
  • Enhanced Collaboration and Actionable Insights: The platform enhances team collaboration by enabling the sharing of insights within Salesforce and incorporates AI to suggest next steps, streamlining decision-making processes.
  • Smarter Customer Resolutions with Case Routing: By employing predictive analytics, CRM Analytics automates the routing of cases to appropriate agents, aiming to improve response times and customer satisfaction levels.
  • Advanced Recommendations and Predictions: Utilizing AI, the platform offers predictions and recommendations, assisting businesses in anticipating customer needs and making informed decisions based on trends.

We recommend that you refer to Salesforce’s official documentation and contact your Salesforce implementation partner or Salesforce consulting service for detailed information on these functionalities.

Its powerful capabilities aside, CRM Analytics is not without limitations.

​​Limitations of Salesforce CRM Analytics

Consider these four limitations if you’re planning to utilize Salesforce CRM Analytics.

  • Steep Learning Curve: Salesforce CRM Analytics is packed with robust capabilities, which can initially feel overwhelming for new users. The platform's complex interface requires time and effort to master.
  • Challenges with Complex Data Integration and Customization: Integrating external data sources into CRM Analytics can be a bit of a struggle. While the platform excels with Salesforce data, customizing and importing information from other sources requires some technical know-how and elbow grease. 
  • API Call Restrictions: Salesforce limits the number of API calls you can make, which might affect how you access and interact with your data in CRM Analytics. These restrictions are in place to ensure platform stability and performance. Still, they can be a hurdle for businesses with extensive data needs.
  • More Suitable for Large Businesses: Lastly, the scale and scope of CRM Analytics make it a powerhouse tool ideally suited for larger organizations. Small businesses might find the platform a tad overwhelming or beyond their current needs, both in terms of functionality and cost.

So, is there a better alternative to CRM Analytics out there in 2024?


Take Sales Analytics to the Next Level With Scratchpad

Scratchpad is an intuitive alternative to Salesforce CRM Analytics, specifically tailored for sales teams aiming to streamline workflow and enhance productivity. 

The Salesforce add-on is designed to fit seamlessly into your sales strategy, offering a blend of simplicity and advanced analytics.

Here's a glance at what makes Scratchpad a standout choice:

  • Seamless Integration with Salesforce: Scratchpad fluently talks with the Salesforce platform, directly connecting your reps’ daily sales activities with the CRM. The AI powered call intelligence feature even auto-fills your required fields based on your preferred methodology. With ‘Scratchpad Command’, reps can search for and update any record in Salesforce from anywhere on the web, without the need to switch tabs, apps, or break their workflow.
  • Easy to Use: The platform is built with simplicity in mind. Its user-friendly interface ensures sales teams can quickly adapt and make the most out of its features without a steep learning curve. You'll spend less time wrestling with complex tools and more time focusing on what you do best: selling.
  • Flexible Views: Customization is key in sales analytics. Scratchpad offers advanced grid and Kanban views that adapt to your needs, enabling you to organize and visualize data in a way that makes sense for your workflow and goals.
  • Automation: Scratchpad's Slack automations and Deal Rooms bridge communication gaps, ensuring your team stays informed and can act swiftly on data-driven insight.
  • Opportunity Compliance: Zero Boards help sales teams track their tasks and follow-ups, ensuring they don't miss any important opportunities. It's like having a personal assistant who reminds you of what needs to be done to close deals and stay organized.

3 FAQs About Salesforce CRM Analytics

Here are some common questions about Salesforce CRM Analytics:

1. How Does CRM Analytics Differ from Tableau?

CRM Analytics (formerly known as Salesforce Einstein Analytics and Tableau CRM) and Tableau both serve the purpose of data analysis and visualization but cater to different needs. 

CRM Analytics is deeply integrated within the Salesforce ecosystem, designed to work seamlessly with CRM data, offering analytics and AI capabilities right where your customer data lives. 

It's tailored for Salesforce users, focusing on CRM-centric analytics. 

On the other hand, Tableau is a broader, more flexible platform suitable for enterprise-wide analytics and business intelligence beyond the Salesforce environment. It can ingest data from various sources, offering extensive data visualization capabilities across different departments and data systems.

2. What Is the Difference Between Sales Cloud Einstein and CRM Analytics?

Sales Cloud Einstein is a data science-driven solution within Salesforce Sales Cloud that uses machine learning algorithms to analyze sales activities and CRM data to help sales teams identify the best leads, provide personalized recommendations, and optimize sales processes. 

It includes features, such as Einstein Activity Capture, Einstein Automated Contact, Einstein Lead Scoring, Einstein Opportunity Scoring, Einstein Opportunity Insights, Einstein Account Insights, and Einstein Forecasting, among others.

CRM Analytics, as we discussed in detail above, provides broader analytical capabilities for the Salesforce ecosystem.

3. What’s the Difference Between Einstein GPT and Einstein Analytics?

Einstein GPT and Salesforce Einstein Analytics, with the latter now fully integrated into CRM Analytics, are Salesforce's AI-driven technologies crafted to enhance the user experience within its ecosystem. 

Einstein Analytics, as we discussed above, focuses on leveraging AI and machine learning to analyze Salesforce data, uncovering insights and predictions to streamline sales, service, and marketing strategies.

In contrast, Einstein GPT merges Salesforce's proprietary AI models with generative AI. This enables users to generate content, code, and more from simple prompts, providing a dynamic, interactive AI layer to engage with Salesforce data beyond just analytics.

Leverage Analytics to Optimize Your Sales Strategy and Drive Growth

Salesforce CRM Analytics is a tool designed to sift through the data in the Salesforce ecosystem, turning it into actionable insight and predictions. This can make a big difference in refining your sales strategies and building stronger customer relationships.

But let's be honest, this Salesforce product can get complex soon and may not be for everyone.

Enter Scratchpad – your go-to for making analytics straightforward without skimping on the richness of data analysis. Scratchpad acts as the bridge between detailed data analysis and your daily sales tasks.

Ready to leverage advanced CRM intelligence?

Try Scratchpad for free today!