Visualize Salesforce data in Tableau — the one trick to increase your dashboard usage rate

A step-by-step guide on going from Tableau dashboard to Salesforce

I start to use Tableau to do visualization of our data in Salesforce around the end of last year, after Salesforce acquired Tableau and the connector between the two platforms has become much more stable. This has helped me to get around the many limitations in Salesforce reports and dashboards and has allowed me to put together dashboards to report on live Salesforce data, giving me more time to do analysis vs. puking data and reports.

However, I’ve noticed that my stakeholders still prefer reports in Salesforce. They are used to looking at reports and dashboards in Salesforce and more importantly, they can easily drill down into the account, lead/contact and opportunity data in there. But in Tableau dashboards, they can only view a very high-level view and not have visibility into the data behind it.

From a Tableau starter template, I discovered a trick to insert Salesforce URLs into charts’ tooltips so you can click from Tableau dashboard into the respective Salesforce record. Since applied, this has significantly improved the adoption rate of our Tableau dashboard and trust in them.

The example below shows you how to go to a Salesforce opportunity from Tableau. But you can easily apply the same logic to leads, contacts, and accounts.

Start by dragging the opportunity ID field (which you will use to formulate the Salesforce URL) into the table you want users to click through. Hide the field by unclicking Show Header.

Go to the dashboard you will put the table in, click Actions >> Add Actions >> Go to URL

Check the sheet you want to have this action in. You should choose to run the action on ‘Menu’, meaning the action will show up in tooltip when you click on the record in the table.

In the URL section, copy and paste the URL of an opportunity record in your company’s Salesforce instance and replace the opportunity ID # part with the field <Opportunity ID>. So a Salesforce URL will be formulated with the opportunity ID of the record you select.

Voila! The ‘Click to Go to Opportunity in Salesforce’ link will show up when you click on a record in the table you just set up. And it will take you directly to the opportunity record in your Salesforce!

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