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Scenario Let's say that you have around 10 million contacts in Salesforce. These contacts are related towards one or more accounts, are part of opportunities, activities and much more. What would be the best approach in segmenting this data with the condition that:

  • A sales user will be able to see (in some countries) over 1 million records
  • The sales user needs to be free in choosing how to perform the segmentation e.g. which fields, relationships, ...
  • The results of the segmentation exercise will need to be used later in Salesforce for different type of activities and the segmentation needs to be saved and reused

Question What would be the recommended approach? Doing the segmentation exercise outside of Salesforce?

Possible solutions:

  • Using Analytics tool like Wave (for which licenses are available). However, it isn't that easy to import your Wave results back into Salesforce
  • Salesforce reporting and using the Report and Dashboard REST API to export and reuse the results wherever wanted. What about limits ?
  • Customization by creating some kind of advanced search in wizard form, which dynamically describes the metadata with all fields, relationships et cetera to build dynamically a query. What about limits (especially around query limits as it's huge amount of records and the user if free to choose (indexed or non-indexed) fields as much as he wants (more or less)
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Since your sales users will be using the data inside Salesforce, it sounds to me as though you'll want to do this using a native solution. The Wave analytics could then be an "exploration" of internal data that wouldn't need to be re-imported.

More than anything, it sounds as though you may need a very robust search solution such as those offered by App Exchange Partners like Coveo and others. Note: I have no affiliation with Coveo or any other App Exchange Partner.

Edit - in response to comments:

It sounds as though what you need more than anything is "enhanced search" capabilities. You may need Salesforce to create "skinny tables" or custom indexes on what currently are non-indexed fields to help speed your queries. From the description provided, I don't know that AI is something you even need. I suggested Coveo because, like others in that market space, they can provide a custom solution for you, not because you particularly need an AI solution.

With Einstein Analytics (formerly called Wave), partners now have the ability to create "templates" which are used to assist customers in creating their data explorations. Without knowing more of the specifics of what it is you want to do or to accomplish, I don't think I can provide more guidance. Your question would also be getting far too broad for this venue.

More than anything, what I think you want to avoid happening is allowing your salespeople to create non-selective queries. As such, it would seem that a vendor in the data search space should be able to help point you in the right direction towards finding a solution that will satisfy your requirements.

  • Thanks @crmprogdev! Natively build would be ideal, as it would be easier to go from there and build automation afterwards. Looking at Coveo - I don't see immediately if it would be solving our use case. Although AI-powered search/suggestions will be useful, the rep needs to be able to (declaratively) create a complex query. Where multiple relations might be used to come towards the right result. The limits on reports (max returned rows) might not be enough. As based on the result, call lists for example might be created. Any other suggestions? I'm checking the AppExchange as well. – Robin Wijnen Aug 29 '17 at 19:10

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