This week we held a LinkedIn Live with Data8 on the topic of building a foundation for AI in your Salesforce Org. Marc Benioff, CEO at Salesforce, himself said, “As every customer is preparing for generative AI, they must get their data together. They must organise and prepare their data.”

During our 30 minute LinkedIn live, we reviewed:

  • The state of data
  • Why data governance is more important than ever
  • Why organisations struggle with data capture
  • How to improve the quality of data in your Salesforce Org
  • How to capture rich, conversational data with ease
Image promotes our building the foundation for AI LinkedIn live event with pictures of the speakers Luca Benini and David Gill, alongside the Vinton and Data8 logos

The state of data

Salesforce + Tableau's State of Data & Analytics Report indicates the top 5 priorities for IT & Analytics leaders. Number 1 is to improve data quality, with Build AI capabilities coming in third. But less than half of IT & Analytics leaders track data quality and only a third track the ROI on data initiatives.

Nearly all analytics & IT leaders say advances in AI make data management a high priority, that the need for trustworthy data is higher than ever and that AI's outputs are only as good as its data inputs.

If you stop and think about the impact of AI, it's obvious that data will be crucial. We're really only scratching the surface right now, but those who crack the data legacy issue will see amazing competitive advantage.

The data struggle

A Fivetran + Vanson Bourne Report: AI in 2024 outlined the current situation when it comes to data preparation for AI. 69% of companies are struggling to access all the data needed to run AI programs; 68% of companies are struggling to cleanse the data into a usable format; 42% AI programs experience data hallucinations.

With these data issues, you'll waste time trying to get meaningful insights, insights that could take you down the wrong path for your business.

It doesn't take much to spoil your data

During the LinkedIn Live event, Richard Hartland, COO and Co-Founder at Data8, described how even the smallest things can spoil data in your Org, disrupting your reporting and insights.

  • Data omitted or missing
  • Data in the wrong fields
  • Data in the wrong format
  • Duplications
  • False data
  • Typos
  • Data not recent enough or historical data not available
  • Erroneous data (imagine an extra zero accidentally placed on an opportunity value)
  • Not detailed enough

Write those on a board and throw a dart at it, you can be certain that no matter what you land on, your organisation will have some experience of that data issue.

So what we need to do is to help users with data management. We need to automate the creation and validation of data wherever possible.

Is your team customer-facing enough?

The Salesforce State of Sales Report highlighted how Sales reps are spending their time during an average week. Would you expect the majority of time to be spent engaging with prospects and clients, talking through challenges and pains and finding solutions that will help solve those? Well, unfortunately that's not the reality - and it's frustrating for sales people, their managers and the business as a whole.

The below chart details the findings for how sales reps spend their time. 8.8% on manually entering customer & sales information; another 8.8% on administrative tasks... Only 28% of their time is actually spend on Selling activities!

Your customer-facing team doesn't have a lot of time to actually face customers (be that in person or virtually). The burden for keeping data in Salesforce up to date is falling on your users, but they're already time-poor. Data simply isn't seen as a priority, so organisations must provide the tools to help their users to capture data automatically, and help the organisation grow.

Catch up on the LinkedIn Live event

The full recording of the LinkedIn Live event can be found on LinkedIn. Catch up with thoughts from Luca Benini (COO at Nativevideo) and Richard Hartland (COO at Data8) on how to build a foundation for AI in your Salesforce Org.

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