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By: Dave Dixon

There is a lot to love about Salesforce Wave — the rich and intuitive interface, the powerful visualizations for exploring and analyzing information, the ability to take action on your findings right from where you are doing the analysis. However, one of the best Wave features is often overlooked — the speed with which it’s improving and maturing as a platform. A little over two years after its initial release in Spring 15, Wave is vastly improved, in terms of product refinement and capability.  Powerful new features and useful functionality continue to be added with each release.  The Salesforce Summer ‘17 Release is no exception. In this post, we’ll review five of the best new enhancements for Salesforce Wave in the Summer ‘17 Release.

1. Salesforce Wave Analytics Einstein Data Discovery – Put simply, Einstein Data Discovery is a game-changer. Einstein is a new collection of capabilities offered by Salesforce which blends Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. The Data Discovery component works in conjunction with Salesforce Wave to analyze your data sets, and determine fields and values that correlate to outcomes you define (like ‘maximize revenue’ or ‘reduce turnover’). From these findings, Einstein will suggest charts that provide the capability for  further analysis and give brief descriptions of why the chart is relevant. My friend, and AI guru, Brad Becker, CEO at Sentient Play, referred to this discovery tool as ‘a personal data scientist in the cloud’.  

2. Data flow enhancements – One of the many great data flow enhancements in this release includes the ability to create up to 20 data flows (instead of 10). Yes, please!  Furthermore, replication jobs, and jobs that run under two minutes no longer count towards your daily data flow run total, and options for scheduling data flows have been improved. More good news for those who are tired of writing JSON. You’ll be happy to know that creating bucketed date fields or joining data sets with composite keys has been made easier than ever, with enhancements to the data set recipes (no JSON writing required).  

3. Chart and visualization updates – The list of chart types you can include in your dashboards continues to grow in the Summer ‘17 Release, with new additions such as calendar heat map, line chart (not just for time dimensions anymore), parallel coordinates, and others. Most of these, you could previously only view in the data explorer, but now they can be placed on dashboards. Additionally, the geomap and angular gauge are now available in Wave, and this release has further advanced the ability to fine-tune properties on the various chart types.

4. Sharing Inheritance (Preview) – Row Level Security in Wave is making a giant leap forward with Sharing Inheritance in the Summer ‘17 Release. This new feature allows you to configure your data set to inherit security from the sharing rules you’ve already defined for underlying objects in Salesforce. This is the first step in consolidating the security model between Wave and Salesforce.

5. SOQL steps – With the new SOQL step type, you can have steps in Wave based directly on SOQL queries (IE-native Salesforce queries). While this may not sound like a big deal, SOQL steps have many applications, such as querying default step start values based on a user record, or querying a frequently updated object in real time.

These are my five favorite new Wave features from the Salesforce Summer ‘17 Release, but there are many more we didn’t have time to mention. If you have the time, dive deeper into the Summer ‘17 enhancements for Wave in the release notes.

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