Salesforce Data Cloud Explained

Upon news of its release, Salesforce Genie was hailed as the most significant Salesforce advancement of the past ten years.
Deep blue sky with white clouds and a light burst from the sun.

*Note* The first release in 2023 incorporated data from the full Salesforce ecosystem, and Salesforce Genie was renamed ‘Data Cloud.’

“Real-time” is the buzzword most closely tied to Salesforce Data Cloud. Today’s customer expects personalized interactions across all industries – from real-time shopping cart recognition to automatic account matching when calling their local utility provider, or even personal recognition from the barista at a frequently visited coffee shop. Salesforce Data Cloud provides a way to achieve a single view of a customer across all data platforms in real-time.

What is Salesforce Data Cloud?

Genie the Rabbit, image courtesy of Salesforce

Salesforce Data Cloud is a way to incorporate non-Salesforce data into Salesforce in a way that you can take action on data that does not reside in Salesforce  (i.e., data that is not native to Salesforce and does not count against Salesforce data storage limits). This is important because the types of information that businesses need for a full 360-degree customer view include many data points like clicks on website content, interaction with online ads or emails, and more. These interactive details create a massive amount of data that is stored in a data lake, like Snowflake, then integrated into Salesforce. 

The key to this integration is a globally unique customer identifier, commonly known as a “golden record”, that is used to connect all of the data points.

Salesforce Data Cloud provides both the connection point between this external data and the data visualization layer that provides a one-stop view of any customer directly in Salesforce. 

Salesforce Genie teaser art, courtesy of Salesforce.

Capstorm & Salesforce Data Cloud – Better Together:

CapStorm provides a seamless way to replicate data from Salesforce into Snowflake or a relational database. Salesforce Data Cloud creates a view in Salesforce of data stored in Snowflake.

While these two solutions may seem incompatible, there are several key ways that CapStorm and Salesforce Data Cloud complement each other to eliminate data silos, reduce costs, and provide a more complete customer view:

1. Reverse ETL and a Unified ID Creation 

The starting point to creating a complete customer view is assigning each customer a unique identifier that provides a way to consolidate data. Many organizations are starting with legacy data sets or even multiple Salesforce organizations that contain potential duplicate records. Even more common is segmented data where portions of data (all related to a single record) are sitting in siloed systems. 

For example, when you have three, four, or more “Bob Smith” records in your systems, it can be tough to identify a master record and create a unique ID.  CapStorm puts organizations in a position where they can identify unique records across systems or multiple Salesforce organizations by enabling incremental replication of data from Salesforce into a relational database. This database acts as a staging area for analysis across various data sets. A global unique identifier can then be assigned in the database, with the resulting data pushed back to Salesforce.

2. Multi-Org Data Consolidation

For enterprise organizations leveraging multiple Salesforce organizations, the combination of CapStorm and Salesforce Data Cloud provides a simple way to view data from these multiple orgs all within one core Salesforce. This augments the core Org’s purpose as a CRM to also become a data visualization solution. Each organization’s Salesforce data is replicated to Snowflake by CapStorm in near-real time. This data is then displayed via Salesforce Data Cloud inside the core Salesforce organization. This approach combined with a unique ID for each customer provides powerful visualization across a global enterprise, all without changing the core way that users interact with the Force platform.

3. Archival with Continued Visibility

Increasing the amount of data stored in Salesforce tends to lead to higher data storage costs, which can force your business to look for off-platform solutions for data retention.

This is a solvable problem with CapStorm and Salesforce Data Cloud. But how does CapStorm help with data archival and storage cost reduction? CapStorm replicates records to Snowflake with an incremental, near real-time approach, creating an archival database. These records can then be safely deleted from Salesforce. Salesforce Data Cloud creates the connection between the Snowflake archive, allowing these deleted records to be displayed directly in Salesforce.

You’ll see several benefits or archiving data this way, the primary one being that your deleted data is now easily accessible. This gives you better visibility into your data archive to make better business decisions. 

4. Reporting & Business Intelligence 

Salesforce Data Cloud provides open data sharing with Salesforce, however, the reporting on shared data is still subject to native Salesforce limitations (including data joins, timeout issues, limits on the number of custom report types, etc.). The Tableau connector to Salesforce can be used to overcome these limits, but this connector is not without its own limitations, especially when a) massive amounts of data are involved. or b) when a customer is operating in an industry with highly regulated data.

CapStorm helps bridge this reporting gap by replicating Salesforce data into a customer’s relational database or Snowflake. This Salesforce data extract is near real-time, enabling off-platform reporting and the use of robust data visualization connectors such as Tableau’s Snowflake integration. Furthermore, near real-time replica(s) of Salesforce eliminates dependency on Salesforce-compatible connectors, allowing businesses to use any AI or analytics engine that supports connection into a standard relational database. 

How Can I Learn More?

Curious about how CapStorm can help level up your Salesforce Data Cloud experience? Our experts are standing by to answer any questions about CapStorm. Break down those silos that are slowing down your business, and give yourself a more complete view of your customers. Sounds great, right? If you’re ready to learn more, we’re here to help

Rebecca Gray

Rebecca Gray

Rebecca is 5 year Salesforce fanatic and certified Salesforce Admin, Service Cloud Consultant, Sales Cloud Consultant, and App Builder. She volunteers in the Salesforce community, leading the Saint Louis, MO Salesforce Admin Group and is a former Lightning Champion. In her day job, Rebecca supports Customer Success, helping CapStorm customers achieve their goals for Salesforce data management.

About CapStorm

CapStorm is the most technologically advanced Salesforce data management platform on the market. Billions of records per day flow through CapStorm software, and our solutions are used in every industry from credit cards, telecom providers, insurance agencies, global banks and energy providers.

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