How IT Leaders Can Bridge the Data Gap with Generative AI

To get the most from generative AI, consider data source access, ease of use, and governance capabilities before picking a solution for your company.

It seems every discussion CIOs and IT leaders have these days includes generative AI—a pervasive topic at the Gartner IT Symposium. But the path forward can be confusing. While 86% of IT leaders believe generative AI will soon have a prominent role at their organizations, recent studies show that 33% of business leaders cite an inability to generate insights from data. And yet, three-quarters of business leaders are already concerned about missing out on generative AI’s benefits.

To use generative AI tools successfully, employees need a solid understanding of data. Yet, across organizations, employees are sharing they don’t know how to use generative AI safely at work, including 49% of sales professionals.

So, how can IT leaders bridge this gap? Ironically, the answer is, using generative AI. 

IT Bridge Data Gap with Generative AI


Provide governed, AI-powered insights for employees in their flow of work 

Generative AI can help business users who need to get the most out of data quickly and conveniently. It’s possible to put intelligent, personalized, contextual insights directly in the apps where employees work—like their email, mobile phone, or apps like Slack and Salesforce—to simplify and democratize data analysis. 

Tableau Pulse proactively delivers the drivers, trends, forecasts, and outliers that matter most to your teams, offering potential new questions or prompts. Employees can get tailored summaries of the metrics that matter to them, and make conversational, contextual data queries powered by natural language processing. Tableau Pulse offers new guided questions or prompts. With a click, they can filter the results, drill down for more information, or explore possible actions. All the details can be shared with colleagues in collaboration apps like Slack or Teams to accelerate informed business decisions.  

For example, marketers can use Tableau Pulse to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and track engagement with new products, while sales leaders can quickly identify opportunities for upsells and cross-sells. Service teams will be able to monitor customer loyalty and identify areas for improvement.

These use cases illustrate how you can equip your business with generative AI capabilities. When considering deployment, keep in mind that 63% of salespeople expect their employer to provide them opportunities to learn how to use generative AI. Training is another integral element for nurturing a strong data culture. Everything has to be built on a foundation of trust—in your data, tools, and processes. At this pivotal moment, that's the smart way to fuel business success with AI.

Use trusted AI with platform-agnostic integrations

When you introduce generative AI, you’ll need to ground your prompts in your proprietary customer data. You’ll also need to keep this data safe when it's shared with Large Language Models (LLMs), and to support role-based access to your organizational data. By using zero-retention architecture, like that found in the Einstein Trust layer, your data is masked. That means none of it will be stored outside Salesforce when you share prompts with an LLM (functionality coming soon). And fast, secure zero-copy data sharing enables you to “virtualize” information in other databases without moving or duplicating it, so it's instantly available. With Data Cloud for Tableau, you can unify your Salesforce data across public clouds using end-to-end encryption that pulls in compliant, trusted data from Snowflake, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, and more.

When you use Tableau Cloud, Einstein Trust layer, and Salesforce, you also gain enhanced security in natural language queries with Einstein Copilot for Tableau. This out-of-the-box conversational AI assistant, built into every Salesforce application, can help your teams increase productivity. With an easy-to-use natural language interface, Copilot gives your teams space to ask questions and receive relevant, trustworthy answers that are grounded in proprietary company data. Einstein can play the role of a colleague in a brainstorm, helping people quickly explore data in plain language and then creating a visualization.

Build AI and data fluency to make the most of your investments

Cloud and AI solutions can provide a 360-degree view of customers, so every department will know the next best action to take for better business outcomes. With the right tools, organizations can make data insights accessible to everyone, no matter their data background.

The steps:

  • For accurate analysis, establish a foundation of trusted data that is complete, clean, and current.
  • To provide a single source of truth that employees and generative AI technologies can draw from, make this data centrally available. 
  • So every employee can have powerful analytics at their fingertips, deploy user-friendly tools that offer natural language queries.

Here’s how it could unfold. Help your employees get business insights with unified data, like a complete record of customer interactions with your products and teams. By pulling across multiple systems and data lake services, you can easily harmonize these data sources, so employees can query them from a single dashboard. When you map it all into shared data models, your team can easily manage data and eliminate duplicate records or conflicting rules.

With this integration of data and functionality, your sales, marketing, and service teams can make informed decisions based on a single customer view, instead of working with huge amounts of siloed information. Marketing can use its comprehensive view of customers to discover untapped needs. That’s how Formula 1 creates magical connections for its 500 million fans worldwide, bringing the excitement of the track to its followers in creative new ways. Service reps can provide better support with a single view of a customer’s last few calls, including technical issues and product purchases. That harmonized data, coupled with workflow automations, can help your reps gain insights, so they can do things like offer relevant discounts at just the right time to help retain unhappy customers. 

The rewards are there for businesses who focus on closing the data gap by investing in employees’ data fluency and exploring generative AI analytics tools. By building a foundation of trust in your data, tools, and processes and using natural language processing queries, you can provide a 360-degree view of customers. You can also empower everyone in your organization to make data-driven business decisions.  

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