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AI Success Starts with Data Cloud

Perspectives from Dreamforce

Erika McGrath
Global Vice President, Salesforce Data Cloud and MarTech, at Astound

While Salesforce definitely delivered the “largest AI event of the year” with 1500+ Dreamforce sessions, one of the big winners was Data Cloud. Salesforce announced dozens of new and innovative capabilities and the cementing of Data Cloud as the foundation of Einstein 1, next-generation AI, analytics, and applications. In plain English, the great potential of generative AI requires clean, unified data, which comes from Data Cloud.

One of the biggest announcements of the entire conference was the free trial license of Data Cloud available to every Salesforce customer (Enterprise and Unlimited Edition), empowering companies to experiment with 10,000 profiles. 

Hence, Dreamforce’s Data Cloud Theater was overflowing with customers and prospects all 3 days, eager to learn more about how Data Cloud serves as the foundation for providing appropriate data for grounding prompts and generating hyper-personalized responses via generative AI. 

Let’s break down some of the ways Salesforce and Data Cloud are empowering companies to be AI-ready, as announced at Dreamforce:

Einstein Trust Layer: The Einstein Trust Layer was part of every presentation, addressing directly the hot topic of how to monitor for toxicity and bias and to ensure hallucinations are avoided. [And, speaking of hallucinations, we learned from Sam Altman that hallucinations are part of the “magic” of generative AI and to be expected.]  Salesforce also announced its Tenets of Trusted, Ethical and Humane AI, foreshadowed with the addition of “Trust” in the Dreamforce 2023 tagline: CRM + Data + AI + Trust.

Data Cloud Zero ETL Data Federation & Sharing: Data Cloud is designed on principles of Openness and Extensibility with Bring Your Own Lake (BYOL) data-sharing capabilities that allow Data Cloud to coexist with existing data lakes and warehouses, with seamless data sharing and no ETL. In addition to data-sharing capabilities with Snowflake and AWS, Salesforce announced plans to support Google Big Query and Databricks.

Generative AI Experiences & Data Graphs

Data Graphs was announced to further harmonize all data and relationships into an enterprise graph. This enhancement allows for easily creating subsets of relevant data and will be instrumental, for example, to ground prompts with all relevant details. Think of it as a subset for quick access.

Data Cloud Triggered Flows: While flows have been around for a long time, Data Cloud triggered flows mean automation powered by dynamic data from Data Cloud – in simpler terms, when either a change in a data point or a calculated metric fits the trigger criteria. This is one of the features we’re most excited about. The opportunities are endless to set up alerts based upon a change in a data point or a calculated metric.

Salesforce did a nice job bringing to life a future where we are talking to (prompting) data sets to get results quickly and to verbally automate workflow processes. Two of the most exciting features:

  • Prompt Builder: Build, test, and deploy trusted gen-AI prompts within the Einstein Trust Layer that mask any sensitive information and limit bias and toxicity. Admins can easily create prompt templates, choose how to “ground” the prompts (to ensure the right data is being used to get correct information), and activate to end users quickly.
  • Generative Segments: Salesforce’s generative segments allow marketers to generate segments using natural language. It automatically recommends the right attributes and values, as well as detects potential biases. The segment definitions can be edited so that there’s always a “human in the loop.”

While predictive and generative AI are real and here today, Salesforce also gave us a look ahead to autonomous and agents, as well as artificial general intelligence. This exciting renaissance has only just begun. As you are starting on your AI journey, remember, success starts with organized, clean, and unified data from Data Cloud. If you would like to talk with one of our experts about how to capitalize on this opportunity within your company, get in touch with Astound. We have quick start solutions to get you up and running with Data Cloud fast!


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