Skip to main content


Salesforce – Understanding the Overlap of Data Cloud and AI

Data Cloud And AI Salesforce

In the wild world of artificial intelligence (AI), your vision of how to marry up systems and capabilities can get murky, quick. In fall of 2023, Salesforce hosted their annual expo, Dreamforce. At Dreamforce 2023, it was all about Data + AI + CRM. The team relaunched its Data Cloud platform and ensured exciting, trusted capabilities were coming in the AI space. Now customers are asking Perficient how the Data Cloud and AI come together.

What is Data Cloud?

Data Cloud is a secure lakehouse for all your customer and company data. It has the power to host petabytes of information in one place and push up actionable predictions, insights, and marketing segments to the core customer relationship management (CRM) system or just about any external system that can receive data.

Picture a high-powered data repository sitting as the base platform under your company’s CRM. Now, imagine it having various cogwheels that optimize how your organization can leverage vast amounts of data you’ve worked so hard to collect over the last two decades (reference the data boom of the 2000s).

Applying Data Cloud in Real Life

Meet Karen, your customer, and long-term brand evangelist. Karen loves your brand. She buys your products online. She calls customer support when she needs it. Karen often visits your website and social media platforms to stay on top of what’s trending. Karen gets a few emails a day from your company. She has different logins for each platform. The marketing team has her in different marketing segments for each product line. We need one place for one Karen and one message. In walks Data Cloud.

What Data Cloud Can Do:

  • Create one unified customer profile: Data Cloud can pull customer information from disparate systems into one unique identifier. Karen no longer receives separate communications for each email she uses. We know what email she wants to use and can communicate with her in the way she wants, where she wants.
  • Create smart marketing segments: Data Cloud can use attributes to automatically add individuals to marketing segments based on rules your administrator and marketing team set. No more manual spreadsheets and workflows. Karen’s single profile is now in the right segments at the right time.
  • Create insights and predictions: All of the historical data and recent data from customer interactions can be leveraged to create insights and predictions in real-time. These are called activations. Data Cloud can create and push these metrics up to the core CRM or external systems, such as Marketing Cloud.

What is Einstein AI?

Einstein AI refers to a set of automated capabilities in Salesforce that can create content, drive customer experiences, and power workflow efficiencies. There is a swath of capabilities under the Einstein AI umbrella. Capabilities exist in most Clouds in Salesforce today and are expected to expand as time goes on.

Here are a few examples:

  • Einstein Copilot: Do you wish you had ChatGPT in your CRM? Now you can. Copilot is expected to be released in late Winter/Spring 2024. Users who are granted access can ask Copilot to perform tasks such as summarizing information, creating emails, or making suggestions. Organizations can hook up their Copilot to custom or external large language models, depending on their preferences and use cases.
  • Prompt Builder: Prompt Builder is where Einstein AI can truly power an organization to automate. Administrators can automate workflows on the sales, service, and even developer side using the power of Prompt Builder. Prompt Builder allows groups to set guardrails around AI capabilities, marry data sets to specific use cases for asking AI to perform tasks, and produce readable outputs that provide transparency on the accuracy of the outputs (model cards).
  • Service and Sales Summaries: Automatically create call and chat summaries with Einstein AI. Save representatives loads of time by automatically summarizing what happened and the next steps.
  • Account Summaries: Do you ever spend 10-60 minutes reading through old call notes and account history entries? Me, too. Einstein AI can compile a succinct account summary so you don’t have to dig anymore.

Prompt Builder Salesforce 750x455

What’s the Overlap Between Data Cloud and Einstein AI?

Now that we know what Data Cloud is and what Einstein AI can do, let’s figure out the overlap. As of the Spring ’24 release, Einstein Studio is housed in Data Cloud. Prompt Builder, bring your own model (BYOM), and some Copilot functions are managed in Einstein Studio. Organizations need to work with their Salesforce Account Executive to understand what licenses they need to access Einstein Studio and Data Cloud.

Model cards are also stored in Data Cloud. Model cards provide a source of transparency around Einstein AI. These cards are key for securing the trusted relationship between AI and your organization. We need to know what AI is doing, why it is doing it, and how it was trained.

Do I Really Need Both Data Cloud and Einstein AI?

The answer to this question is not black and white. Some of the Einstein AI capabilities do not require Data Cloud, while others do. If your organization and vendor partners are ready to use next-level AI tools to ensure your AI-generated content and automated workflows are grounded in company and customer data, then Data Cloud might be in your future. Data Cloud might not be required if you want to stick with standard AI functions such as Call Summaries.

Data Cloud is the intra-CRM powerhouse that can boost AI capabilities. If we can compile and harmonize our customer and company data in one place, securely pushing it up to Einstein AI and secure models, we can exceed expectations on more fronts than we would without that grounded data.


Data Cloud and Einstein AI go together like ketchup and mustard, peanut butter and jelly, copy/paste. Data Cloud has the power and technical architecture to boost AI, leveraging the power of harmonized customer and company data. Einstein AI refers to a set of AI capabilities in Salesforce. The list is ever-growing. Working with Perficient and Salesforce, your trusted partners in data + AI + CRM, will be the key to success in strategically and responsibly levering this powerful technology.

Perficient + Salesforce

As a leading Salesforce consulting partner, we are on a mission to harness the power of Salesforce to solve complex business problems. With specialized knowledge in Data Cloud, Einstein AI, Marketing Cloud, and Experience Cloud, our team is dedicated to crafting innovative digital experiences that drive client success.

We aren’t just experts; we’re storytellers who understand the unique needs and challenges in the manufacturing, automotive, healthcare and life sciences, and financial services industries. We team up with our industry and solution experts to build complex enterprise ecosystems for our clients, and through our commitment to building authentic relationships with clients and partners, we foster collaboration and trust that lead to sustainable growth.

At the heart of our mission is our belief in lifting up people and communities. By leveraging our global team’s skills and resources, we strive to solve complex business problems and leave a meaningful impact on society.

Join us in our journey to revolutionize the way businesses connect, engage, and thrive in the digital era.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Samantha Ziegel, Lead Business Consultant

Samantha Ziegel has a passion for data, ai, healthcare, technology, information security, and operational effectiveness. She understands the complexities of the technology industry and seeks to provide information and materials to help others navigate the space. Outside of information sharing, as a working mom herself, Samantha is a committed advocate for working parents and enabling them to bring their best self to work and home each day.

More from this Author

Follow Us