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R is widely used among scientists and statisticians to perform statistical analysis while Salesforce.com is one of the leading CRM software packages used for Marketing and Salesforce automation. Salesforce.com contains vital information regarding Leads, Customers, Contacts, Opportunities and Cases. Currently this data is mainly used for operational purposes by Sales and Marketing professionals.
How about using Salesforce CRM data for predictive analysis or forecasting?
One way to achieve this is to read Salesforce data using Java Web Services API provided by Salesforce and feeding that data to R. We can export salesforce data to CSV file and importing the data into R. But this process will be tedious and time consuming. The best option is if we can query Salesforce.com data directly from R and create a data frame or matrix for performing data analysis.
Fortunately we can use rJava package directly from R to invoke Java code. Values returned by Java methods are available in R session memory and can be mapped to equivalent R data structures. So, theoretically it must be possible to invoke a java method from R which connects to Salesforce.com and returns the required data.