Identify the Top Five Things Salesforce Admins Can Do
After completing this unit, you'll be able to:
- Explain how Salesforce administrators contribute to measures for organizational excellence.
- Describe how Salesforce solutions align and focus organizations on the metrics that matter and identify opportunities for improvement.
- Identify the Salesforce solutions that access external data to make a Balanced Scorecard approach possible.
- Identify Salesforce solutions that enable managers go beyond reports and dashboards that generate insights.
Your ability to contribute to the performance of the organization is stronger with a clear understanding of the mission and vision of the organization, its business goals, and performance metrics. And since most organizations have macro-level goals that cut across multiple dimensions of performance, a framework such as the Balance Scorecard can guide your efforts, and help you communicate how the results of your efforts benefit the organization.
Take some time to reflect on how your organization’s performance metrics fit into each of the four pillars, and how Salesforce can help drive results (Figure 7).
Figure 7. Salesforce solutions for balanced measures and driving results
Measuring and tracking key performance indicators is a best practice of high performing companies. Your reports and dashboards are the backbone of the organization, creating shared situational awareness and improving effective decision making (Figure 8).
Figure 8. Sample Sales Executive Dashboard
If you are like most admins, you already spend a lot of time with your reports and dashboards—so let’s review some selected best practices before moving on:
- Executive-level dashboards ideally contain key performance indicators across the four pillars of the Balanced Scorecard, and align with the mission and vision of the organization. At the department level, each contributes to the four pillars in its own way, so the metrics might vary somewhat across dashboards. If you spot gaps (in other words, dashboards without metrics from each of the four pillars), it might be an opportunity to work with the managers and data sources to improve the reports and dashboards.
- Dashboards should provide managers with the metrics they need and want. Ideally, you work with each manager and user type to select the best metrics, pick informative visual components, and enable filtering of the data along desired dimensions.
- Reports and dashboards will ideally include trending data, that is, how performance is changing over time. High-performing companies use comparison data too— such as benchmarking their performance vs. external sources (for example, industry averages and competitors), and comparing their performance against their past performance (for example, year over year growth, sales this quarter vs. same quarter last year).
- Sometimes users look at the dashboard metrics and wonder, “what’s in these numbers?”. In other words, some metrics look perfectly understandable, but people can and do forget. Take the “closed business” metric—it looks perfectly clear, but the organizational policy for when business is marked closed might not be perfectly clear. A best practice is to keep and publish definitions for the metrics to keep everyone on the same page.
- Use Dynamic Dashboards to reduce the number of dashboards that need to be created and managed. Dynamic Dashboards show data according to each viewer's access level. A handful of Dynamic Dashboards might be able to replace hundreds of dashboards—and save you a lot of headaches!
Get to Know Salesforce Connect
Taking a Balanced Scorecard approach might require data from different systems. Not long ago, accessing data from other systems required complex systems integration projects that would make managers cringe
Fortunately, Salesforce has thought this through for you, and lets you connect the different silos of data across the organization. So, rather than spending hours getting data from different systems, managers can focus on making performance improvements.
Salesforce Connect provides a fast way to integrate external data sources into Salesforce. It can connect your enterprise data from various systems such as SAP, Oracle, and others (Figure 9).
Figure 9. Salesforce Connect Enables Fast Integration of External Data
To make it easy, Salesforce provides a point and click system that connect to other systems using open API data protocols, and provides the ability for code adaptors to be written to connect to web service APIs.
Get to Know Einstein Analytics
Be prepared—managers eventually want to go beyond their dashboards to understand what’s happening behind the numbers, and to generate insights into how to improve performance. You definitely want to encourage these efforts as they will help take your organization to the next level. Salesforce Einstein Analytics (Figure 10) enables managers to dynamically explore information to spot trends and visualize their key performance indicators.
Figure 10. Salesforce Dashboard and Einstein Analytics for Organizational Performance
If you haven’t done so already, make the time to get up to speed on Salesforce Einstein analytics. As an admin, providing managers with this ability is a huge time saver for them, and enables them to be more successful as well. Take some time to explore what’s possible.
Your reports and dashboards are only as good as the data being used to generate them. If the data isn’t trustworthy, then you can pretty much count on managers rejecting the reports and dashboards—and getting grumpy about it.
As you know, data quality can fluctuate or change over time and the executives who rely on reports and dashboards might not be aware of these changes, which could result in them making poor decisions with serious consequences, which can make them even grumpier.
The best way to keep everyone happy is to actively manage data quality. This is not a one and done activity—you will need to manage it over time, and enlist others to help.
A best practice is to set up a governance team with representation from different groups that have an impact on data quality—they can help you keep the quality high. For example, your data likely comes from different sources and systems, so the governance team can help you stay apprised of what’s happening with these sources, and what might be happening to the data in these systems!
Some best practices to consider:
- Know your data sources, create a data map of data flow, and where are you vulnerable
- Identify key data sets through core business objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Define metrics you expect to extract from relevant data sets, and the decisions to be made from these data sets
- Define who your data owners are and who’s accountable for keeping it clean
- Understand what processes you want to support in Salesforce
- Establish a common understanding of data quality and make it part of your business culture
Being an admin carries with it a lot of responsibility, and it can be a lot of work too. However, the people within your organization rely on you and the system for their success. So, any positive changes that you can contribute, or even suggest, will likely be considered favorably by the people you work with.
As you go through the Tool Time DIY unit on the Balanced Scorecard, you will likely find some opportunities to work with people to make a contribution to the success of your organization.
As Peter Drucker pointed out—organizations are distinctly human enterprises, so be sure to have some fun along the way!
- Best Practices for Salesforce administrators
- Five simple ways to get the most from your Reports and Dashboards
- Salesforce Trailhead Reports and Dashboards
- Getting Started with Salesforce Reports and Dashboards
- Salesforce Trailhead Explore with Analytics
- Salesforce Trailblazer Community
- Salesforce Success Answers
- Salesforce Help & Training