Q&A with Stacy O’Leary, Author of “The One Dashboard Every Admin Needs”

For Admins

Several weeks ago, the Ntegro team was lucky enough to get a chance to speak with Stacy O’Leary, owner and founder of Quickly Consulting. As a 5x Certified Salesforce Administrator, Trailhead Ranger, Consultant, Trainer, Dreamforce Speaker, and Blog Writer, Stacy spoke to us about The One Dashboard Every Admin Needs. We were inspired by the conversation, and we quickly created a dashboard following her guidelines for our own internal use. For this week’s blog post, we interviewed Stacy about her transition to Salesforce admin and the formation of this essential dashboard.

Stacy O'Leary Profile

Q: How did you get started with your Salesforce career?

A: By accident! I was hired at a company to do data entry and needed access to the Salesforce Dataloader. I started by just doing mass updates to records with the Dataloader and moved on to simple Workflow Rules. I had the support of my colleagues who were willing to teach me what they knew, which I am still so grateful for. From there, I learned about Certifications and made that my goal, along with getting an “official” Salesforce Administrator job. I studied on my own, read blogs, spent a lot of time in Sandboxes and Developer orgs, and eventually did get that Admin job, and now I’m self-employed as a Salesforce Consultant.

Q: What are some of the struggles of a self-employed Salesforce admin?

A: Well for starters, there’s no backup coverage. I have to prepare very carefully for any vacations or time off, since most of my clients do not employ an Admin at all. I don’t have co-workers to ask for help if I have a sick child or am struggling with something more challenging. And of course, there’s no security in being self-employed. Finding my own clients is a job in and of itself, and even then, we’re often the first people cut when budgets get tight. 

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your admin dashboard?

A: I think it was mostly a sense of self-preservation! I get a lot of repeat questions, especially from people in executive positions that want periodic updates, but don’t have the time to go looking for them themselves. And especially around items that have a direct cost or ROI, like user licenses. I used to get a lot of questions like, “How many users do we have? Is there anyone not using their license?” so I developed the Dashboard to have the answers to those questions at hand, and available to answer the occasional question, or at regularly scheduled check-in meetings.

Q: What exactly does your dashboard track?

A: Quite a lot of things! How many users are in an org, how many API calls are being made, how many Community Logins there are, what is the trending on those logins (with intent of predicting if you will need more or less in the future.) I also track things like Salesforce Enhancements Requests themselves. You can also track how many Reports are in your org, when was the last time they were run, which can help you keep a clean and organized org.

Q: What are some customization options for others using a similar model?

A: I always recommend that Admins first think of those repeat questions. Maybe your org isn’t that concerned about User Licenses, but rather, you get constant questions about Contract End Dates, or perhaps, User Login Activity. This dashboard is meant to be tailored to every Admin and Org, so think of what you need to know on a daily basis, what repeat questions you get, and what information you need to know on hand. That’s what should be on your Admin Daily Dashboard. 

Q: Do you have any resource recommendations for other admins in the freelance space?

A: Don’t just study the material – do things. I find myself doing a lot of things you wouldn’t expect a Salesforce Admin to do, or answering questions that a Salesforce Admin probably wouldn’t normally answer. I know it’s hard to get real life experience without actually doing the work, but I’d recommend looking at Trailhead trails and trainings focused on the end-user, not just the Admin. A good admin knows where users will get stuck, knows the kind of questions they might ask, and how to help them. 

Q: If our readers want to learn more about Quickly Consulting, how should they go about this?

A: Please feel free to visit my website, connect with me on LinkedIn, or send an email to info@quicklyconsulting.comIf you’d like a downloadable package to our re-creation of Stacy’s dashboard, check it out here!!

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