Gillian Bruce talking about Data Management, Problem Solving, and Process Automation.

Build Your Admin Skills: Data Management, Problem Solving, and Process Automation


Which skills do admins need to succeed in today’s world? Watch this episode of “Skills for Success” to learn about Data Management, Problem Solving, and Process Automation.

In this episode, Stephen Brown, Anthony Cala, and Jennifer Lee share their thoughts on how you can develop and demonstrate these skills from the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit that will help you have a successful career as a Salesforce Admin.

Prefer to read instead of watch? Here’s a breakdown of the episode.

Data Management

Data Management is all about creating processes to ensure data in Salesforce is managed correctly—things like setting up validation rules, preventing data duplication, and importing/exporting/mass updating data, just to name a few. As admins, we take data very seriously. I don’t know about you, but I love to get nerdy with data in Salesforce, because when we have good quality data, our users and executives can use this data to make good quality decisions. This is what we call “actionable data,” information or insights that decision makers can act on. It’s one of the many reasons why maintaining Salesforce as the source of truth for all customer and sales data is absolutely crucial.

Stephen Brown, a real-life #AwesomeAdmin, shares his top three data management tips.

  1. Ensure data quality and accuracy. This is the key to the usability of your application. You can apply some of your great admin knowledge to help here, using areas in the application such as required fields, validation and duplicate rules, and even more advanced areas like screen flows to help with ensuring good data quality.
  2. Conduct monitoring. No set of data controls is going to be perfect. Use data quality reports and schedule them to run on a regular basis, to alert yourself and other admins where action is needed to resolve any exceptions.
  3. Have a good understanding of the lifecycle of your data. Not all data gets keyed in by users; some might come in via integrations. Really get to grips with where the data inputs are in your org and, just as importantly, the longevity of your datasets, as this will have a bearing on future archiving or removal of data.

Problem Solving

Problem Solving skills are absolutely critical to being a successful Salesforce Admin. Whenever anyone asks me, “Hey Gillian, what exactly does a Salesforce Admin do?”, I usually raise my eyebrows first. Then, I ask the rhetorical question, “What doesn’t a Salesforce Admin do?”, and break down the role into one simple sentence: A Salesforce Admin solves business problems using the Salesforce Platform. Admins are all about collaborating with stakeholders to design technical solutions to meet business needs. That is, implementing Salesforce solutions to solve business challenges, improve processes, and increase adoption. Learning to become a good problem solver is a skill anyone can develop—and it's a highly sought-after skill when an employer looks to hire an admin.

Anthony Cala knows a thing or two about hiring admins. Here’s what he looks for when hiring Salesforce Admins with problem solving skills.

  1. Does this person have a proven track record of solving problems? And remember, this doesn't necessarily need to be direct experience in building technical solutions within Salesforce. It can be something like customer service.
  2. Does this person have any experience working in a team environment to design solutions to meet business needs? That is, can they effectively collaborate with stakeholders to figure out a solution to a challenge?
  3. Can this person listen and do they have empathy? I believe listening is a big part of problem solving—they go hand in hand!

Process Automation

Process Automation is all about your ability to create, maintain, and enhance automated business processes. It’s a super important skill for all #AwesomeAdmins. In fact, admins who are proficient in using automation tools, like Flow, have a real advantage because they can unlock new ways to solve problems and drive efficiency. A key part of process automation is also knowing HOW to identify opportunities as to which manual processes should be automated—and being able to communicate and advise stakeholders on the benefits of automating certain processes.

Jennifer Lee, a process automation expert, shares her advice on how you can level-up your process automation skills:

  1. Understand the business process BEFORE you automate. There’s no use in automating a process you don’t understand. Ask the five “why’s”. Challenge processes when you hear, “We’ve been doing that for many years now.” Streamline where possible before you automate!
  2. Be proactive! Be observant. Listen/watch out for those automation opportunities. Boost user productivity and YOUR productivity by eliminating manual steps where possible.
  3. Be constantly learning! With three releases a year, Salesforce brings even MOAR automation enhancements. Spin up a sandbox or dev org and play around. Get familiar with new features, and be ready to use them in your solutions when the opportunity arises. Revisit your automations and make them better!

To learn more about these skills, check out the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit.

Tune in for new episodes of "Skills for Success" every Wednesday!

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Season 2 "How I Solved It" Trailblazers

How I Solved It Season 2 Is Coming Soon to Salesforce+!

Cue the confetti—we’ve got a BIG announcement for our #AwesomeAdmin community! We are very excited to announce the launch of Season 2 of the popular Salesforce+ series, “How I Solved It”! Hosted by Principal Admin Evangelist Gillian Bruce, this series explores how Salesforce Admins solve business problems using automation, data, and design tools. In each […]