Jessie Whitney in a Trailblazer hoodie next to text that says "Deliver Business Insights."

How I Solved It: Deliver Business Insights


In this episode of “How I Solved It” on Salesforce+, #AwesomeAdmin Jessie Whitney solves a performance tracking problem using a formula field, reports, and dashboards. Learn how he approached building his solution and his tips for developing admin skills.

The problem

The business I was working with had all the data (so much data!), but not the right insights. Leadership had no idea how each part of the business was performing year over year, so they didn’t have what they needed to make informed decisions about investment and planning.

The solution

I didn’t want leadership to feel lost, so I decided to find a way to focus on the data they needed to make informed decisions. After a little tinkering around, I figured out a way to create a formula field using the Case function to aggregate years by month, and then I added that field to an Opportunities report to create a proper year-over-year dashboard for each business unit.

How I solved it

You can see the full solution in action by watching my episode, but while you’re here, I’ll share how I approached the problem using a few of my favorite skills from the Salesforce Admin Skills Kit: business analysis, communication, and problem solving.

Business analysis

Every #AwesomeAdmin should be a business analyst. Business analysis is all about finding ways to improve processes and efficiency across the organization. Salesforce admins do this every day by finding ways to translate business needs into technical requirements. In building this solution, I made sure I understood the who, what, and why of the problem: Leadership was the who, year-over-year data was the what, and making decisions about investment and planning was the why. Spending time listening and working with my stakeholders helped them trust me as their advocate. This is key to getting buy-in for your solutions.


You can never communicate enough! As an #AwesomeAdmin, so much of my work is collaborative and relies on great listening skills. With this project, I started with identifying the people who represented each business unit and cared about driving meaningful changes. This group gave me feedback as I shared changes, helping me strengthen the solution. Once I was ready to roll it out, I held many training and open Q&A sessions. This approach made it easy for users to come to me and ask for help because I was open and available to them. Remember: There’s no such thing as a stupid question when you’re trying to get someone to use your solution!

Problem solving

You’ve got a problem? I’ll solve it! That’s one of the #AwesomeAdmin mantras. Problem solving is such a critical skill for every #AwesomeAdmin, because our job is to build solutions (to problems). When I first start solving a problem, I make sure to document everything. EVERYTHING. Fill out every description field on everything you build—why does this field exist, which version of this flow, etc. These breadcrumbs will come in handy as you troubleshoot or iterate on your solution. But, before you start building, make sure to ask a ton of questions! Interview before you act. Make sure you know who has which problem and what they think solved looks like. Sometimes the problem isn’t what you think it is, so be sure to ask questions. When you’re struggling to figure out answers, don’t hesitate to use all the great resources out there: Trailhead, the Trailblazer Community,…the list is plentiful. Salesforce continues to evolve and so should your knowledge.

My top 3 #AwesomeAdmin business analysis tips:

  1. Use personas.
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
  3. Be an advocate and trusted advisor.

Want more?

Make sure you check out my episode and the rest of “How I Solved It” on Salesforce+!

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