Thank you, part two…and a preview of things to come!

You know that song “Hook” by Blues Traveler?

“It doesn’t matter what I say
So long as I sing with inflection”

Hook by Blues Traveler

I’m not so sure I agree with that statement. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Blues Traveler, and I do hope they make an appearance at Dreamforce 2013, but, in my opinion, most times it really IS what you say, and not how you say it.

In my last post, I thanked colleagues, friends, coworkers and others in the Salesforce community who have inspired and influenced me. In this post, I extend those thanks out to the ecosystem and feel the need to express gratitude to partners who have helped me on this journey over the past 4 years from rookie Salesforce.com business analyst to Salesforce.com MVP.

Forest Yule from Silverpop, thank you for having faith in me and my crazy ‘Midwest Dreamin’ idea for a regional user group event. I appreciate all the support you have given me, and continue to provide to all the Salesforce user groups.

Darren Cunningham from Informatica, Al West from Apttus, Mary Beth Kush from Acumen Solutions, Andy Thoe from Bluewolf – thanks go out to all of you for your support of the user group community.

Cast Iron, DocuSign, NextGen Consulting and JAUST Consulting Partners – Thank you all for your support to the user community as well.

Without all of you, Midwest Dreamin would have remained an idea in my head.

A lot has changed since May, 2011, and I wish I could have made Midwest Dreamin an annual event since then…but there’s always tomorrow – so…be watching, be on the lookout, there very well could be a Midwest Dreamin 2014.

What can you do with Salesforce (dot)com ?

Some friends of mine who really don’t know much about what I do for a living keep asking me to explain my job. That’s not an easy question to answer. I’m an analyst, and for those of you who are analysts, you can understand why that’s not an easy question to respond to. For those who are not analysts, I’ll try to enlighten you.  An analyst is someone who analyzes thing. Too simple ?  Yes.  Way too simple.  In my case, I tell people that I spend my time looking at data trying to determine the story it is telling. And it really doesn’t matter what kind of data you are looking at, or even what the source is. All data has a story to tell that can reveal some fascinating things about the nature of business, of people, and of society in general.

I have been an analyst for many years and in many industries: higher education; small-box retail; big-box retail; an airline; and a ‘mom and pop’ consulting firm, just to name a few. The one thing I found that was consistent among all that, is that people have a need to understand data and what it means. They want to know more, and more. In today’s terminology, I suppose I could say I am a Data Scientist.

By now you are probably wondering, how does all this tie into Salesforce.com…please bear with me just a little longer. I promise to make the connection.

When I started writing this post, my first ever blog post, I had an agenda in mind. I wanted to compare my career as an analyst to the cloud computing / CRM giant, Salesforce.com. But as I kept writing, I kept coming back to one theme: Asking an analyst what they do, is a lot like asking “What can you do with Salesforce.com ?”  The answer to that question is really quite simple: You can do almost, if not everything your business needs to do to succeed with Salesforce.com or an app from one of the scores of Appexchange partners.

Perhaps the best response to that question is truely a better question: “What can you not do with Salesforce.com?” And personally, I think the sky is the limit…the possibilites are endless, so jump in, sit down and start driving. I can’t tell you where your journey will lead, but I can promise you it will be a facinating ride!

So much for a deep, thoughtful, analytics-based reply.  Perhaps in my next post, I’ll delve deeper into the numbers.  Actually, I won’t, since my next post is almost ready.

Here’s the teaser to have you come back to read the next one:  Passion, what matters most and a Fiat 500 crossing the country in preparation for Dreamforce 2012.

Thanks for taking a moment of your day to read my historical first blog post.