Great Dates, Bad Dates and Dates

Did you ever go out on a date with someone a friend said was perfect for you only to be wishing the date never started after just 5 minutes? That would be a bad date.


Did you ever go out on a date with someone who you figured out was perfect for you after just 5 minutes? That would be a great date!

first sight

Did you ever wonder how you can filter a matrix report to compare this year versus last year in your production org? That would be a Salesforce date.  And when you use a Salesforce date in the right way, WOW!  The things you can do!

Salesforce dates come in all shapes and sizes…just like your personal good and bad dates. But unlike those dates, you have complete control over what your Salesforce dates will do. And that’s a good thing! Dates are one of the most important filters you can use on a report. They will not only make sure you get what you are looking for, but with a narrow focus, your reports will actually run faster.

Types of Salesforce Dates

There are many types of Salesforce dates. There’s the really important ones, the dates everyone wants to know – what date does Dreamforce start, and when is Midwest Dreamin’ next year?  While I admit those are important, they are really irrelevant to how you filter a report.

Everyone probably knows that you can use a fixed date range, simply by entering (or selecting from the calendar) the dates you want, and most people probably know that you can use a pre-defined date range such as “Current FQ” or “Last 90 Days”.


But did you realize you can use mixed dates to give you a really cool filter?

mixed dates

In short, dates are awesome, and control what you see (or don’t see) in your reports and dashboards.

For some reason, when I think about the power dates give you in reports, I thought of this:

I’m the (Kevin) Bacon of the Salesforce Community – Introducing Melissa VanDyke

This is the sixth post in my blog series in which I will feature people I know from the community: Salesforce employees, MVPs, User Group Leaders, Partners, and honestly, anyone who I’m connected with who is willing to share with me the answers to five simple questions. I hoping that this blog series will help everyone out in the community get better connected to others who are either like them, can help them, are nothing like them, can’t help them, or are simply people they haven’t met yet! After all, a stranger is simply a friend you don’t know yet.

For me, one of the greatest strengths of the Salesforce Ecosystem is its people and the connections that are shared.

So, if you are brave enough, even if you’ve never met me in person, fill out this form and I’ll feature you in an upcoming post. (In case I have confused anyone, the questions on the form about our relationship refers to you, the reader, and me, the author, Eric Dreshfield, and not the featured person in this post.)  Just beware, by completing the form, you are giving me permission to use that information in a future post, as well as allowing me to interject some of my own thoughts into your responses!

And now I introduce Melissa VanDyke, the creator of the Admin to Admin Academy and the host of the Admin to Admin Academy Video Podcast.


What’s your job title? Manager, Salesforce.  (EFD – So you manage a team of Sales people?)  MVD: No! I manage a team of Awesome Salesforce Admins at Orbitz Worldwide, the online travel agency.

What does that mean you do?   Lead Salesforce solution architect for the Global Hotel Strategy instance of Salesforce (~300 users); Management responsibilities for the Salesforce team (2 direct reports on my team); I oversee the Hotel Strategy Salesforce deliverables for all stakeholders; Full end-to-end project management responsibilities for all SFDC projects. From requirement gathering, documentation and development to implementation, training and roll-out/change management.

(EFD – Uh, wow. That’s a lot. How do you have time for anything else, like your Admin to Admin Academy and podcast?)  MVD: I use all of my free time thinking about ways to bring value to the community and creating content. I listen to every podcast I can find that helps empower me, so I stop being my own worst enemy (for example, I try not to say “I am too busy” and instead think about ways to find the time — like how I can watch 1 hour less of TV and write a post instead! LOL!). If interested in this type of thing, check out The Life Coach School Podcast by Brooke Castillo she is definitely one of my major heroes (along with Tony Robbins and Stephen R. Covey of course :))!!

How long have you been involved with (as a customer and/or an employee)? 5 years.  (EFD – That’s a pretty good amount of time, in Salesforce years.)  MVD- I actually started with Microsoft Dynamics, so it is technically 8 years’ experience of leveraging CRM as a platform for process improvement projects.

Bacon or sausage? It’s bacon, or nothing..

What’s more important: Who you know, or what you know?  It’s what you know about who you know. Listening and knowing your audience so you can learn from them and help them as necessary  (EFD – Listening?  What?  Oh right, we have 2 ears and only one mouth, so we should listen twice a much as we talk, right?)  MVD– Yes! And the key is to ask awesome questions that make people feel comfortable with you, making it clear that you are there to help them and solve their process pain!

How did our relationship start, and when? Midwest Dreamin’ 2014!!!  (EFD – Midwest Dreamin’?  What’s that?  😉  I know a thing or two about Midwest Dreamin’. If you don’t, check it out! It’s coming back to Chicago this summer!)

And now the bonus question – What’s one fact about you that few people know, that will surprise me and my blog readers? I was almost an amateur poker player. (EFD – Almost? Did you lose a bet and have to take a career path that led you to Salesforce instead?) MVD– Ha! I guess I was technically an amateur poker player because I had been playing tournaments and cash games in all of my free time for about eight years, then five years ago I seriously considered packing up and moving to Vegas to pursue my passion full time! In the end I decided instead to try and level up my career, knowing that if that did not work out I could fall back on the poker dream (and I can always retire early to try my hand at becoming a poker pro!). Luckily I found Saleforce shortly after, and have never looked back 🙂 I do miss playing poker tremendously, but now I spend all my free time creating content for the blog and podcast!!

And now for the extra bonus question – Tell me about Admin to Admin Academy and your podcast…what’s it all about and motivated you to start it?  I first started my blog in February 2015. It was something I had been dreaming about for at least 2 years. (EFD – Dreaming about a blog…hmmm.  Tell me more!)  I would talk about it, plan it and think about what I wanted to write.  (EFD – #Teaser  Sorry, readers…you’ll have to watch for another post coming soon that goes into all the details behind Admin to Admin Academy!  I promise, it’s a great story. That’s why I’m going to make it a separate post!)

You can find Melissa on Twitter and be sure to check out her site.

Chicago’s Weather Forecast – Cloudy and Windy with a Chance of Awesome!

It might seem a little pretentious of me to make such a bold statement, but I am predicting the weather for a very small portion of Chicago. What’s even more audacious is that I’m making this prediction for a couple days that are still more than 30 days away!

I predict that Chicago’s Navy Pier will see cloudy and windy weather on July 9 & 10, 2015.

Now I sure hope that Peter Coffee and Dan Darcy don’t take that statement the wrong way, because sometimes when people say that others are ‘windy’ it could mean ‘they like to talk just to hear the sound of their own voice.’ In THIS case, the wind I am referring to is simply the breeze that comes off of Lake Michigan. That’s it, pure and simple. And the cloudy, well, do I really need to explain that one?

The Opening Event

Midwest Dreamin’ 2015 kicks off on July 9th at 4pm with an Opening Reception for attendees sponsored by, the Salesforce Success Services team and the Salesforce AppExchange.  Come join us! Check in as early as 3pm, browse the expo hall, enjoy some food and drinks (served from 4pm to 7pm.)  This is prime time to mix and mingle with some of the brightest minds in the ecosystem. You’ll have a chance to hang out with some of the MVPs and enjoy the Demo Jam, where some of our sponsors will each have three minutes to showcase their apps, while our Master of Ceremonies, and 4-time Salesforce MVP, Joshua Hoskins, keeps everyone on schedule and entertained.

Cloudy, With a Chance of Awesome

Please don’t forget to come back to Navy Pier on July 10th! That’s when the main event happens with even more awesome stuff. Check-in will open at 7:30am, and the man once known as the Master of the Dreamforce Demos, the one and only, Dan Darcy, now Salesforce Senior Vice President for Worldwide Product Readiness, will take the stage at 9am to kick things off with his rendition of ‘Thrift Shop’! Ok, that part is a joke, Dan will not be singing, to the best of my knowledge, but he will be sharing a great story with us for our opening keynote!

The REAL Deal

Next up will be a hand-picked lineup of some of the community’s best and brightest, as they all take the stage in a great rendition of ‘We Are The World’. Sorry, that’s a lie too. As far as I know, none of our speakers will actually be singing, but they will be sharing some fantastic content, covering topics like: Chatter, Women in Technology, Platform, Not for Profit, and more!  If you are looking for interaction on a more intimate level, be sure to check out the Circles of Success where you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an interactive, moderated round-table discussion focusing on best practices, with topics including Lead & Opportunity Management, Data Integrity, Driving Success, How to Boost Sales Performance and Change Management.

And the Oscar goes to…
Of course an event like this would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Please make sure to spend some time visiting with them in the expo hall. The hall will be open from 8am to 4pm on July 10th. There’s so much goodness in the ecosystem that you don’t know what you don’t know until you see it! The sponsors are there to help you learn and extend your efficient use of the platform.

How Can I Get in on All This Greatness?

Are you a user, admin or developer?  Attend Midwest Dreamin’!  Register today to beat the price increase. Are you a partner?  Sponsor Midwest Dreamin’!  We still have some opportunities available!

See you at Chicago’s Navy Pier on July 9th and 10th!

You Don’t Have to be From the Midwest….

Perhaps by now you’ve heard of a little event being planned for July 9th & 10th, 2015,  at Chicago’s Navy Pier…it’s a little thing called Midwest Dreamin’ 2015. The organizers of Midwest Dreamin’  somehow managed to convince Dan Darcy to come to Chicago to open up the activities on July 10th, and Peter Coffee will be making a return trip to Midwest Dreamin’ to close the event down.

Who is Dan Darcy?

dan darcy

Many of us that have attended Dreamforce over the past few years know Dan as “The Dreamforce Demo Man”, but he gave up that role about two years ago and moved into something bigger and better. Dan is now the Senior Vice President for Worldwide Product Readiness. He is responsible for working with the product organization to develop priorities, product positioning and competency strategy for the distriibution organization, customers and partners. In addition, he manages the New Product Introduction processes to ensure that product releases have an enablement plan and assets are developed for consumption by customers, partners and employees.  Dan is also still head of Customer Visions for Marc Benioff.

Who is Peter Coffee?


Seriously? If you have to ask that question, one might wonder how long you have been a user, developer, administrator or fan. Just in case you did just crawl out from under a rock, or recently converted from some other CRM system, I’ll fill you in. Peter Coffee is the Vice President of Strategic Research at, but to those of us in the community, we think of him as so much more than that. He’s the voice of Dreamforce, the pre-Keynote entertainment, the Master of Ceremony at the worlds largest technology conference. He is the show, before the show. He sets the stage at Dreamforce and gets the crowd all pumped up to see Marc Benioff talk about all the exciting things that is working on, and all the awesome good things the Salesforce Foundation is helping to accomplish thanks to the 1-1-1 model – One percent of your time, one percent of your profits and one percent of your products being donated to great causes in order to help make the world a better place for all of us. Peter currently supports Salesforce efforts in CIO and developer engagement; in regulatory and stakeholder discussions, including information security technology and practice; and in collaborations with research professionals in both the commercial and academic communities

Breakout Sessions Are the Skid Marks of Learning
I think it’s always interesting and entertaining to listen to Peter Coffee and Dan Darcy speak, but where the rubber meets the road is what really helps businesses and nonprofits alike. That’s why people attend events like Dreamforce and Midwest Dreamin’. Skid marks of learning – just what exactly is that?  These skid marks don’t get made from quick stops or from taking turns too fast. They come from the rapid acceleration of business growth, from increased innovation and new ways of taking care of customers. Midwest Dreamin’ just completed its call for speakers and has a great lineup of fantastic speakers talking on everything from “Creating Change with Salesforce Communities” to “So You’ve Inherited (or Created) a Mess…Now What?”  Check out more sessions planned for Midwest Dreamin’ 2015.

Time is Money
How valuable is your time? Consider not only your salary, but the time you spend with family and friends, the time you spend helping others through volunteering or just by being a good neighbor. Attending Midwest Dreamin’ 2015, can actually save you both time and money. Sure, there’s a hard cost to attending…travel expenses and the registration fee, but the knowledge you will gain and the value of those new ideas that will start floating around in your head will certainly exceed those hard costs and help you find more time in your day by allowing you to streamline processes.

The Proof is in the Pudding
I know what you are thinking now….how can I get in on this? What do I need to do to get a piece of this action? That’s the easiest part! Visit the Midwest Dreamin’ Register! page. Yes…it really is that simple!

What’s that? You want to help?
Are you with a partner and wanting to help get your company’s message out to the hundreds of attendees coming to Midwest Dreamin’? We’ve got plenty of sponsorship opportunities still available. For details, visit Sponsorship Options