Oops! An earlier version of this post had a link to a Tiny Desk Concert instead of a training video. Mistakes happen!

Sometimes you are minding your business when great links just come by and smack you in the head. And when those times happen, I am powerless to keep them to myself. I don’t make the rules, I just write the articles. So without further ado, here’s a resource roundup to help get through Hump Day!

Good job!

DC friends, apply for this amaaaazing job! It’s not every day that you come across a job description from a phenomenal organization that mentions “data” and “warmth, humor, and optimism” all at once. I have tremendous respect for The Management Center and I work with two organizations that have implemented their approach for decision making, with great success. It would be an amazing opportunity to support movement building by helping them make the most out of their data in Salesforce and beyond. If you do apply, definitely drop me a line! If you aren’t sure if you’re a good fit apply anyway (or get in touch and I’ll give you a pep talk!).

#sponsorship: While I would recommend applying to this position with ZERO reservations, it seems only fair to share that the MC team is making a symbolic contribution toward the blog in return for this signal boost. Thanks for partnering with TDAA! You rock!

See UI to eye

This week, Nationbuilder (another cloud-based CRM platform, like Salesforce) released a new UI (User Interface) to make their pages more consistent and streamlined and “easy on the eyes.” Nationbuilder was quite clunky before, so I’m really excited for the changes that they made. Most of all, I think that they are doing an awesome job communicating those changes and why they made them (like in this video). Great job with change management and design! I hope to do something similar when we make some pretty big changes to our “user experience” in the database I support at my job. So, watch the video because you’re interested in NB or because you’re interested in meta-analysis. Either way, I think it’s a good resource!

Great post on the Admins blog

My pal Michael penned a phenomenal blog post about learning to write snippets of code to accomplish a specific type of automation in Salesforce. I love how his story dovetails with the Change Making Mindsets approach that I developed with my friends Emily and Katie. “I love error messages” and “I am connected to community” were two mindsets that helped Michael be able to accomplish something outside of his original comfort zone. I learned soooo much by reading about the process and not only the outcome. Thanks for giving back to our community by writing about your experience!

OpenRefine

My friend Laura has been telling me about OpenRefine for years, but unfortunately, I haven’t prioritized checking it out. However, I had some spare time while I was commuting and I looked up an old tutorial that I had saved. Sometimes I’m more in the mood for reading documentation and other times I’m more in the mood for watching videos. This time, I did both.

And hot-diggity, this thing is awesome!

I learned how you can do multiple “find and replace” operations all at once, which makes data cleaning soooooo much easier! This would super duper come in handy. Just last week, I was investigating a spreadsheet that contained thousands of “funding sources” related to our grants. The problem is that some of them were listed as “Board Members” and some “Board of Directors” and yet others “Major Donor – Board” etc. So of course, when I went to summarize them, I got literally hundreds of categories when we should have had a reasonable number. If there were only a few of these, I would use a simple “sort, filter, find and replace” but that wouldn’t work in larger datasets. OpenRefine will suggest similar “clusters” and help you merge similar values. Gosh I’m not explaining this nearly as well as the video, but if your interest is piqued, definitely check it out! I would say this is more an an intermediate-advanced program, but don’t let impostor syndrome get in the way of an awesome learning experience. There are so many times when learning “I didn’t even know this was possible!” transformed into “OMG now I can actually do it!” Everyone starts somewhere!

Screen-cast-ify

I linked to two pretty awesome videos in the sections above… one on Nationbuilder and one on OpenRefine. Over the past few months, I’ve become more and more interested in crisp training videos as a method for supporting friends and colleagues to learn spreadsheet skills. It’s like the old saying, “you can give a mermaid a fish or you can teach a mermaid to fish” but extending to “OR you can create a library of how to guides for every time she needs to fish!” That’s what I spend a lot of time doing. Also, yay mermaids!

My friend taught me about Screen-Cast-Ify which allows you to write a script and upload it in little snippets and audio record them one at a time. This is really helpful because you can re-record just a few sentences instead of starting over at the very beginning every time you make a mistake. Once you have finished the voice recording, you go back and do the screen recording (again, one little “chapter” at a time). Finally, you can add text, highlights, and anything else to the video before rolling it out. Screen-cast-ify can host videos or you can download them and upload them to YouTube or Vimeo.

I used Screencast-ify to record training videos for one of my clients and I’m so, so happy with the product! It was WAY more work than just recording a webinar-style demo, but I think it is also much more effective.

Have you tried any of these tools? I’d love to hear how they went for you in the comments!

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