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Ashima Saigal

Ashima Saigal named Community Hero by Salesforce Foundation

Database Sherpa founder Ashima Saigal has been named by the Salesforce Foundation’s Power of Us HUB as a Community Hero! As part of the Power of Us HUB‘s one-year anniversary, they are recognizing 30 community members who have been instrumental in supporting the growing community of nonprofit and higher ed Salesforce users.

Read the official announcement here:

“To participate is to be a part of a larger community of open-minded and eager-hearted individuals. I learn much from this community and feel called to help others. When I take on a question, I hope that I can embed this information in my brain. When I share some information, I hope it gets a good dialogue going that goes deeper.” –– Ashima Saigal

You can follow Ashima and Database Sherpa on the Power Of Us HUB:



New resource available: Ready for Salesforce?

Once a nonprofit decides to use Salesforce, how do you get started? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a guidebook or a map? We have seen many nonprofit organizations make the leap into Salesforce, and we have noticed a process, or a way of thinking about the journey, that can help ease the transition for many. Ready for Salesforce? gives a way of thinking about the process to help get any nonprofit started on their journey with Salesforce.

Please check it out, or share it with a colleague.



On to Dreamforce, the national Salesforce conference

Each year Salesforce users, consultants, and industry experts come together for a 4-day event called Dreamforce. We are excited to announce that Database Sherpa will be presenting this October at the 2014 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

Together, Veronica Beck and Ashima Saigal will undertake a Sherpa-style session, guiding others who are beginning to program in Salesforce on “A 5-Step Framework to Tackling Your First Trigger With Confidence.” We look forward to the journey.


New resource available: Introduction to Salesforce for Nonprofits

Is your nonprofit considering a CRM like Salesforce, or do you know of another nonprofit considering Salesforce? We know of many reasons that nonprofits may find a CRM beneficial, and how Salesforce has evolved for nonprofit use, so we sum it up in a new Resource, Introduction to Salesforce for Nonprofits. Please check it out, or share it with a colleague.

Our intention is to build a whole library of shared wisdom, so please check back in the future as more Resources are added.

August Webinar Announced – Cleaning Up Messy Data with Demand Tools

We had a great turn out for yesterday’s webinar! Thanks to all who participated. Our next webinar in the Salesforce DIY for Nonprofits series is Cleaning Up Messy Data with Demand Tools on August 14. 

Whether your data comes from multiple sources, frequent imports, or manually entered additions, there is always a chance that duplicate records will be created. Do you have concerns about how to clean up duplicates in your Salesforce instance? The Salesforce AppExchange offers several duplicate merging tools, of which the most powerful is Demand Tools from CRM Fusion.

This interactive session will coach you in how to use Single Table Dedupe feature of Demand Tools to identify and merge duplicate records, using live data as an example. You could also be guided through the merging process in your own instance during the session (by prior arrangement).

This webinar will be co-guided by Ashima Saigal, Founder of Database Sherpa and Caroline Renard. Ashima is both a Salesforce Certified Administrator and Salesforce Certified Developer. Caroline is Salesforce Certified Administrator as well as a Salesforce MVP.

Click here for registration information.


Thoughts from a Research Journey with Database Sherpa

A guest blog post by Emily Gremel, Researcher and Strategist

I met Ashima last fall when I led a marketing research workshop for some entrepreneurs she was coaching. Sharing the benefits and values of my field has always been important to me, so I leapt at the chance to share my “gospel” with some blossoming business owners. Little did I know where that workshop would lead…

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Got Confidence

Reflections from Dreamforce: I’ve Got Confidence in Me!

It’s the last day of DreamForce and as I wander around Moscone with husband and daughter in tow, I reflected on the week that came before. My mind travels back to a specific incident that occurred while at DreamForce that really brought home the difference between women and men. And that difference is confidence.

I had decided to take the Developer Certification (I’ve already been certified as a System Administrator).

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Sharing the Mess

I tried something new with a client the other day. I decided to share the “messy” part of database development, specifically the creation of workflows in Salesforce.

Now, before you get excited, I’m not going to teach you how to create workflows, instead, I’ll show you how sharing the mess is a radical idea that’s scary, yet exhilarating.

For those who work with Salesforce know, workflows are both powerful and confusing to the end user. Users often get caught up in trying to get it perfect the first time, which hardly ever works. They also often don’t figure out what they want the workflow to do before they sit down to create it. Needless to say, I’ve always found my clients frustrated by their lack of knowledge.

So, instead of starting over, I decided to guide the process through the mess. Allow the mess to unfold, acknowledge the mess, and then figure out what to do to clear up the mess.

Before we began, I explained that I was going to share with them the process — the good and the bad — on how workflows get created. Together, we had documented what we wanted the workflow to accomplish, so that was taken care of before we began. Then, the big question, how to begin?

I let them decide how and what to start the process. The path they chose was the wrong one, but I didn’t stop them. Not long into the process, they found their choice wouldn’t work. With a little searching on Google, we discovered why, and with help from the documentation we began again—knowing more than we did the first time around.

By the end, we had a working workflow, which they continued to refine after our call.

Why am I sharing this? As a Sherpa, I want my clients to learn and engage in new ways. By sharing with them the mess that creating workflows can generate, their stress levels dropped and they were more willing to try new things, and, to use resources to discover where they have stumbled off the path.

As a consultant, allowing the mess to happen was a new — and entirely scary — experience. I was vulnerable to my own lack of knowledge and even worse, I wasn’t “in control.” For a control freak like me, this was the most difficult thing I have ever professionally done.

When I spoke with the client after this trek and asked them how things were going with workflows, they had already created an additional workflow and had refined the existing workflow. And, the best part was, they made mistakes and figured them out!

So, we often get caught up in being perfect for our clients, but sometimes it’s good to share the mess with the client, because, you can’t learn from perfection, but you’ll always learn from a mess!