Announcer:

Hey, everyone, welcome to Tom’s Tips Podcast, your place for obscure movie references, cat facts, and everything MagHub related. And now, your host, MagHub Product Manager, Tom Bellen.

Tom:

Hello everyone. And welcome to Tom’s Tips Podcast, going over the 9.5 Release. I’m your host, Tom Bellen, Product Manager for Aysling. I’m joined by Mark Gilbert, Marketing Director for Aysling. Say hello to the, I think is it Jugheads? Say hello to the Jugheads.

Zach:

Hello Jugheads. You called me Mark Gilbert again, though.

Tom:

Did I call you Mark Gilbert?

Zach:

Again.

Tom:

Zach Gilbert, I think, is your name.

Zach:

Thank you.

Tom:

My two favorite employees at the company are Mark Landowski and Zach Gilbert, so to imagine you guys being the same somehow created in some sort of, I don’t know, weird science type of combination, just intrigues me greatly. Sorry about that, Zach Landowski. Well, anyway, Jugheads. Yeah, that was the name we gave the last podcast, I think.

Zach:

It was.

Tom:

It was. It’s a good start. This podcast has already started out fantastic. But sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I’m beginning the podcast, but if we kept it the same every time, and it was always perfect, which it has been, then people wouldn’t have any reason to listen to it. So, more reasons to listen, for me to screw things up. All kinds of fun stuff going on right now. Speaking of fun things going on right now, middle of summer or towards the end of summer, I guess, it’s August, which is crazy. July, great month. My birthday was in there. I don’t know, Zach, what were some of the highlights of your July besides my birth?

Zach:

Well, that’s a great question, Tom. I don’t know. I feel like I played a lot of computer games, which is good. What did I do in July? I feel like July just flew past. My daughter visited for a couple of weeks, so that was really good to see her. It’s the first time since COVID I was actually able to see her. She lives in the Upper Peninsula with her mom. She’s about a six hour drive from our house, so it’s kind of an adventure to get her. We got to see the U.P. a little bit, see the Mackinac Bridge, which is always beautiful. Spent some time in the summer down here. Honestly, I am just looking forward to fall. It’s my favorite season. Yesterday it was 60 degrees and I am just ready for it all the time. Constant 60 degrees. That’s all I want.

Tom:

I’m not as into that. I do agree that the super-hot weather we’ve had recently is not my cup of tea. I did spend some time in my life living in the DC, Baltimore area and the 110 degree summers. That is not my thing. I’m not a huge fan of fall because that means golf season is coming to an end. One thing you did miss out on because you wanted to be with your daughter, okay, I see it, is you didn’t go golfing with me and Mark and Jeremy. We had a golf outing in July. You missed out on that. So, we still haven’t had a golf outing.

Zach:

I know. I need to do that. Yeah. I was just going to say, I did miss out on that. I did get to go hit a bucket of balls with Jeremy though. So, you missed on that, sir.

Tom:

I did. I did. I look forward to that because it’s always a mix. Basically, it’s me who has the ability to golf and then enjoying to watch Jeremy and Mark and others just, I don’t know what they quite do, but it’s a nice thing. I can go play my game, do my thing, and then I get the comic relief. Mostly it’s them running carts into each other, it’s things like that, and them laughing at each other, then me laughing in the background. So, that was a good time. So, yeah, hopefully next time you can join to very seriously. And I do mention that I beat everybody just because it’s one of the only few things that I generally beat most people I play at. So, I’m not really great at many things.

Zach:

Hmm.

Tom:

Oh, I am great at many things? Well, thank you.

Zach:

I feel like you always beat us at board games, just constantly.

Tom:

That’s true.

Zach:

So, that’s frustrating. You’re an excellent baker. Very good.

Tom:

This is my favorite podcast ever.

Zach:

I figured this would be. I’m trying to think what else you’re good at. That’s pretty much it.

Tom:

That’s it.

Zach:

You leave your coffee everywhere.

Tom:

Yeah, I’m a mess.

Zach:

You’re a mess.

Tom:

I’m a bit of a mess. That’s why I need people like you and Mark to keep me a somewhat corralled. There are things I do. I do it at board games mainly just because I like putting this understanding the item and then the rules. A lot of times I’ll play a board game in a not fun way. So, I always have to determine, do I want to win this game or just have fun, because it’s two different mindsets. Because I do like the mathematical side of basically you have to get to a point total and there’s basically an algorithm of sorts to get to that point total. Most people play a board game and they want to have fun, which is their mistake. You have to win. Play to win the board game. But, yeah, I haven’t played board games in I don’t even know how long. It’s been a while. We played online once. I’m going to go on a vacation soon with some friends. We’re risking it. We’re going on a little group vacation. The game getting brought in is a bird game. Some bird board game.

Zach:

Wingspan.

Tom:

Wingspan. That is it. I’ve never played Wingspan. I’ve heard it’s very good. And I am excited to play that next week when I will be in someone’s house. Have you played Wingspan?

Zach:

So, I have it on my Tabletop Simulator that I have on Steam, and I started to try to get into it because, one of the cool things I forgot to mention about July is I bought an Oculus Quest VR headset that I have connected to my computer. So, I’ve actually been playing real touch simulator inside VR with my friends who are located across the country. So, it’s been a fun experience to kind of be able to see them kind of in a way and play board games like we used to.

Zach:

So, that is actually, I think it’s next week is when we’re going to look at doing it. We have to finish up a couple of things first, though.

Tom:

Okay. Well, let me know. Well, I guess I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll give you all my strategies so you can beat your friends after I play it and craft the game and determine the best way to play. You know what the best thing to do to play with around this time of year is MagHub. And the new features coming out. That was rough. That was probably the worst transition ever, but I had to move on. So, yes, if you are not staying inside playing video games like Zach, or going outside like me and swinging a club or a ball, there is MagHub. You can always use MagHub and you can go outside and use it because it’s Cloud-Based. So, really, it’s for indoor and outdoor kids.

Tom:

But we have the 9.5 Release going out, and so it’s interesting. It’s a fun release, I think, because, again, it’s a big push of the dashboard. So, we’ve had the dashboard out for a while, the new dashboard, but it’s been kind of, I feel like we’re waiting to add all these other gadgets to it and migrate. So, we’ve done a little bit over time, trickled it in. But now we actually made a big push, so we’re going to see a lot more of the current gadgets go over into the new dashboard. Our plan right now, again, is to basically have a complete new homepage dashboard experience in early September. That was our goal. So, basically, the homepage you log into now will essentially go away and will be replaced with this dashboard, which means that we just have to make sure we replace all of the widgets, sorry, the gadgets into widgets.

Tom:

So, we’re not going to do that until we have all things. I know right now at this very moment, our developers are working on that, orders are waiting for approval, gadget to widget, that has been something that I know people have asked. “Where’s that one?” That’ll be there. Other exciting things like available space is going to be a widget. Some of the pub years are going to be widgets. And along with that, they’ll link to the appropriate report, which I know was a request that we had at the last forum. It was like, “It’d be great if all the gadgets had a link to somewhere.” So, anywhere we can link, we do link. Even if it goes somewhere that makes no sense. No, that’s not true. We didn’t make random things. So, anyway, that’s a big part of it. I know one thing too that internally we’re excited about is the doc, which is not something too many of our customers take advantage of.

Tom:

And maybe with this change, they will, is you can now add a widget to your dock and carry it anywhere in the site. For example, if you want to have your calendar from anywhere, you can just add it to your dock, click on it, and your calendar is going to pop right up, or your jet is going to pop right up, or including any Metabase which you might want. So, that’s really going to be at your fingertips anywhere on the site. You can click on it and get exactly what you want in there. So, that’s another reason we’ve been working on some Metabase documentation. We’re going to put Zach on that of what information do you want at your fingertips. Because now with the new dock and the widgets, you can have it.

Tom:

Along with that, I think, again, as we talked about, we’re adding the weekly and monthly option to slot products. Most everyone, most common use of slot, again, has been for newsletters. The idea of it is really a time-based sales area with kind of an easily built in inventory. So, if you have been selling, “Hey, we sell on the website. We sell a flat fee for the month,” and you set that up as an issue and all that, you don’t have to do that anymore. If you take advantage of the slot products, you can use, “Hey, we sell this as a monthly option.” And just like how daily has a calendar view and the inventory is controlled, that’ll work for both monthly and for slot items. So, that’s a big part of that too.

Tom:

And then along with that, we had very shocking news yesterday. Shocking. Google actually approved our add-in. So, that just kind of happened in classic Google. They didn’t really, not the best communicators, and so all of a sudden it was just live. So, it’s there. So, actually, you can get that now, but we’ll have more documentation on that before the release. So, that’s been a big fight for a while, getting them to approve some things. We can have a separate podcast just with that. We should get Rudy on it and he can just go on a rant. Rudy rant of Google, be fun. And then some little secret odds and in. I’ve got some of those kind of little pebbles of the shoe that’ll be addressed in this release. So, I don’t want to give those, frankly boring to talk about, all the small little things we did. But I think there’s a couple of little changes that we’ve made that’ll make it easier to navigate around the site and get rid of more of those evil clicks that people hate so much.

Tom:

So, Zach, I don’t know if anything in this release you’re looking forward to in particular taking advantage of.

Zach:

Yeah, I’ve enjoyed playing around with the new dashboard. It’s definitely a much more attractive looking dashboard than our old one. It looks nicer. The reports are much nicer. Playing around with Metabase, I can’t stress this enough about how easy it is. It’s amazing. I don’t do data and I don’t do reports. That’s not for me. I look at data analytics, but generating my own has never been something that’s ever interested me. So, Metabase is just a crazy, simple tool to make data easy, and it’s basically endless amount of data and you can create some really weird scenarios. So, if there’s a really core port that you’re just like, “This doesn’t exist, but I really don’t think it should exist,” you can pretty much do it and it can be odd.

Zach:

I’ve done some really cool ones with marketing. I’ve updated my lead status report because we have a lead status report inside our platform. It works really well. The problem with us, though, is that we sell two products. So, the lead status report is really more meant for leads of one type into the company. So, with Metabase, I was able to create a lead status report that is much more flexible. It provides me who’s interested in our Aysling platform, who’s interested in the mega platform. Obviously, you can have some cool widgets, cool little gauges and pie charts, which is always neat to see. So, I’ve been really busy on kind of those ones. The doc is also, because I am one of those users that never used the doc. Never did it.

Zach:

I used the direct email component down there, but for the most part, never really touched the doc at all, but adding the widgets and stuff in there now. So, all those lead status reports that I just created a Metabase, I can now pull up in my doc, which is awesome. So, I think those two things are huge. I cannot recommend enough that people try the new dashboard and try the doc because it is a big step into what you’re looking for. You might not just realize it’s what you’re looking for yet. But it is amazing. So props to the developers. It’s looking nice. I like it. Usually I don’t fan boy about data analytics as much as you do.

Tom:

Well, this is my big thing. First of all, that comment about not what you’re looking for, looking for, it sounds like what I tell my wife too. It’s like, “It doesn’t seem like what you’re looking for, but it’s in there.” Wife joke. Anyone may find the company, it’s been a long battle, as far as the data reporting. It’s always a huge challenge in any software is I want the reports. I should be able to get the data out in any way I want to. I should do a separate podcast in the life of data, some sort of documentary thing of learning about it, going through it, understanding how it works from the beginning, really trying to stress it to me, not understanding it at all to now, and we are going to make a big push on that too. And some of the documentation, if you saw the beautiful work by Zach on what he built, I kind of helped, and we can easily treat that.

Tom:

So, it’s easier to pull data into there, make changes there, than build a whole new report, which is one reason why Metabase is so useful because, in Zach’s case, we had to add one extra little piece of data to a table and he got exactly what he wanted. From a depth standpoint, it’s a lot more agile for us to do that and help you provide a report through that way than it is to build a whole new report in our interface. So, yeah, I’m very excited. We’re going to do more with that and document it to try and get more people taking advantage of that tool. So, yes, the more people that love Metabase, the more people I’ve swayed over to the data side.

Zach:

I would say, it’s not, this is just my experience, it’s not just for the admin. So, please let me try to make you realize, we’re pushing heavily to get all of our people using it. We have sales executives that use it. Some of our sales executives, they might not use it as much, but they are starting to adopt it more, our project teams are doing it, support all them. So, everybody is using Metabase now, or at least in the sense of they are using the new dashboard with Metabase widgets. We never had custom reports really for the marketing department at our company. We don’t really cater to that marketing team. A lot of the ad sales team and a lot of production, all those groups, and those are all really good groups and they have lots of reports, but marketing kind of always felt a little neglected.

Zach:

So, if you have marketing people or salespeople on your team that you think, “Hey, they could use reports or data of some sort,” I highly recommend trying it out because it is available for all users. So, all users can use this. Now, obviously, you need to have access to Data Warehouse and all that stuff, and we can help you get that. But a lot of BI tools are super expensive and Metabase is phenomenal, especially for what they offer.

Tom:

And right now we actually have an internal project we’re working on, what is called an executive dashboard. So, if your boss wants a certain number and you’re tired of giving it to them all the time or having to come up with some complicated way to do it, the beauty of this is if they ever log in or, what we’re going to be doing with the public view of this dashboard in the future is, you could build all that one time using the custom data that you need, and then put it in a public dashboard in September, and they can just walk in and see it on a TV screen. So, think about that too. With all the reports you had to build that one time, whatever, build it in Metabase once, and there you go. Stick it on the dashboard. Speaking somewhat of dashboards.

Tom:

So, anyway, you mentioned my wife, that was one thing that happened in July. Well, I mentioned my wife, but you talked about not knowing what you want. We celebrated anniversary in July. So, that was our fifth year anniversary.

Zach:

Congrats.

Tom:

And the way we decided to celebrate it was we got rid of the kids. That was our thing. I said, “We should do it in the middle of the day.” It’s like, “Oh, we can do it at night and go out to dinner.” I was like, “No.” Because if we do it at night and then you got to go get them, and then it’s a whole thing, and the night’s a disaster, and they’re full of sugar. So, I was like, “Let’s take the middle of the day off. Let’s take the middle of the day and we’ll just do nothing.” Funny thing, my mom crashed it because she thought she was supposed to come over and help. And I was like, “Get out of here, mom.” Which is not something you want to say. But, anyway, so we decided to sit down, we made some cocktails, and we watched a film. I say this, film. It’s a great experience. I’m going to give just a couple of clues about it, and then we’ll see who can figure out what film that we watched.

Tom:

So, a couple things about this, and from our last podcast, is the musical score was done by Hans Zimmer. So, he did make this. It was also the first film by a former power couple where they shared together with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. This is actually before Nicole Kidman, we Americanized her, she actually had her normal accent. So, that was a thing in that particular thing. And it is about, generally, some sort of sporting type of thing, sporty related. So, those are the clues. That’s the film that we watched. A very romantic film, Again, Hans Zimmer did the music, sporting related, and the first film with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. So, if you know the answer to that, please submit that to our, or tweet it @MagHub, I think that’s our Twitter handle, and maybe you’ll get a prize. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you will. We try and give the prize if anyone answers my weird questions. So, that’s that one.

Tom:

Do you know what that is right off the top of your head, Zach? Or are you going to have to-

Zach:

I think I do know it, actually, which is weird that I do, but I will say also that it doesn’t just have to be tweeted. You guys can also go on Facebook, LinkedIn. You can go to any of those platforms, but it is only open-

Tom:

TikTok for the time being. One at a time TikTok. Do we have TikTok?

Zach:

Anyway, but it’s also only available for new respondents because we have some loyal diehard fans out there that like to listen to our podcast. And don’t worry, we will open this back up again to everybody, so you can win again, but we are looking for new attendees. However, that doesn’t mean that if you know the answer, you can’t tell your friend to tweet or Facebook for you. You’re more than welcome to do that. That’s fine. So, just so you know, new respondents only.

Tom:

Only new respondents. But you know what, all respondents get the cat fact and I have a great one today. So, I don’t know if you voted. Our local elections were yesterday. I went and I voted. I voted in person. I was literally the only person who voted. And a lot of times you see those people like, “I’m testing. I feel weird,” like “Why do I have to fill this out? Why do I have to mark this?” So, anyway, voted. It was a very controversial election in Ann Arbor, big change in the city council and, basically, my friend’s parents are very angry about what happened and all the young people are happy. You got to vote. And then you’ve got to make sure you run because did you know, and I’m going to mispronounce this town, but for 20 years, the mayor of the town of Gulkana (actually Talkeetna), small Alaskan town, for 20 years, the mayor of their town was a cat named Stubbs, because Stubbs had had several uncontested elections and was loved by local voters, so, basically, he was technically the town mayor for 20 years.

Zach:

I did know that.

Tom:

Oh, there you go. Wow.

Zach:

Do you want to know why I knew that?

Tom:

I do want to know why you knew that.

Zach:

Because I was looking up Alaska stuff, because right now at this very moment, my wife is in Alaska visiting her friend. And it was one of the news articles that just kind of came up that I was researching where my wife was staying, which is North Pole, Alaska. So, she’s staying there. That cat fact popped up in my newsfeed. So, either I listen to our podcast too much or Google just really knows about my distrust in cats. But, yeah, so I actually did know that. That’s crazy.

Tom:

There you go. Welcome to the fun world of cats. All right, well, I’m done talking, Zach, is there anything you want to tell to the Jugheads before we sign off on this podcast?

Zach:

There is one thing. Just a reminder for everybody, we are having a Digital MagHub Fall Forum. This is for clients of ours. All clients can attend. It is $50.00 per ticket. That $50.00 will include all of the events, recordings. It will also provide the round tables because we will have the round tables. We’re also going to have some panels, which will be great. We’re having a drawing, which will be fun. You’ll be able to test a lot of our different parts of our system. We’re going to offer some trials to some of our products. So, there’s MagHub. It’ll be very similar to our Fall Forum in person, but obviously just digitally. You’ll still get to do Tom’s Feature Freak Out and all that stuff. The other benefit is, is every $50.00 that you pay, so if you pay $50.00 for the ticket for this thing, it’s $50.00 off next year for the Fall Forum that we’re having in Chicago. Obviously, those plans can change and we’ll obviously offer discounts if we have to switch to digital again next year. You just never know.

Zach:

But we are, right now, tentatively planning Chicago for next year. We will go to a baseball game. It’ll be at the Lowe’s Hotel, all the same plans that we originally had. But, yeah, so Digital Fall Forum, September 16th through the 17th. It’ll be hosted just like we did the digital MagHub University. We expect everybody come and you’d all enjoy it thoroughly. This will be more back and forth, kind of communicating back and forth, less of us just teaching you. It’ll be more of like, “Hey, did you know you can do X, Y, Z?” We are offering more tracks, so it will be led by the sales team, projects, billing and finance, admin, all those people. So, a lot of cool opportunities to learn more about the MagHub system, our integration, ways to utilize it more to your advantage. A lot of great content that I think you’re all really going to enjoy. And, like I said, it’s $50.00, so not too much, and you’ll get two days’ worth of content and be entered into some sweet drawings that we’re working on. So, that’s my last thing that I have.

Tom:

All right. Sounds great. Looking forward to the forum and thank you everyone for listening and have a great August.

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