Organizations are only as good as their data. Simple to say, but what are the implications of bad data? Bad data is known to cost companies millions of dollars and is a big deterrent to future growth. How do you ensure the data you collect is of excellent quality and you address bad data regularly? Here are five recommendations to promote good data hygiene in Salesforce:
Picklist fields are one way to promote good data hygiene, in comparison to text fields. Picklist fields ensure users are only selecting from the choices provided by the administrator. Remember to select "Restrict picklist to the values defined in the value set" when creating a Picklist field. This helps to standardize data and prevent users from inputting any free text into the field, which could lead to the creation of bad data.
Validation rules ensure users enter all required data properly. For example, if you would like to have a Win Reason filled out by a sales rep for any Won Opportunities, a validation rule would prevent the record from saving until the user enters a Win Reason when attempting to change the Opportunity Stage to Closed Won. Validation rules function as fact checkers and gate keepers of the Salesforce world in the fight against incomplete and inaccurate data.
Duplicate Management Tools
Duplicate data is another form of bad data. For example, a sales rep entering a new Lead into the system may not check if this Account already exists in the system. This would lead to duplicate Accounts. Enabling duplicate and matching rules in Salesforce is an effective way to have Salesforce identify and report duplicate records when setting up your Salesforce instance. A duplicate rule could block the user from creating the duplicate record or alert the user that a duplicate exists.
Regular Data Cleansing and Auditing
Another best practice for promoting good data hygiene is regular data cleansing. This process can help minimize unused/outdated fields, records, reports, and dashboards. Just like we declutter our homes, our data also needs the same type of decluttering! Data auditing ensures administrators recognize patterns to help identify how bad data is coming into the system. Once patterns are identified, organizations can take strategic actions to address the issues.
Field History Tracking
Oftentimes, field history tracking is an overlooked tool for added visibility into data changes. Salesforce field history tracking captures updates to fields on an object and stores them in a related list. For example, if you enable field history tracking for Opportunity Stage, you will see which user changed the Opportunity Stage, when the user made the change, the previous Stage value, and the current Stage value. Field history tracking is a useful review tool and can help troubleshoot past data changes.
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