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Things You Can Do for a Cleaner Salesforce Org

With hundreds, if not thousands of users in your Salesforce org, it’s no wonder data ends up dirty. This is especially true if you have a mixed-bag of permissions spread out to many profiles that allows for a variety of field level security access and not many guardrails regarding how your users enter their data. It is a costly problem, and can lead to inefficient processes, latency issues and incorrect assumptions about clients and the health of your org.  Fairly common, this is faced by many beloved Salesforce customers, but the good news is, there are many steps you can take to help address this particular problem.

  1. Use Validation Rules. This is one of the best tools to use regarding restrictions around the data that can be entered. Validation rules allow you to dictate the logic around what the field should allow for data input, and allows for a custom message to let users know what should be changed for the records to be saved. This has an added bonus of alleviating cases being submitted to System Admins, as users should be able to self-regulate and resolve the issue themselves. This is great for preventing users from saving bad data, thus preventing dirty data in its tracks. In order to set these up in Lightning, go to Setup > Object Manager, and find Validation Rules under the object you wish to help regulate.
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  2. Delete Archived Records. Let’s face it – if your org has been around a while (or, you’ve implemented very liberal create permissions in your org), you have a lot of records, counting against your storage limits. There are times when it’s crucial or necessary, such as keeping cases that customers can view in the Community or when you need regular access to older records. However, it’s important to do some investigating to see whether you really need to keep Activity records from 2011. Not only is storage expensive, but clutter is costly as well, causing wasted minutes with system lag or making it difficult to navigate through reporting due to issues from cycling through so many records. Salesforce archives tasks that were created or due more than 365 days ago, so running a report on those parameters will show you which ones are archived. If you do choose to delete records, always back up the data first (meaning, export it in a way you can easily import it again, such as with IDs and other valuable fields in Excel), and do a soft delete. After a week or so, if you haven’t noticed any issues, you can do a hard delete, removing them from your org permanently.
  3. Use a Data Cleanup Service. There are many apps out there that offer Data cleansing services, such as deduplication. In searching on the AppExchange, take time to look through the reviews and vet out the proper services for your needs. Note that some are free, but some require licensing fees per month or annually. Don’t necessarily write those off — if dirty data is a big issue that prevents you from utilizing Salesforce automation or other features that can make your system more efficient, it may be worth the cost. Keep in mind, you can often control how much you want the app to do on it’s own without your input, so be sure to look for ways to control the apps with rules and manual overrides.
  4. Data Champion. Another way to keep your Org a little more tidy is to consider a Data Champion. Notice who does a great job at filling out their records like they’re supposed to, and goes above and beyond to make sure everything is neat, as well. Work with management to make examples out of these individuals, and even see if you can do a workshop to help use them as a positive influence. Open the lines of communication, as well, and check in with them from time to time on complaints they, or other users, may be having. You may find out that part of the reason users struggle to keep their data clean is they may be overwhelmed with how many data points they have to enter on a record, or that there’s a loophole that allows them to commonly forget certain points in their end to end process. This can help you with design changes, and foster great relationships with varying departments.
  5. Incentivize Users. Whether money or positive recognition, people love incentives. But, how can you incentivize users to keep your data clean? There are a variety of ways, actually. You can start small by giving shoutouts on large Chatter groups when you notice someone doing something right that many seem to be struggling with. Taking a minute to say “Good Job for submitting an opportunity with zero issues!” calls attention to others that you’re watching, and that this is something for which they can earn recognition. There are also gamification apps, which can turn data entry into a competition, widely broadcast for many to see. You’ll quickly find users doing whatever they can to get on top (….or not, depending on if it’s a tattle list!).

While some of these are actions any Admin can take immediately, it’s understandable that others may need buy in from Management, especially if it comes to purchases. Point out the issues you’re having from a cluttered, dirty org, and many will see the benefits of spending time and money to address such a large, costly issue!

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Leslie Roberts