The flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and spring is in the air. This time of year always brings with it the tradition of spring cleaning, a little bit of motivation to freshen up the spaces in which we live and work. But there’s no reason you have to limit yourself to clearing out the physical things cluttering up your life—it’s also an excellent time to clean up your Salesforce data. But this year, let’s try a different tack.
Instead of making this an annual event, why not dig down and tackle the problem at the roots? Let’s nip those bad Salesforce data habits in the bud. To learn more about maintaining your Salesforce data, check out our article, Keeping Your Salesforce Data Shipshape—What You Need to Know. In this article, we’re going to cover how bad data is getting into your Salesforce system in the first place, as well as tips for cutting it off at the source.
Let’s get started.
Getting to the Root of the Problem: How Bad Data Happens
Clean, error-free data is critical for any organization to succeed. It’s what allows teams across the org to gain leads, build customer relationships, and report on business goals with any sort of confidence. By the same token, dirty data can also have wide-ranging impacts on organizations, from reducing productivity to ruining business reporting, even damaging customer relationships and the business as a whole.
So if keeping data clean is so important, how does dirty data happen in the first place? There are quite a few ways, and just like weeds in a garden, you need to handle these issues at the root if you want to keep them from popping up again next spring. Here are a few to watch out for:
One of the most common ways bad data creeps into an organization, manual data entry can lead to all sorts of errors, from issues as small as misspelling a customer’s name to wildly inaccurate information getting its way into the system from the start.
Similar to manual data entry, improper importing or batch data entry is basically the same thing dumping a load of garbage right in the middle of a garden and expecting things to grow. If you’re importing data from sources that lack the proper structure of formatting rules, you’re trading slowly making some mistakes (i.e. manual entry) for quickly making a lot of mistakes.
Finally, dirty data can creep into your organization through system integrations, when you have a connection between Salesforce and a third-party system. Sometimes the other system can be feeding in inaccurate data directly into your Salesforce system.
Pulling Up Bad Salesforce Data by the Roots
The best strategy for achieving clean data is uprooting bad data before it grows wild. That involves creating formal data quality standards and processes and educating employees across the entire organization. To get to the root of how dirty data happens, you have to assess not only the current state of your data but also the process of how your team goes about creating that data.
Your first order of business will be establishing data quality standards. If you don’t lay the foundation, the dirty data weeds of duplicate and inaccurate records will get out of control, and you’ll be doing more work to de-dupe them than if you’d handled them in the first place.
Here are some tips to help implement this process:
- Appoint a team lead to be responsible for data cleaning.
- Make data cleanup and enrichment a recurring event.
- Conduct a health check of your data before adding more.
- Review current validation rules and develop new rules.
- Evaluate your process to determine what’s working and what’s not.
- Document everything, including why data is captured.
- Look for areas to improve and refine.
- Educate the organization on why data quality is vital to the company’s success.
- Don’t try to do everything at once. Just like gardening, seeds take time to grow.
- Finally, continually measure the success of your plan.
Maintaining Your Salesforce Data Quality for Good
Good data is the foundation of any modern Salesforce organization. It builds confidence, empowers employees, and drives stronger customer relationships. But keeping that data clean is like gardening—pests and weeds will constantly be trying to make their way into the system, and unless you put in the upkeep quality is going to decline.
And like any task, this sort of project is much less difficult with a helping hand. That’s where Surety Systems comes in. Our senior-level Salesforce consulting team has the knowledge and experience you need to uproot those dirty data bad practices and keep them out for good.
If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help with your Salesforce data project (or any other challenge you may be facing), contact us today.