The how to’s for your data cleaning
It’s spring, which is always the ideal opportunity for a thorough cleanup! So why not do it for the data in your Salesforce org? Just think about duplicates, missing data, inaccurate data, outdated data,… All this misinformation can have a negative impact on your marketing campaigns and sales initiatives. Think about a bad email deliverability, wrong information about a potential customer, … these are inconveniences your organization can miss like a hole in the head.
When you don’t tackle these inaccuracies on a regular basis, the errors keep piling up to the point that you have more wrong data in your environment than correct data. The horror of every CRM user! That’s why Arno, our functional consultant, shows you in this blog why it’s best to keep your data clean, how to prevent dirty data and how to treat it. Get out the brush, spring cleaning starts now!
Why is clean data so important?
Inaccurate data never cheers anyone up, but in general we can list three major advantages why it pays to have a hygienic database:
- Increased customer acquisition – Hygienic data allows companies to create a more accurate prospect list. This in turn increases the effectiveness of your marketing team because they start targeting the right people resulting in higher engagement rates.
- Better decision-making – All business decisions should be based on solid data. Without some data hygiene, you can form a false picture of your customers. This makes it very difficult to meet their needs and requirements. To measure is to know, and this is best done with the right measures!
- Optimized employee productivity – One of the negative effects of dirty data is that your employees waste time following up on unqualified leads. On the other hand, clean data provides a better picture of a prospect’s potential to make a purchase. This reduces the amount of time spent on converting prospects and allows sales to know more quickly when to abandon a lead.
How to prevent dirty data?
‘Preventing is better than curing’, and it’s no different when it comes to data. By ensuring that the information entered is correct from the start, you need to do less cleaning up afterwards. There are a few ways to achieve this.
First of all you can work with validation rules. These are rules that determine which fields are required on a particular record when it is saved. This way you can be sure that the records you enter are complete, and you don’t have to fill in blank spots afterwards. You can set up these rules when creating a record, or on a specific stage in Lead or Opportunity. In addition, you can work with different record types and page layouts, whereby the validation rules differ according to the type. Our consultants are happy to discuss the different possibilities with you during our functional workshops.
If forms are put online in which customers enter information directly, you must be sure that these are also set up according to the correct validation rules. In addition, your webmaster can ensure that the forms only accept a certain correct method of input. Everything clean in your database from the first time is less cleanup work for your organization afterwards!
Make a clear audit of where your data is coming from. Are these mass imports, manual additions, online forms or others? What data is being collected and is it usable data? Ultimately, you only need information that can help convert your lead or that can be used for targeted marketing.
An internal training on entering clean data is a final method to ensure that the data entered is correct. Go over with your users what information they should and should not enter in Salesforce. You offer your team a moment to clear up any ambiguities and get everyone on the same page. A small effort that has a big impact!
How to handle dirty data
Eventually, dirty, incomplete data will end up in your database one way or another. Don’t panic, this is not the end of the world, but you do need to pay regular attention to this problem.
Again, a data audit is important. You can do this by pulling Salesforce reports or by using an app from the App Exchange such as Insycle. This will give you a picture of how bad the pollution problem is and what you need to work on. Do this regularly so you don’t get too big surprises!
Salesforce itself has an internal Duplicate Management tool, use it! The functionality scans your entire database for duplicates and suggests merges when duplicate records are found. These duplicates can have a huge impact on your reports, which you want to avoid at all costs.
If you have found erroneous data and want to adjust it in bulk, one method is to do an export of the data, adjust it in Excel and then import it back into Salesforce. Be sure to include the record ID to avoid misunderstandings!
As mentioned above, there are many apps on the App Exchange that assist you in data cleaning & audits. One of them is Cloudingo, which allows you to scan your entire database with different filters for duplicates or inconsistencies. The duplicates can be merged per 100, instead of 3 with the native built functionality of Salesforce. Definitely worth it for large databases!
Having a good database is essential for any organization. So make sure the data that comes into your environment is correct, and do regular checks of your database and correct where necessary. Your team will be eternally grateful!
If you would like a helping hand with your big spring cleaning, know that we are always ready to keep your database as clean as possible. We are happy to discuss your problems and come up with clear solutions quickly.