How to Plan Your Salesforce Data Cleaning Process?

Guest Post by Anna Kayfitz, CEO at StrategicDB

Dirty data is one of the biggest headaches that Salesforce Admins, sales reps and marketers alike are facing. Since data quality affects many areas of your business, it is also a risky business as you are dealing with the data that your business depends on. If you are a Salesforce admin responsible for clean data, you probably have a hard time figuring out where to start? Here are a few simple steps that you can use to get started.

  1. Decide what will be included in your data cleaning project. To do so begin by running a report in Salesforce to check to see if you have data quality issues. There is a lot to be considered:
    • Deduping – There are duplicated accounts, contacts, leads and between contacts and leads. Using Report you can run Power of One. It does not always work but you can easily export to excel and use conditional formatting to do a quick test to identify how many duplicates you have. For accounts, using website is a good indicator, for contacts and leads you can use an e-mail address.
    • Data Appending – Some data is missing and it needs to be filled in so you can do the territory assignment, segmentation, and analysis.  You can run different reports per mandatory fields or you can create a new field to calculate data completeness by counting the percentage fields that are blank. For example, if you had 10 mandatory fields, having 3 blank fields out of 10 would indicate a data completeness score of 70%.
    • Data validation – Your sales team is complaining about multiple cases of wrong data that slows down their workflow. Alternatively, if you are tracking field changes you can run a report to see how many times certain fields were changed. Another way is to use Clean Status to see how many accounts are out of sync.
    • Cleaning Historical Data – Historical data contains bogus and test records, outdated contacts and leads, and accounts that are no longer valid. One way to test is to run a report using ‘test’,’bogus’,’xxx’ and other keywords to identify how many records were created as bogus.
    • Standardization – Fields such State, Country, Industry or Job Titles need to be standardized. It is necessary to classify # of revenue and # of employees into ranges for better reporting and territory assignments. Using Report functionality you can see all the different combinations and record counts per each field.
      Data Standardization
    • Establishing Parent/Child Relationships – It is especially important for international companies that can benefit from knowing that their colleagues from other parts of the world have successfully sold into an account that they are trying to sell into.
    • Other Data Cleaning Needs – That can be specific to your business.
  2. Now, that you have a full list of what you want to tackle in your data cleaning, the next step is to prioritize. The way to prioritize is to recognize the importance of each step, the risk involved, the people that may be involved and the length of time it may take to complete. For example, your analyst and Salesforce Admin can solve data standardization of industry issue. Other important decisions may require the involvement of VP of Sales and VP of Marketing. Deduping always triggers a discussion on deduping requirements and identifying what deduplication tool you will use. It involves the risk of deleting or merging data that is used or needed by someone else in the organization and will require the whole sales team to review their lists.
  3. It is now time to decide if you are going to do data cleaning in-house or outsource data cleaning. When deciding on a provider you should ask the following questions:
    • Where will the data be processed? Data Security questions
    • How much will it cost?
    • What is the confidence level of matching data to third parties (for data appending and validation)?
    • What are your typical match rates? If they say anything more than 90%, it is impossible. Usually match rates are between 60-80% at best.
    • How are you doing standardization? Using text mining or a combination of text mining and human effort.
    • Can you use your own rules for establishing a surviving record when deduping?
    • How accurate is your data? If they respond with 100% run far away as it is impossible to have perfect data.
    • What is the turnaround time?

  4. Now that you have established your data cleaning plan, prioritized tasks and decided how to go about cleaning your data, the next step is to backup your data prior to beginning your clean-up.
  5. When you start cleaning, remember to:
    • Communicate with your team on the changes they are about to see in Salesforce and the timing of the changes.
    • Bring in the right people to help you make decisions. Do you need help from your analysts regarding what buckets to use? Or maybe you need marketing help on segmentation of titles? Getting the right people involved at the beginning will save you time down the line.
    • Set-up data governance rules and make changes to your salesforce processes to prevent issues from coming back six months after you cleaned it.
    • Keep backing up your system in case something goes wrong so you can easily revert it.

Happy Cleaning!

About the author:

Anna Kayfitz is CEO and founder of StrategicDB Corporation, an analytics and data cleansing company. StrategicDB Corp. helps businesses get more from their data. By analyzing sales and marketing data, you can derive tremendous value for your business. StrategicDB offers data cleansing services because no analysis is possible if you cannot trust your data. Some of our services include: segmentation modelling, dashboard building, market basket analysis, lifetime value analysis and much much more.


Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified

Salesforce Chatter Does What?? 6 Awesome Chatter Features You Need to Start Using Today

What exactly is Salesforce Chatter? It looks like Facebook, you can post statuses and tag people, but is that all you use it for? Many people underutilize Chatter and are unaware of all of its benefits other than communication. Chatter can do much more than act like Facebook! Chatter has the capabilities to help you increase team productivity, spend more time on meaningful activities, and have full visibility over projects leading to successful project management in Salesforce. If you aren’t using these six awesome Chatter features yet, you aren’t taking full advantage of Salesforces’ #1 enterprise social network.

Follow Everyone & Everything

In Chatter when you ‘Follow’ someone, you are notified via email or in your Chatter feed of their real-time actions like commenting or liking posts. However, Chatter lets you follow more than just people by enabling Feed Tracking. With Feed Tracking, Users can follow records and are notified of changes to them, helping to lead to successful Salesforce project management. Sales managers stay updated on relevant Opportunity information without having to chase down employees. Many standard objects already have feed tracking enabled too.

Follow Everything Feature


Approve or Reject Records

Salesforce’s Approval Process feature lets Users approve or reject changes to records in various situations like management approving hours or checking information changes. To approve/reject records, Users must navigate to the record, search for the changes, then finally find where to approve/reject. This is time-consuming and tedious. However, if you Enable Chatter Approvals, Users can see a consolidated overview of relevant record information and approve/reject options right in their Chatter feed. This saves tremendous amounts of time on searching through records and allows information to stay relevant and accurate. Enabling Chatter approval/rejection capabilities makes the approval process much quicker, easier, and clearer for Users.

Out of Office Automatic Message

Have you ever spent time waiting on answers from someone just to find out that they are out of town? If yes, you must start using Chatter ‘Out of Office’ statuses. Users write a post and specify the start/end dates for the time they’re gone. Depending on your version of Salesforce, the message is posted as an automatic response when someone writes on your feed, creates a post tagging you, or it will show up almost everywhere that your name appears. When your specified “End Date” passes, the message stops posting. This feature saves time and keeps everyone in the office informed. Additionally, the automatic post is great for customer-facing Chatter portals where customers reach out to you and are told immediately that you are away, not ignoring them!

Out of office feature


Take Actions! Create Polls & Tasks

Actions are a cool feature of Chatter that let Users write special types of Chatter posts and create records right from your Chatter feed. One useful Salesforce Chatter action is creating Poll posts. Similar to Facebook, you can create polls that people vote on via clickable choices. Many companies use this feature for internal decision making like what time to start a meeting, but it can also be utilized to aid in more strategic business decisions, like who should be staffed on which projects. Polls make decision making easy and clear to everyone in your organization.

Create Polls feature

Another underutilized Chatter action is the ability to create Tasks right from a record’s Chatter feed. In the post, you populate fields like Subject, Assigned to, Due Date, and an actual Task record is created. The “assigned” person is notified they have a Task too. When using Chatter to create Tasks, you only need to populate the most vital fields upon creation and avoid scrolling through the entire record. Overall, Chatter Actions can save you a ton of clicks and time, all while allowing you to continue to communicate often and effectively to your employees.

Create Tasks feature

Invite Others Outside of Your Company

Chatter does not have to be just an internal communication network. You can invite customers to get involved too! Salesforce offers special Chatter External licenses that can be granted to people outside of your workplace. The licenses let them see information on Chatter, connect with Users, and follow groups all while restricting access to your Salesforce data. Sharing documentation, information, and collaborating with customers is easy with external licenses. Customers can receive Salesforce Chatter notifications, share information or files, and write posts. Overall, Chatter is a great way to communicate and share information, both internally and externally.

Upload Files & Manage Version Control

How many times have you run into issues from having the wrong version of a document? These issues can be small internal hiccups or larger, client-facing problems that leave you looking and feeling disheveled. Chatter Version control is an awesome feature that helps stop this. First, you can keep collaborative files like PDFs or Word documents organized and up to date with Chatter Files. Then, you can share them with individuals, groups, or associate them directly to records. Finally, use Chatter Files Version Control to very easily and clearly replace the old version of a file with the new one, alerting everyone who follows the file. You’ll easily be able to collaborate on documents, keep attachments associated with the correct records or projects, and never reference an old file again.

Upload files feature

Use These Salesforce Chatter Features Today!

Chatter features enable your team to communicate better, increase productivity, and spend more time on meaningful activities. Users can use various Chatter features to quickly follow and create records, spending less time searching through data. Using Chatter correctly increases visibility, allowing the right people to see the right information at the right time, like with Version Control. When it comes to Salesforce project management, Chatter is a vital addition, especially when using the Inspire Planner project management app. Inspire Planner is not only a Salesforce-native app, but it also integrates seamlessly with Chatter. By together utilizing Inspire Planner and Salesforce Chatter, you will increase efficiencies, reduce email communication, and complete tasks faster than ever before.

Inspire Planner - Project Management in Salesforce Simplified