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Data should be cleaned regularly


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Data, Data, and data.  Data is everywhere. Our businesses would not exist if we did not have data. Seems farfetched? However, it is not as we can see from the above quotes of these famous personalities. Data helps in understanding and improving business processes. Data can also include contact information of client bases as well as other stakeholders in the success of the business. It is at the core of every business decision made, by large conglomerates to mom-and-pop run general stores around the corner. Its primary role is better targeting. 

Data is the core of a company’s existence and the foundation on which it grows.  However, the kind of data you have on your premises or on the cloud is critical. So, you need to know if your data is clean or not! Now you will ask, what do we mean by that? Is it possible that data can be clean or dirty like clothes and kitchen tops? Well, the answer to that is a resounding yes. In brief, clean data is data that is free from all types of inaccuracies, duplications, etc. Clean data helps your company to be efficient and run smoother. 

Dirty data can cause issues and prevent information transfer to genuine clients or potential clients while sending messages to clients that never reach. Dirty data can cost businesses between 10 – 15% of their revenue as per some studies in the USA. You can tell if data is dirty or not if you do a thorough study of it. If you find information like addresses is incomplete, email IDs have been entered wrongly or telephone numbers with missing elements, these all are examples of dirty data that impact your business on day to day basis. 

 Steps to achieve good quality data are: 

  1. Know your data. The first step in the process is to profile your data, know its myriad sources (such as excel sheets or backend tools). A detailed collation of data must be undertaken including note of the data sources and the names of the fields under which it is parked, current and potential issues with data. 

  2. Control over data. Data must be accurate and accessible to the persons who need to be in the loop. This is the best way to ensure that the valuable data is useful, protected, and clean.  Set up processes and use tools to ensure it remains the best usable data 

  3. Integrate the data. As many companies use multiple sources of collating and using data, they must be linked together to get the right and holistic picture of data to gain insights and take appropriate action. Integration tools are the best and easily available. 

  4. Supplement data.  To enhance the value of the CRM tool, augment your data with information that will be helpful to the concerned departments and managers.  Leverage company market intelligence, such as purchasing patterns or competitive analyses. Browse Salesforce AppExchange to find solutions by different partner vendors that can supplement data with outside information. 

  5. Keep an eagle’s eye on data. Clean data is not a one-time job, it’s an ongoing continuous process on which a dedicated person / team has to keep at it. Workflow, Validation Rules, and code (Apex) to implement important business processes. Reports and dashboards should be used to monitor information within the company. 

  6. Educate the company users on clean data and its importance. Assign a senior person to be the overall data in charge, with whom the buck stops within the organization. The company must have a clear-cut policy on data maintenance.

About the Author

RS Maan

Maan joined Salesforce Ecosystem in 2008 with entry of Salesforce in APAC region. He worked on many of the underlying Salesforce Products & it’s functionality, including Heroku, Chatbots, and Einstein before leading Codleo Consulting - Leading Partner of & In his spare time, he immerses himself in travel, books and spirituality.

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