Six best practices for managing and cleaning Salesforce data
It’s no small task setting up Salesforce®, particularly when it comes to migrating, cleaning, and maintaining data. Which data do you need to migrate, and which should you scrub? How can your company decide?
Rackspace has helped many clients implement and customize Salesforce, giving us a unique view on best practices and common mistakes, when migrating, cleaning, and maintaining your business data.
Mismanagement of data can slow down your team, confuse your clients, and could ultimately get you in a lot of trouble—especially with new emerging legislation like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Read on to learn how to manage your data better and reap the rewards of effective data organization.
When moving houses or migrating data, take only what you need
Think about moving to a new house. You can hire people to pack your belongings and move them, but ultimately you have to be the one to go through your possessions and decide which items to keep and which to discard. Do you need to keep those old clothes? Should you take the end table to the new house, sell it, or put it in a storage locker? The homeowner must make some decisions and not outsource them to a third party, so save unnecessary effort and cost by making those decisions before moving everything to a different house.
It’s the same when implementing an enterprise solution such as Salesforce. When we help our clients to implement Salesforce, we recommend they do some level of data cleanup in advance. A client’s internal team understands the value and accuracy of their data better than external consultants. You should complete this data cleanup before migrating to Salesforce so that we can help to configure the data solutions in a way that suits your company’s data needs.
Rackspace can advise you about the types of data you should clean and what you can retire. Over time, we’ve made the following observations:
Account and contact data is crucial for data accuracy. Having accurate data about companies and people is critical. Ancillary data that gives a 360-degree view of a customer is also extremely valuable.
Retain notes on customers only if they relevant and useful. Some clients might decide not to migrate note data, or to limit it to a specific date range. However, certain industries, such as financial services, might find that note data is relevant despite its age, or they might need to retain the information for regulatory compliance purposes.
It’s important to set rules on what migrates and what doesn’t. Again, consider moving to a new house. It’s time-consuming to assess every piece of clothing you own to decide whether to pack it. It’s easier to set a rule that anything you haven't worn in four years doesn’t go to the new place. Similarly, set rules based on data age and type to determine whether you need to migrate that data or not.
Avoid these common data mistakes
As we’ve helped clients manage and clean their data, we see the same mistakes recur. Whether your company is working with a consultant to support your data management practices, or to manage data migration directly, be sure to avoid these common mistakes:
Skipping data migration altogether. Every so often, we see clients who decide they want to start with a clean slate and avoid moving any data records. This choice impairs your company’s understanding of its relationship with your customers. Implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to guide relations with your customers based on customer data, trends, and insights. Casting aside all existing customer data can be counterproductive to this goal.
Missing hierarchical relationships. Hierarchical relationships enable companies to see the total value of a client, including its parent and child subsidiaries. Establishing these relationships can seem simple, but it is often a complex web. Some CRM platforms don’t support hierarchical relationships as well as Salesforce, so when you set up this data correctly, you can gain tremendous insight and analysis.
Neglecting data maintenance. Some companies put in all the effort at the front end, cleaning their data and designing an effective system to manage it—and then they completely neglect its maintenance. Back to our house analogy, it’s like buying a new house, and never changing the filters or organizing everyday items efficiently. Set up data validation rules so that you continue to maintain data integrity standards. Run monthly reports to identify possible incorrect data. Maintaining the quality of data over the long term pays dividends with the insight it provides.
Cleaning and migrating your company’s data is as much an opportunity for a fresh start as moving into a new house. Take the time to do it well, and position your company to build stronger, more lucrative relationships with your customers.
If you’re interested in implementing Salesforce but have questions about how to migrate your data, Rackspace can help. Reach out today.
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