5 Ways to start Data Cleansing

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Spring is in full swing for a lot of us, so what better excuse than to start tidying up your Salesforce Org. Over time Org’s can get corrupted with bad data, unused components and confusing information. Up to a point this is kind of natural for growing companies, you are focussing on your product and user experience, not what data you have in your system. But overtime it becomes more apparent that the data is in fact very important and having a nice clean Org can only help with your user experience and reporting.

In this post I am going to talk about a few ways I have discovered over my years of dealing with Salesforce Org’s to help Spring Clean your Data.


Reports, Folders & Dashboard Organisation

The reporting side of Salesforce can become messy very quickly and is something companies struggle to keep under control. Salesforce’ reporting system is so easy to use that users can be up and running in minutes after being given a basic “How to” demo, unfortunately this can have its down sides as well. With the ability for all users to access, edit and write to all folders, organisation can quickly deteriorate and finding reports with meaning can become a chore. Here are some tips to ensure you kick off your tidying up right..

  • Define standard naming conventions for report, this could be something as simple as “Department” – “Name” E.g. Marketing – Event Leads
  • Champion “Report Masters” that only have permissions to edit and save to public folders, making sure they are responsible for keeping everything organised.
  • Use folders effectively with naming conventions and making sure only relevant departments are given access to relevant folders to stop overcrowding.
  • Make it clear which reports are used for company Dashboards by either putting them in a separate folder or by a naming convention e.g. “DB – Sales- Quarterly Revenue”.
  • *Bonus* The “Colon Trick” outlined by Scott Hemmeter here

Field Trip & Page Layouts

Recently I’ve discovered a little App called Field Trip that can be downloaded from the AppExchange. Field Trip is simple and effective, it will analyse all of your fields for a particular object and then allow you to run your own Salesforce Reports on their findings. Reporting on field trip data will let you know the percentage of fields that have data on them, the data type, whether the field is required or not, all in a handy view. The best statistic out of this report is how many records data is populated on a particular field. If you are nearing object limits, have overcrowding of page layouts or are simply intrigued to see what the state of your data is like for a particular object, then field trip is definitely one to have in your admin data cleaning tool kit.

Start Validating!

Even though its not going to help you clean your current data situation, there should be some questions you should ask yourself as you are starting a cleaning process. “How did we get in this situation?”, “Where are our pain points with data?”, “Which areas are the worst offenders?”, answering these questions will help you identify where you will need to concentrate on in terms of validation. Using free App’s like Address Tools to only allow Country names to be populated in the Country field in Salesforce instead of abbreviations can provide a huge boost in clean data. You can also take advantage of native Force.com features of Salesforce including Validation Rules to make sure data is filled in correctly, see some of my examples for Account Validation rules. Page Layouts & Record Types can be used to segment data and provide only relevant fields to your users, ensuring they aren’t overloaded with data that does not concern them. Once you have explored some of these options you should be able to answer your questions with possible solutions



For everyone that has come to this article because they need to clean current record data, this is a part you will want to read. Cloudingo is a great App that has got a lot of recognition recently, they have 104 reviews on the AppExchange averaging 5 stars and have received many glowing reviews from various independent companies. Cloudingo analyses your existing data inside of Salesforce using various filters, these filters will show you possible duplicates and then allow you to clean up, all inside of the application. Cloudingo has pre-built filters which means you can install and start cleansing data instantly with no configuration, of course the App does provide functionality to create custom filters for your Org. One massive advantage to using Cloudingo over Salesforce to clean dupes is the ability to merge up to 100 records at a time, with Salesforce we are limited to 3. All of this combined with Cloudingo’s handy dashboard which shows you the current state of your data makes it an App that shouldn’t be overlooked, check it out and grab a free trial!



Thanks to the Sales Cloud Certification I am now a resident expert on Data.com! (sort of). Data.com is a Salesforce product that allows you to perform a number of different services against your data, their flag ships products are Data Clean & Prospect. Prospect allows you to search for specific companies to sell to that fall into a number of criteria set by you, but the product we are interested in here is Clean. Data.com Clean can verify and clean your data by looking at your Accounts, Leads & Contacts providing up to date relevant information against Dun & Bradstreet database. This allows you to swap in old information for current, bad data for good and new data that you did not have before. This can all be done on a record by record basis or in bulk, annoying you to control how you clean your data. Being a Salesforce product, Data.com is fully integrated with Salesforce and does not require you to set anything up, venture outside the Salesforce UI, or even leave a record you are currently working on. Definitely one to try out.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading and learned something new. Let me know if you have any other TIps or have come across any handy Apps to help us rid our Org’s of bad data!