Maximizing Salesforce Data Integrity: Best Practices for 2024

It’s no secret that most businesses rely on data to make decisions and move forward. However, not all companies know how to treat their data to achieve a successful outcome.

This is backed up by the facts. In a survey conducted by Statista, 87% of businesses declared investing in data and analytics was a top priority. However, only 37% of them succeeded in achieving data quality. This signals a huge challenge faced by companies across different sectors.

For companies using Salesforce or other CRMs, poor data quality becomes a big issue to address. Why? Because the effectiveness of Salesforce depends, in the first instance, on the quality of the data it contains.

In this blog, we’ll share best practices for maintaining data integrity, with a special focus on Salesforce. We’ll discuss how to set up effective data quality procedures, use Salesforce’s built-in tools, and leverage external methods to improve data management.

What is Data Integrity and Why Quality Data Matters

Man holding a holographic cloud surrounded by computer icons on his hands: a metaphor for salesforce data integrity.

Imagine trying to make critical decisions for your company while wearing a blindfold. You wouldn’t know which direction to turn, what obstacles lie in your path, or how to reach your destination. This is what it’s like to make business decisions without quality data. In the dark, you’re more likely to make costly mistakes, miss opportunities, and struggle to achieve your goals.

  • A study by Harvard Business Review found that 84% of successful companies have a clear plan for using their data effectively.

Quality data is also a great path for enhancing customer relationships and optimizing business processes. Accurate and reliable data equips businesses with better strategies and outcomes.

When customer data is accurate, companies can personalize interactions, address customer needs promptly, and build stronger relationships. Moreover, clean and consistent data streamlines business processes, improving overall productivity.

So how do we obtain the quality data our business so desperately needs? Through data integrity best practices. Here’s a definition of data integrity that covers every aspect of a crystalline data approach.

Data integrity

Data integrity refers to the accuracy, reliability, and consistency of data stored and managed within a system or database. It ensures that data remains unchanged and reliable throughout its lifecycle, from creation to deletion. Maintaining data integrity involves preventing unauthorized access, ensuring data accuracy and consistency, and implementing mechanisms to detect and correct errors or inconsistencies in the data.

As you can see, data integrity covers everything, from the moment the data gets in, how it is stored, its reliability through time, security, and privacy considerations, all the way to correcting data errors. It’s pretty much a parenting manual for data, from when it is “born” until it leaves the nest.

When it comes to data integrity, Salesforce can’t be overlooked. It serves as a central hub for critical business data, integrating information from various departments and systems. Bad data in Salesforce can trigger poor decisions, hurt customer relationships, and stress out the team, making them less effective.

But what sort of problems might you encounter in the quest for Salesforce data quality?

Data quality issues can range from incomplete data to duplicate records, inconsistent data formats, and outdated information. Fixing these issues is the only way to get the most out of Salesforce and your data. Good data quality will clarify pipelines, enhancing your marketing, sales, and customer experience.

Common Salesforce Data Issues & How to Solve Them

cloud data

Duplicates in Salesforce

Problem

Solution

  • Duplicate records in Salesforce can lead to wasted resources and diminished customer relationships. 
  • Imagine calling the same customer for a follow-up twice a day. Doesn’t give the best image of your business.
  • Utilize Salesforce’s built-in duplicate management features, including matching and duplicate rules.
  • Implement third-party duplicate check tools available on the AppExchange, such as bulk duplicate detection and merging.

Lack of consistency in data entry

Problem

Solution

  • Inconsistent data entry leads to unreliable reporting and analysis, hindering decision-making and communication.
  • Different interpretations of data can cause confusion and misalignment across teams.
  • Enforce data consistency through validation rules, ensuring data meets specific criteria before saving.
  • Utilize picklist fields to provide predefined options, reducing variation in data entry.
  • Implement data normalization techniques, such as standard naming conventions and automated formatting.

Regular training on the importance of consistent data entry, along with ongoing monitoring and audits, can further support data consistency efforts.

Addressing these data issues in Salesforce will enhance decision-making, and customer relationships while smoothing out business processes.

Salesforce Data Quality Best Practices

1. Implement data validation and cleansing processes

The best way to improve data quality in Salesforce is to make a big fuss about how it enters your system. Now that we understand data is so valuable, it is only natural to prepare for its arrival.

In Salesforce, validation Rules act like gatekeepers. If a user tries to enter data that doesn’t meet certain requirements, it can’t be saved. For example, they might ensure that a name field isn’t left empty before a record can be saved.

Besides proper data entry, you’ll want to focus on polishing your existing database. Implementing data cleansing processes to maintain data quality in Salesforce is a recommended best practice. These processes may include:

  • Regular data audits help identify inconsistencies, errors, and duplicates.
  • Data enrichment services enhance existing data by appending missing information and standardizing formats, improving data quality over time.

2. Establish data governance policies

Comprehensive data governance policies are essential for effectively managing Salesforce data. These policies should outline roles and responsibilities for data management, implement data access controls for security, and define data quality metrics to measure effectiveness.

3. Train your team effectively, emphatically, and continuously.

If you’ve stayed with us this far, you’ve read the word “data” 55 times. Well, your organization should have about the same experience. Talk about data quality and repeat. Let them breathe, eat, and dream about data integrity.

The only way to ensure effective data integrity is to have all your team onboard. At first, it might be tedious, but once the team starts reaping the benefits, data will become a friend instead of an unwanted stranger.

 Successful adoption tips:

  • Foster a culture of data stewardship by encouraging collaboration and accountability across departments.
  • Provide ongoing training sessions, workshops, and resources to reinforce data governance principles and best practices.
  • Lead by example, with leadership actively championing data quality initiatives and demonstrating their commitment to compliance and excellence.
  • Celebrate each data-driven decision that brings more sales, leads, or clarity. Make sure all your team is conscious about the way clean data is improving the company.

Integrate Your Data or Disintegrate Your Growth

When data quality in Salesforce is compromised, the repercussions can be felt across every aspect of a business. From inaccurate sales forecasts to botched marketing campaigns, data can directly impact the bottom line.

Consider this: inaccurate data leads to misguided decisions. Misguided decisions lead to wasted resources.

By ensuring that Salesforce data is accurate, consistent, and reliable, organizations can unlock the full potential of their CRM system, driving growth, profitability, and sustainable success. Partnering with expert consultants or developers is a great way to obtain data integrity.

How KMS Can Help

At KMS, we specialize in providing tailored solutions for Salesforce data governance, ensuring your CRM system operates at its peak efficiency while maintaining the highest data quality standards.

Our track record speaks for itself:

Salesforce Champions Case Studies Expertise
With over 3 million customer connections via Sales Cloud and more than 250 successful Salesforce implementations, KMS has a proven record of delivering results. We improved the data quality at Dental Transitions, which led to a 35% increase in productivity and a 25% growth in sales revenue. Our team has over 15 years of experience customizing Salesforce. This ensures that your platform remains reliable and trustworthy for your business’s information needs.

Ready to take your Salesforce data governance to the next level? Contact us today to learn how KMS can help drive success for your organization.

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