Data Management takes quite a big portion (10%) in Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam. Data management in Salesforce is actually very useful and powerful when it comes to data cleanup and such.

Bad data can have a very significant impact on business wise. Not only the data report that we generate is unreliable, users will start distrusting the data in the system and eventually stop using them and so on. So here today, we are going to dissect and analyze the tools in Salesforce that help us with maintaining good quality data.

NOTE: This post is written in April 2019 and content might be changed/updated overtime. The content is inspired by

Data Management Overview

  • Data can be categorized into:
    • Proactive Data Quality - what can be done to make sure quality data is created for maintained
    • Reactive Data Quality - what can be done to improve the quality of existing data
    • Enriching Data - what external data sources can be used to improve the data value
    • Best Practices - guidelines to ensure quality data
  • Ensure only valid data on create/update, much easier than fixing data later on.
  • Types of tools for proactive data quality:
    • Picklists, Dependent Picklists
    • Lookup Filters
    • Required Lookup Filters
    • Validation Rules
    • Duplicate Management
    • Custom Validation (apex, custom code, or third party app)
    • Required Fields
  • Types of tools for reactive data quality:
    • Data quality reports and dashboards
    • Formula fields
    • Merge Account, Contact and Lead
    • Mass delete tool

Validation Rules

  • VLOOKUP can be used to look up specific value in other object that matches with the condition.
  • For example (billing zip code not in billing state):
  BillingPostalCode != BillingState

Duplicate Management

  • Duplicate rules can be used to prevent duplications
  • Standard duplicate rules and Potential Duplicates component are setup and activated for Accounts, Contacts and Leads.
  • Duplicate jobs can be run to identify duplicates across the org (display in reports)
  • Duplicate jobs can be run on custom objects, but it is not possible to compare and merge duplicate records.
  • Duplicate record reports can be used to share results of duplicate jobs.
  • Duplicate record set is a list of items identified as duplicates. (Performance and Unlimited edition only)
  • Duplicate record set is created when a Duplicate rule or Duplicate job runs.
  • Lightning users can be granted access to duplicate record sets to allow merging duplicates.
  • Duplicate Rules - define what happens to duplicate records
  • Matching Rules - define the criteria to compare records and identify possible duplicates, returning a list of possible duplicates
  • You can define the Record Level Security to Enforce Sharing Rules (compare to records the user has access to) or Bypass Sharing Rules (all records even those records the user has no access to).
  • You can define Action on Create and Action on Edit either block or allow. If allowed, you can further define if it shows alert or/and report.
  • You can associate multiple matching rules to the duplicate rules.
  • You can also specify a condition when the duplicate rules should run.
  • NOTE: Duplicate rules will not run in these scenarios:
    • When records are created with Quick create (Classic feature)
    • When records are restored from Undelete
    • When records are added from Lightning Sync
    • When records are manually merged

Merge Duplicates

  • Up to 3 accounts can be selected to merge (one of them needs to be master record)
  • In Classic, Merge Account link can be clicked to find and merge duplicate accounts while in Lightning, Potential Duplicates will be displayed for account merging.
  • Consideration when merging account:
    • the non-master accounts are deleted
    • Chatter feeds are retained from master record only
    • any data in hidden or read-only fields, such as sharing settings, are retained from the master record.
    • To merge, Delete permission on object is required and Edit permission is required on related objects such as Opportunities or Cases.
    • Only Salesforce Admin, Account Owner, or user above the Account Owner in role hierarchy can merge account.
    • Campaigns and activities related to duplicate accounts are related to the merged account after merge.
    • If two accounts are duplicated to each other and each of the account is related to at least one contact which is also a duplicate of another contact, best course of action will be to merge the duplicate accounts first and then merge the contacts.
  • Merging Contact or Lead is similar to merging Account.
  • In Classic, there is a Find Duplicates button can be used to find and merge duplicate leads but the user requires the Read and Delete permission to see the button.

Data Quality Compromise

  • Data quality will be compromised when:
    • Lead created from Web to Lead (skip duplicate checks)
    • List Imports
    • Data Loader
    • Quick Create (NOTE: Quick Create also not respects validation rules)
  • Best practices:
    • Ask user to search for records before creating new ones
    • Standardize naming convention for company names and addresses
    • Automate data cleansing through the use of data cleansing tools

Enrich Data

  • Clean (additional license)
    • Automatically fill any blank values in records with data (not all but some)
    • Select fields to overwrite with data
    • Flag differences for fields whose values are different from data
    • The update status field Clean Status on accounts, contacts, and leads indicate the record's status compared with data
    • Example Clean Statuses: In Sync (record identical when last compared), Different (record is different)
  • Third party app
    • Lightning Data Package can be installed from AppExchange
    • Geocode rules (can be enabled in Lightning)
    • Update through third party data service using data integration rules
  • Social Accounts, Contacts and Leads
    • Can be utilized to link with their Twitter or Youtube profiles
    • View the available information related to the record on the social network.
  • Lightning Data package:
    • Can be used to keep data current and help sales team find prospects for business.
    • Data Integration Rules can be activated to add firmographic, industry and region-specific data to accounts, contact, or leads.
    • Discover Companies button can be added to Account page (as reps import the companies, they will see the remaining Lightning Data credits.
    • Field mapping allows matching fields in Salesforce with fields on the data service. In certain Lightning Data packages, it is possible to add or remove mapped fields.
    • Match confidence score can be used to indicate how closely a Lightning Data record matches a Salesforce record.
    • A match score is displayed for users to allow them to choose from possible matches for a record.

Archiving Data

  • It is necessary to archive data that is no longer in use as data storage is limited.
  • Some data in Salesforce is automatically archived (still count as storage page but unseeable to users):
    • Event due more than 365 days ago
    • Closed task due more than 365 days ago
    • Closed task created more than 365 days ago (if no due date)
  • Other types of records can be Mass Exported through Setup and saved on separate database.

Data Export

  • Data Export in Setup can be used to create backup files of Salesforce data in CSV format on weekly or monthly basis.
  • Export Now can be used to export data immediately.
  • Options to include images, documents and attachments, Salesforce Files, and Salesforce CRM Content document versions.
  • Option to whether replace carriage returns with spaces.
  • NOTE: Data Export is not supported in Sandbox.

Data Loader

  • Another great tool that is used to export data from Salesforce object.
  • Export All option allows exporting even archived activity records and soft-deleted records.
  • NOTE: Attachments cannot be exported using Data Loader. However, attachments can be exported using tool.

Well, that's all for now. Good night people!

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