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7 most common problems with data quality that can screw up your Salesforce

Posted on November 22, 2014

As a Salesforce Admin, you know that data quality is the most crucial factor in how well Salesforce works for your company. But even if you have good intentions, data quality problems you can’t avoid can still mess up your Salesforce instance.

This post will look at seven of the most common problems with data quality and how to fix them.


Here are the most common data quality issues.


#1 Duplicate data

Businesses that use Salesforce to automate their sales and marketing know that duplicate data is a big problem. It makes it hard to get good information about your sales pipeline, leading to inaccurate reports, missed chances, and even lost customers.

Your Salesforce org can get filled up with duplicate data. People who work in the same organization but can’t see each other’s records may accidentally enter the same information twice.

Or, if you import data from another source, the imported data set may have duplicates. Duplicate data is a big problem for any business that uses Salesforce, no matter how it happens.


#2 Inaccurate data

What happens when information is wrong? It can affect the whole business.

In Salesforce, wrong information about customers can lead to incorrect conclusions, missed sales opportunities, and less work getting done. You can take steps to stop false information from taking root in your Salesforce org, which is good news.


#3 Ambiguous data

Data that is not clear, confusing, or contradictory is called ambiguous data. Data that isn’t clear can be a problem for businesses because it makes it hard to make decisions.

For example, a salesperson might enter “NYC” as the meeting address or a non-specified main phone number for an individual. Other coworkers will use this vague information to get in touch with the customer. These vague entries can make it hard to figure out where the customer is or what number to call to reach them.

Companies must make sure that their data is clear and correct to avoid these problems. They should also set up rules and procedures for putting information into Salesforce. Companies can avoid the bad effects of unclear data by taking these steps.


#4 Hidden data

Users can’t see confidential data because it’s entered in a field that doesn’t show up or because it’s part of a record that they can’t see. Hidden data can cause problems because users may need help to see important information, which can lead to bad decisions. Also, it can be hard to see changes or trends over time when data is hidden.

Salesforce can get secret information in a few different ways. For example, users must remember to add important details to a record or enter data in another field.

Records can also be hidden if they are part of a group that the user cannot access.

Some information may be hidden by default, like when a user can’t see specific fields.

Lastly, data could be kept separate in stealth spreadsheets by rebels who don’t want to use Salesforce, and the company seems to let this happen.

If your company uses Salesforce, it’s essential to know what data could be hidden. Taking steps to ensure all information is visible and easy to find can help keep problems from happening in the future.


#5 Inconsistent data

Working with data can be challenging because it doesn’t always match up. When working with a centralized database of customers and prospects, it can be easy to spot data that doesn’t match up.

Consider what happens when people’s job titles are entered into the database differently. If you filter for customers with the job title “CFO,” you might not get many results because some users could have put in C.F.O., “Chief Financial Officer,” or “Head of Finance.”

When filtering data or pulling reports, these entries can make things hard to understand and frustrating. It may even cause people to draw wrong conclusions from the data.

To avoid these problems, it is essential to ensure that the database is constantly updated with the same information. You can stop this from happening by giving employees clear instructions on entering data and training them on these instructions. These steps can help you ensure your data is correct and consistent, which can help you make better business decisions.


#6 Too much data

In business, having more information is not always better. Too much data can hurt your business. Too much data can hurt your business by clogging up your Salesforce account and making your team frustrated as they try to sort through data that doesn’t apply to them.

When there is too much data, it takes longer to run reports, load pages, and do other things.

Also, having too much information can make it hard to find what you need when you need it. When important information gets lost in the mix, it can lead to missed chances and bad decisions.

Lastly, too much data can consume a lot of time and money on your team’s part. When your team spends all of its time managing data instead of using it to drive results, it’s time to rethink your approach. Your business can be hurt by having too much data.


#7 Data Downtime

We call it “data downtime” when some users keep track of their work in spreadsheets and only occasionally import their data into Salesforce. Data downtime occurs when the Salesforce information doesn’t match what the company currently knows. Whenever there is a data outage, team members must use information that hasn’t been updated.

When companies are getting ready to send holiday cards to all customers and prospects, it should take less than a minute to get this information from Salesforce.

But some team members keep updated spreadsheets about customers and prospects they share through Sharepoint or Google Drive. They only move this information into Salesforce when the top leaders tell them to do.

In these situations, putting together a list of all customers will take much more time and work, and this extra work is a massive waste of the company’s time and money.

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