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steps toward top data quality

Industry analysts point the finger at bad data as one of the top three reasons why CRM projects fail

Because bad data leads to misleading incomplete and confusing information it lowers adoptionanother

major reason why CRM projects fail

Accurate information and reports are the life blood of an effective sales
force Without it management doesnt have the data to make good
decisions sales reps dont have the tools to turn leads into customers and

the company will find it difficult to reconcile CRM data with data in other

systems The result Lost opportunities and revenue frustrated users and
customers and a lack of user adoption

Dont let bad data undermine your Salesforce

CRM projector your success as a company

Get your data under control with the step
approach outlined in this paper

By Oliver Demuth

How to boost data quality
To ensure consistently high data quality youll need to train your users create and implement a dataquality process and use available technologies to automate the process whenever possible Heres a step
approach thats working for many of our customers

Step Profile your data
Data profiling is all about understanding your data You should know where your data comes from
spreadsheets backend systems or sticky notes all over reps desks Take an inventory of your data that
includes the following information

List your data sources and the names of the fields in which data is stored
Note any potential problems with your data Do you have automated quality checks before a new record
can be saved Are all fields mapped correctly For example the information in the Company field in

Microsoft applications usually belongs in the Account field in Salesforce CRM

In Salesforce CRM make sure theres no duplicate information between objects such as Accounts

Opportunities and Contacts and fields such as State City and so on

Step Control your data
Data control is about achieving data accuracy and ensuring the right users have access to the right
information which also means blocking access as needed To control your data you first need to clean it
by removing duplicates and errors and then set up processes and use technologies to keep it clean

Use automated routines or tools to clean your data Youll find several of these tools on the

steps toward top data quality

Prioritize your data cleanup effort First fix data thats highly visibly and frequently used such as
addresses and emails Fix businessspecific information next such as Opportunity types and stages
Finally remove any duplicate fields for example dont repeat Account information in the Contact

Get your users to fix their data You can help by using Salesforce CRMs validation rules to alert users
when data records are incomplete or dont conform to dataquality standards

Use exception reports and dataquality dashboards to remind users when their Accounts and Contacts are
incorrect or incomplete Scheduling a Dashboard Refresh and sending that information to managers is a
great way to encourage compliance
Another datacontrol challenge is making sure that data ownership and sharing works for your
organizational structure

Review your profiles and role hierarchy and make sure the hierarchy teams and groups are kept up to

Meet frequently with management to keep up with organizational changes

Define the Create Read Update and Delete CRUD rights for each profile to ensure users can work

with data as needed

Step Integrate your data
Most organizations have data in more than one system Whenever theres duplicated data in several
systems its easy for information to get out of synch One way to avoid this problem is to integrate your
systems so that updates in one system automatically update the others resulting in a single source of
truth and making it easier for end users to access information

Integration was once a huge headache No more Salesforcecom offers native connectors to Oracle and

SAP systems for easy integration of customermaster records And the Forcecom API can be used for

any integration scenario There are also dozens of integration partners ready to help with any integration

Its easy to learn about and access the Salesforce CRM data model with our Web Services API

Developers Guide

When designing your integration evaluate your business applications to determine which one will serve
as your system of record or master for the synchronization process The system of record can be a
different system for different business processes

Integrate your order entry and fulfillment applications with Salesforce CRM for a degree view of

your customers

Step Augment your data

To make your CRM system even more valuable augment your data with information that will give your

salespeople and managers an edge For example a number of thirdparty organizations such as Dun
Bradstreet and Hoovers provide valuable information your reps can use to prepare for sales calls Also
make the most of internal market intelligence such as purchasing patterns or competitive analyses

To understand what data is valuable survey your sales and marketing users to see what they want the

Check the AppExchange to find partner solutions that can augment your data with external information
Get internal information about your customers behavior and buying patterns Then evaluate whether this
information would be helpful to your reps


steps toward top data quality

Step Monitor your data
Achieving highquality data isnt a oneshot effort but requires ongoing vigilance Establishing policies
processes and tools for monitoring data is crucial to maintaining data quality

Define a centralized process for mass data loads and datacleansing projects Both the Forcecom
platform and the AppExchange have tools that can help with importing and cleansing data

Use Workflow Validation Rules and Forcecom code Apex to enforce critical business processes
Create reports and dashboards to monitor data quality Be sure to leverage free dataquality dashboards
available on the AppExchange By making data quality widely visible you help make it everyones

Step Assign ownership train users and commit to a dataquality process
Users need to know the importance of data integrity and how to do their part in any dataquality initiative
In training users show them how data quality directly affects their work Its also a good idea to assign
ultimate responsibility for each regions data to a super user geographic lead or other business owner

The Bottom Line
Bad data is bad for business Achieving and maintaining highquality data requires vigilance good

processes and a little help from technologyincluding the features in Salesforce CRM tools from the

Forcecom platform and solutions from our partners on the AppExchange

For More Information
Contact your account executive to learn
how we can help you accelerate your

CRM success