Don’t Let Salesforce Be A Data Black Hole

I was talking with some end users the other day, and was reminded of something I hate to admit I sometimes forgot:

ALWAYS ask yourself WHY am I collecting this piece of data?

As system architects/admins we love having Salesforce be a rich database of information. But we should always keep in mind that we want USEFUL information.

Data for the sake of data is an administrative burden and a nightmare of tech debt. It sits there draining time and energy and not adding value like a data black hole. It also frustrates end users and hurts adoption.

So how do we stop the black hole?

1. Set a reminder in your calendar (do it now!) to look at one object per month and think about how to simplify the amount of data. Start with Account and work down your related list. (When are you doing it?)

2. In your training and documentation, don’t just include what is being captured, include WHY it is being captured. That way you have business requirements built in and can more easily identify when something may no longer be relevant.

3. Whenever you have to adjust a pick-list, run a quick analysis and see what values are being used (or not used!) and clean up accordingly.

Taking 5 minutes now to purge some tech debt and document some use cases will save you hours of time later when you have to try to search through 5+ year old tickets for the business requirements of why something was done. Your future self will thank you!

Remember – we want Salesforce to be a stocking stuffed with presents (aka useful information) and not coal (aka tech debt junk!).

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