Salesforce Data Governance: Identify an “Owner” for Each Piece of Data

Salesforce as your Single Source of Truth (“SSOT”) means everyone in your organization (Finance, Marketing, Sales, Service, etc.) will be updating and maintaining information in the system. This also means that everyone in your organization (Finance, Marketing, Sales, Service, etc.) will be pulling that information out of the system for reporting purposes.

Since not every piece of data in the system has an “Owner”, how can your users know who to partner with to resolve any questions?

  • What if a Contract Date looks off?
    • Why is the expiration date after the original contract date?
  • What if a customer’s Order information is off?
    •  This client has never purchased Widgets from us before, so why do we show they purchased 10,000 units yesterday?

To help resolve this challenge, we recommend instituting a comprehensive Data Governance model. This helps each team using the system to know what they are responsible for, and helps users pulling data from the system to know who is responsible for maintaining the data they are using.

There are 4 buckets in this RACI:

  • Responsible: Initially creates and/or maintains the Record.
  • Accountable: Ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the record.
  • Consulted: Asked for feedback on changes in the record.
  • Informed: Proactively informed of changes.

Using this perspective, a matrix similar to the one below can be created:

ObjectSales (RACI)CommentContrat OperationsComment
Find the “Account Owner” on the Account PagesN/AN/A
Find the “Account Owner” on the Account the Contact is related toN/AN/A
ContractAccountableFind the “Account Owner” on the Account PagesResponsibleSubmit a Support Request to
Salesforce Data Governance

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. Informed means proactively informed.
    1. Sales should be proactively informed of Marketing Campaigns and Marketing should be proactively informed of Sales Campaigns being created so they can partner together and coordinate plans.
  2. Consulted is used for things like Reports – if you are pulling a report of Contact data, the Contract Operations team will want to provide input.
  3. The lifecycle of a Record is to create, maintain, and ensure accuracy. We split Responsible to cover the first two, and Accountable to cover the last one. This means a Team can be both Responsible and Accountable for a Record. Sales creates and maintains the Account Record, and is ultimately accountable for ensuring it’s accuracy. If the address changes because they move, Sales would be one of the first to learn about it to make the update in salesforce.

Once finalized and approved, this model should be posted in a universally accessible place – such as a Salesforce intranet site.

What next?

  1. Make a list of your SalesForce objects and teams that currently use Salesforce. Identify a single stakeholder for each team who can provide final approval on the Data Governance model.
  2. Make a preliminary Data Governance model with a small strike team. This will allow for a quick first draft.
  3. Meet with the stakeholders and give them a defined period of time (2 weeks is what we used) to provide feedback. If no feedback is received, Silence is acceptance.
  4. Post the model publicly. This will help keep everyone informed of who is responsible for what, and keep the right team accountable for data accuracy in the system.

SIDENOTE:Having a Data Governance model is another Salesforce Admin/Business Analyst lifesaver by allowing them to focus on the structure and maintenance of the system while identifying the right teams to own the data in the system.