5 Ways to Keep Your Salesforce Data Clean

Tim Combridge
December 7, 2023
Follow this guide to ensure that the Data in your Salesforce Org is clean and accurate.


If your business is seeking to increase your efficiency and ensure a top-tier customer experience, then your Salesforce data cleanliness is paramount. Having a clean data set ensures accurate reports and insights, which provides a plethora of benefits for your business, including creating a reliable foundation for your business to make positive strategic decisions, granting your marketing experts with an accurate data set that can be segmented correctly, and providing our customer service team with a much better support experience as they can access up-to-date.

In addition to the above (as if you needed more convincing as to why this is such an important topic), clean data helps to reduce the risk of receiving errors in your automation, duplicate records causing issues in business operations, and helps to promote a professional image to your industry, instilling confidence in your customers. Ultimately, the integrity of your Salesforce platform and the value you’ll gain from your investment hinges on the cleanliness of the data that resides in it.

What is Dirty Data

In the Salesforce ecosystem, you may have heard the term ‘dirty data’ but what does this really mean? In the context of Salesforce data, the term ‘dirty data’ refers to data that is inaccurate, inconsistent, incomplete, or even duplicated data within your CRM system. If your data cleanliness isn’t a priority for your business, you are guaranteed to face issues along your journey. These issues may manifest as ineffective marketing campaigns that simply waste your budget with no results, misguided sales efforts where your teams are targeting the wrong prospects, or a service experience that doesn’t quite live up to your customer’s expectations.

These are just some of the impacts that dirty data can have on your business if it is not kept in check.

Why is it Important to Keep Data Clean

It’s a safe assumption to make that a majority of businesses around the world are always looking to improve their operational efficiency, the ability to make informed decisions, and in general become a larger and more successful organization. In our modern, digital world, this is not possible without a method of recording, managing, and keeping accurate records of your customers and the relationships you have with them.

Customers expect a certain type of service these days; they expect whoever they are being served by to already have a clear understanding of their needs, especially if they have a history with your company. They anticipate that your business will know what the best fit for them will be in terms of your products and services. They expect you to almost be able to know them better than they know themselves before you’ve even met them - what a wild thought! While it sounds seemingly impossible to achieve this, you might be surprised by just what you can do with a clean Salesforce data set!

In the age of AI, your data cleanliness becomes even more important. The power of Artificial Intelligence is only realised when the data that it is referencing is accurate and rich. Your AI is only as powerful as the data that informs it, which is another key reason to ensure you’re capturing as much useful data as you can in a structured way, in addition to building a culture within your business that takes responsibility for data cleanliness throughout their day-to-day operations. A commitment to data cleanliness instils confidence in your stakeholders and also positions your business to adapt and thrive in an increasingly data-centric business world.

By harnessing the power of trends, which can only be accurate if your data is complete and clean, you will be able to predict what your prospects’ needs may be before they even realise it for themselves. By keeping a complete record of your relationships with your customers, you will be able to know your customers deeply throughout their service experiences. Finally, data can also be used to accurately inform your marketing strategy and ensure that the money you’re investing into bringing new prospects to your business is going to yield the results you’re seeking.

5 Ways to Keep Data Clean

Now that you know what it means to keep data clean and how important it is to both your business and the experiences you provide to your customers, you may want to consider a few ways that you can increase the quality of your data. There’s no one fool proof way to keep perfectly clean data, however by taking advantage of the below you should be able to reduce the amount of dirty data in your org and increase the cleanliness standard of your data going forward.

1) Establish Clear Data Standards

Establishing clear standards for your data means your business needs to define and implement guidelines, rules, and conventions for how your data needs to be managed within Salesforce. Clearly communicating these standards helps to ensure the consistency, accuracy, and uniformity of the data that will aid in everything you’re trying to use it for.

Standards may include specifying naming conventions for records, creating validation rules to ensure your data is populated correctly and in the right format, and ensuring that fields are being displayed correctly to the users who need to access them or populate the data within them. Clear data standards will guide users when they are capturing and updating data, which in turn will reduce the likelihood of any errors or inaccuracies going forward.

2) Enforce Data Standards Using Salesforce Tools

As was touched on earlier, Salesforce makes it easier to enforce your data standards by offering some easy-to-use tools alongside your Salesforce subscription. One tool that can be used to keep your Salesforce data clean is validation rules. These are rules that validate the data that a user has entered into Salesforce before it will save the record to the database. This ensures that data is shaped correctly, or that values are populated when they’re expected to be, without even allowing the dirty data a chance to contaminate your Salesforce database.

Other built-in tools include duplicate management, required fields (both at the object definition level and the page layout), and flow. Flow is often overlooked as a means of data validation due to the fact that it’s primarily used to automate workflow - but this is exactly why it is useful in the context of data validation. Flows enable you to automatically calculate values, create related records, or assign records to users. This saves your users from needing to do it manually which will reduce the risk of human error, and ultimately ensures clean data throughout Salesforce.

In addition to the built-in tools that Salesforce provides, you may also want to consider some third-party options that have been built to help you stay on top of your Salesforce data cleansing. Dataimporter can assist you in making sure you have clean records prior to performing a Salesforce data import. Not only does the ability to import data into Salesforce as opposed to manually entering it reduce the risk of human error, but there are features within Dataimporter that help to keep your data clean.

During your data import job you can transform your data by using formulas which will streamline your Salesforce data import experience. Mapping your source data to multiple objects within Salesforce and processing them together will save your admins time. You can connect with external data sources to make your Salesforce integrations simple and help data to flow better between connected systems. Finally, Dataimporter offers a rollback feature so that if your data isn’t quite right you can reverse your Salesforce data import and keep your business data clean.

If you want to give Dataimporter a try and see how it can help streamline your Salesforce data, you can sign up for free here.

3) Regularly Deduplicate and Cleanse Data

This should come as no surprise but as Salesforce is your single source of truth, your records should also be, well, a single source of truth for your customers! Having multiple records representing your customers and not knowing which one is ‘the right one’ is going to drive your users mad. It’s also bound to cause confusion for your poor customers when they’re working with your business.

The reasons that you should frequently perform health checks and cleanse your data are countless. You ensure the long-term accuracy and reliability of your data. You empower your business to effectively communicate with your customers and prospects. You enhance your organization’s decision-making abilities. You enhance your public image, create better experiences for your customers, and ultimately you will both save money and generate additional revenue for your business - need I say more?!

4) Restrict Access to Data Using Permissions

In the wild wild data west, bad actors are constantly farming for data by any and all sinister means you could possibly think of. In the last few years alone there have been a series of major breaches: Sony, Optus Australia, T-Mobile, Seiko, Microsoft, and even NATO.

However, restricting access to data is not just a security issue, but also a value-of-information issue. Not everyone needs to see everything! You may capture a lot of rich, valuable data about your customers, which helps to build a full 360-degree view of them. That being said, if your users need to dig through pages of information to find what is relevant and valuable to their current interaction with your customer then it’s not going to create a sense of confidence.

Permission sets and permission set groups can be used to provide access to different objects and data to specific users, and in conjunction with the clever application of Lightning Pages can be used to create optimal experiences for your users.

5) Continuously Train and Communicate with Users

At the end of the day, your users ARE your business. They are the ones that capture, manage, and use your Salesforce data on a daily basis. Because of this, training and communicating your data cleanliness standards with your users is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and reliable Salesforce data set. Your users need to understand the importance of maintaining the data standards that you have defined in the context of their day-to-day operations.

Training sessions and clearly documented guides equip your business users with the knowledge they need to maintain the Salesforce data standards that your business has defined. It is imperative that they understand how their processes will be impacted by validation rules that are applied, or where they can find certain information (if at all they have been granted the ability to access it).

Effective communication helps to remind your users why data cleanliness is important, and what the benefits will be for them. When users are properly informed and can see the benefits that their efforts will lead to, they are more likely to stick to these data standards as there is something in it for them. Ultimately, proper training and communication of your data standards will help to ensure your Salesforce solution remains a trustworthy tool for strategic business operations in your industry.

BONUS) Regularly Audit Data, Analyze Usage, and Keep Up to Date

Salesforce data cleanliness is not a one-and-done job, but an ongoing process of maintaining standards across your entire organization. While it sounds like a massive job, it is a shared responsibility that helps to distribute the burden of ownership. Regularly auditing your data is essential, and keeping your finger on the pulse is the only real way to ensure you’re getting the value from the data that you’re seeking.

Salesforce data audits serve as a proactive measure to identify and fix issues with your data. It provides the opportunity to fix major problems before they occur and to ensure your data is clean and current. This will enhance the reliability of your data and in turn, enable your business to realise the benefits of clean data not just upon implementing your data standards, but on an ongoing basis.


Hopefully, there’s no doubt left in your mind that keeping your Salesforce data clean is a critical priority for your business. It will lead to your business avoiding issues such as inaccurate data, duplicate records, frustrating and confusing experiences with your customers, and outdated information leading to poor business decisions. Instead, you should be fostering a culture of clean and current Salesforce data in your organization. Remind your users that this is a shared responsibility for everyone who uses the data, and equally a shared benefit when things are kept up to standard.

When you define your data standards, make sure you’re being clear. Ensure that your documented data standards are something that your whole business has access to and is regularly referenced. Clear guidance leads to clear understanding, which leads to correct actions taken, and valuable positive results.

Dataimporter can help you along your data cleanliness journey in Salesforce. The tool includes the ability to map data to multiple objects, transform your data through the use of the native formula tool, deduplicate records before they are even sent to the Salesforce database, the ability to filter records when integrating with an external source, and custom formatting of field values. Dataimporter is free to start and will give you a leg-up on the competition by helping you manage your Salesforce data import jobs, and ensure your clean data standards are maintained. Give it a try in your org today!

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