Top 4 Salesforce Data Management Best Practices: A Complete Guide for Salesforce Admins

Are you a Salesforce admin or an architect? How often have you been driven to develop a robust data life-cycle management roadmap for your CRM to harness the full potential of your business data? In today’s AI-accelerated era, crafting an effective Salesforce Data Management Strategy is crucial. With Cloud 3.0 and the integration of advanced AI tools, data is more pivotal than ever, from the simplest to the most intricate Salesforce CRM implementations.

One universal truth is that AI is only as good as your data, but getting a comprehensive data strategy is challenging. Maintaining impeccable data quality is the linchpin for your gen-AI success at Salesforce. Even the most intricately crafted business processes and analytical reports lose their potency in the absence of quality data backing them. 

Hence, it’s imperative to consistently assess your enterprise’s data management systems, leveraging insights from esteemed Salesforce data management experts. By embracing industry best practices, you may chance upon transformative strategies that elevate data quality but amplify your Salesforce productivity to new heights.

ALSO READ: Data Management in Salesforce: All about it’s Challenges & Solutions

For your benefit and ease, we have curated a small list of the top five Salesforce data management best practices that might take your Salesforce experience to the next level.

1) Reviewing the 5-year Data Goal

Most of the successful enterprises running on a Salesforce platform established a clear 5-year roadmap of their business data. This includes the critical aspect of how they want to use their data to achieve decisive business goals. Unless you don’t have a future-ready, powerful & long-term data strategy, chances are high that you might not be able to take full advantage of your business data. 

Reviewing your data also required in setting up the analytical initiatives for your business. Using the right set of data for analytics can really transform your business decisions and boost overall productivity.

Data strategy

One of the most important benefits of having a clear long-term Salesforce data strategy is to meet compliance and governance demands without any hassle. You know which data to retain, which data to keep secure, till when you need to retain which data, how to protect customer data, etc. 

MUST READ: Achieving Regulatory Compliance for Salesforce Data: How to Build a Long-term Data Retention Strategy in Salesforce?

2) Data Integrity

One of the foremost things that decide the effectiveness of any data management strategy is the quality of data that is being stored in the Salesforce system. 

  • To extract the maximum benefit, all the records, custom objects, data, and information stored in the system should first ideally be named according to specific conventions. This ensures that a record’s underlying information can be clearly understood at one glance and that all records are easily differentiated from one another. 
  • Duplicate records can become great trouble by creating an inaccurate view of the database size, result in wasted efforts from the sales and marketing teams, and can lead to grossly miscalculated revenue and sales projections. Therefore periodically getting rid of such duplicate records is essential. This can be achieved by either using Salesforce’s Data Import Wizard and selecting a matching field to identify duplicates or using Salesforce’s built-in duplicate management tool.
  • Another necessary aspect is diminishing the quality & integrity of your data over time. It is recommended to keep the data up-to-date. To achieve this several add-on applications can be used to scrub & enrich the data quality by getting rid of the redundant data. 
3) Data Validation

The Salesforce data validation rule is potentially one of the most effective Salesforce data management practices and is generally included when a regular Salesforce algorithm is created. 

  • On an individual level, validation helps to easily manage all the system data as effectively as the larger data management tools. Using validation rules, a user can block the creation or editing of records once a pre-defined criteria is met and work specifically on the data that meets the criteria listed. It comes in handy when locating some specific record within large pools of information. 
  • Likewise, introducing data validation at an organizational level, particularly for those who regularly ship products and marketing materials to their customers, implementing a third-party validation for addresses and other demographic information will be immensely helpful. Simple data validation steps as an add-on feature can ensure huge time and cost savings with relatively little effort on the organization’s part.
4) Data Backup & Archiving 

In the Salesforce system, it is always recommended to adopt a backup or & archiving strategy considering specific business requirements.

  • As the constantly flowing data is extremely vulnerable to corruption and accidental damage, creating a proper Salesforce backup strategy becomes necessary. Regular Salesforce data backups are essential, regardless of database size, user count, or update frequency, to prevent significant data loss from your Salesforce system, right from the start. If you are taking backups of your Salesforce using free-native tools, Salesforce’s Data Export Service, Data Loader, and Report Export can be used for the job. Salesforce-managed packages can also cater to backup automation needs. Moreover, for comprehensive data backups for Salesforce third-party applications like DataArchiva Backup & Recovery, ensure fast, easy & affordable backups for all your Business data, metadata & files for robust business resilience.
  • Another option for increasing data security and system performance while reducing costs is the implementation of a secure Salesforce data archiving strategy. In archiving, less used or historical data is moved out of the system into an external storage space where it can be stored and then accessed whenever required. Even Salesforce’s Big Objects can be used to archive data. DataArchiva helps Salesforce enterprise customers archive their data within the Salesforce system natively using Big Objects. Otherwise, you can bring your platforms like Heroku, Azure, AWS, and GCP cloud or leverage your on-premise infrastructure to archive Salesforce data externally with DataArchiva, without integrating any external connector to perform the job. 

Watch this On-Demand Webinar: How to Leverage External Storage Systems to Archive Salesforce Data with DataArchiva

“We are on a mission to bridge the gap between data management and innovation. We are not only evolving with technology but also redefining what’s possible in the realm of data-driven business making. DataArchiva has been exceptional over the last five years in transforming the data archive and backup needs of customers and I am looking forward to the upcoming innovations,” said Harish Kumar, Co-founder of CEPTES Software.

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What are the Top data Management Best Practices?

As a Salesforce Admin, you should review your 5-year data goal, prioritize regular data backups, consistent data cleansing & archiving whenever needed, and ensure robust data security, and stringent user access control. These practices ensure your data is reliable, secure, and accessible only to authorized users.

Regular data backups are vital because they provide a safety net in case of accidental deletions, data corruption, or system failures. By routinely backing up your Salesfroce data using easy yet comprehensive backup applications, you can quickly restore lost information, minimizing downtime and ensuring business continuity.

Data cleansing should be performed regularly, with a typical frequency being quarterly. This involves removing duplicates, correcting inaccuracies, updating outdated information, and maintaining compliance data archives in Salesforce, to retain high-quality data that supports accurate reporting and decision-making.

To enhance data security with regular Salesforce backups, conduct regular security audits, maintain access control protocols, and use encryption while processing sensitive customer data. These measures help protect your data from unauthorized access and breaches, ensuring compliance and peace of mind.

User access control involves managing who can access specific data and functionalities within Salesforce. It’s crucial because it prevents unauthorized access, protects sensitive information, and helps you comply with data privacy regulations by ensuring that only the right people have access to the right data.

You can automate data management tasks using tools like Salesforce Data Loader for bulk data operations, automation scripts for repetitive tasks, and third-party applications like DataArchiva to streamline processes. Automation saves time, reduces errors, and ensures consistency in your data management practices.

Data validation ensures that data entered into Salesforce meets predefined standards and criteria. This is critical for maintaining data accuracy, consistency, and reliability, which in turn supports better business decisions and operational efficiency.

Ensuring compliance involves implementing proper data handling and protection procedures, staying updated with regulatory changes, conducting regular audits, providing training to users on data privacy best practices, and choosing the right applications to integrate with Salesforce for operational ease. These steps help safeguard personal information and meet legal requirements.

Data duplication can lead to inefficiencies, inaccurate reporting, increased storage costs, and degraded system performance. Regularly deduplicating your data helps maintain a clean and efficient database, ensuring your Salesforce instance runs smoothly and your reports are reliable.

You can monitor data quality by setting up reports and dashboards that highlight data & process anomalies, conducting regular data quality assessments, and using data quality tools. Continuous monitoring and improvement of data quality or discipline with audit history records for archive & backup applications will ensure that your data remains accurate and reliable for all business operations.

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DataArchiva offers three powerful applications through AppExchange including Native Data Archiving powered by BigObjects, External Data Archiving using 3rd-party Cloud/On-prem Platforms, and Data & Metadata Backup & Recovery for Salesforce. For more info, please get in touch with us at [email protected]
CEPTES has been a pure-play Salesforce platform-focused company since 2010. We are product magicians as well as Salesforce consulting whizzes with 1000+ customers across the world. DataArchiva is CEPTES’s flagship application listed on AppExchange