Although it seems to be a ubiquitous idea, keeping your Salesforce environment clean can be a lot more challenging than it sounds. Now, this post is focused on the configuration and development side of Salesforce, not data cleansing (that post will follow shortly!) So we’ll delve into topics like cleaning up unused fields, making sure your triggers have great comments and are covered by flawless test classes (ok, maybe not flawless, but at least 75% covered!)
First, let’s talk about the easiest way to track unused fields. We’ve all created those hidden or rarely used fields that we once thought would quickly solve a business issue. These fields are sitting in a graveyard of rarely touched objects within Salesforce, but how can we find that out?
The best way we’ve found is by using a free application called Field Trip. This app has been one of the most talked about Applications for Salesforce ever. It has been mentioned at Dreamforce, on countless blogs, and even here at our Minneapolis Salesforce User Group. The purpose of the app is to track the percentage of the time fields in your org are filled out. So let’s start with 100 Contact records. If you run Field Trip on the Contact object, you’re probably going to have 100% completion on the Last Name field, as it is required. However, not all contacts would have the Description filled out, so let’s say 50%. This report runs on every single field, so if you have a Volunteer field that’s a simple checkbox but it’s filled out 1% of the time, Field Trip will let you see that.
Now that we have a great set of data on field usage, we can decide how to interpret that data. In the example above, with the Volunteer field at 1%, either you have very few volunteers, the field doesn’t fit in with your user’s business flow, or it doesn’t make sense for them to track. Field trip allows you to see these outliers so that you know what questions to ask of your end users. And that’s the most important piece of this – finding the underlying reason for the low field usage. Without interviewing the end user and understanding how they see the system, your attempts at making their lives easier could very well be ineffective.
Finally, the real value comes into play. Once you discover the root cause of these low field usage values, you can streamline your system! Combine fields, delete old unused fields, and create better business flows for all your Salesforce users. The other huge advantage this gives you is that the Setup menu within Salesforce will be organized and decluttered – no more searching through hundreds of fields to find the one you want.
To sum it up, install Field Trip. It’s free, they won’t spam you with ads for other apps or services, and it will help you get a clear diagnosis on the health of your Salesforce implementation.
And if you don’t feel like doing this yourself, feel free to ask us to do it!. We do this everyday, and we’ve become quite skilled at it 🙂 If you’re interested in working with our Minneapolis Salesforce Consultants, drop us a line today at our Contact Page.