Think of a database as a home and the data inside as your stuff. Each record is like an old pair of socks, a book you’re never going to read, or that lamp you just can’t seem to throw out. Though you may need it someday, chances are it will go unused and you’ll end up replacing it anyway. If your home were in as much disrepair as your database, you would never want to have company, right? So why should your data be any different?

Tidying Your Database with the KonMari Method

Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo’s name is synonymous with orderly minimalist living, but many don’t think about how her methods apply to data management.

“People cannot change their habits without first changing their way of thinking.” -Marie Kondo

The KonMari method uses a holistic approach to decluttering one’s home by asking the simple question: “Does this spark joy?” If something doesn’t spark joy, it gets discarded (but not without appreciation).

Applying the KonMari method to your CRM and marketing automation data can help your organization improve efficiency, increase productivity, drive alignment, and increase ROI on expensive software purchases.

Whether the clutter is from a large scale data migration or improper procedures by a careless employee, every business should experience the satisfaction that accompanies a clean, organized database. Say goodbye to last year’s data and make room for fresh data by following these 5 tips to declutter your database using the KonMari Method.

Marie Kondo Salesforce Hack: Field Trip on the Salesforce Appexchange is a free tool that can help you uncover field usage rates and help you get rid of fields that don’t spark joy.

#1 – Show Sincere Appreciation for Your Data.

Let’s start with any easy one. One of the guiding principles of the KonMari method is to value the items that bring you joy and let go of the rest with gratitude. And the best way to cherish your data is to thank it. Yes that’s right. Saying ‘Thank You’ to bits and bytes may feel strange at first, but showing sincere appreciation can shift your mindset and help your maintain a clean database going forward.

I had been so focused on what to discard, on attacking the unwanted obstacles around me, that I had forgotten to cherish the things that I loved, the things I wanted to keep. -Marie Kondo

Think deeply about how your data helps you achieve your personal and professional objectives. Perhaps your data helped you reach your revenue goals for the fiscal year and it made your shareholders happy. Or maybe your data helped you provide a solution to a customer’s pain point which gave you personal satisfaction.

Gratitude for your data (even the dirty & discarded data) will affect how you move forward with your data collection, creation, processing, storage, and analysis. Mindfulness is the first step towards data harmony.

#2 – Commit. 

Marie Kondo emphasizes the importance of commitment to tidiness, rather than occasional effort. 

Simply cleaning your data once is not sufficient to revitalize a database. Data can be really unstructured and dirty within silos. A total database transformation happens when you take a more committed approach to data cleansing. 

The KonMari method uses the principle of ikki ni or ‘in one go.’ Taking this same dedicated strategy to your data will make the process a bit more time-consuming at the beginning, but will help tremendously going forward.

Marie Kondo-ing your database requires you to dive head first into the cleanup process, not take baby steps. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 2.

Tired of data that doesn’t spark joy?