Data Steward

Dear Salesforce User,

Do you have the ability to enter data into Salesforce? Can you create records? Update fields? Generate Reports?

Do you realize the power that has been bestowed upon you?

When you are given the ability to create information in your company’s Salesforce org – which is what you are doing when you interact with data – you are given real power. Power to both create value and to cause harm.

Information is what we use to empower business transformation and evolution. And, as you have likely heard, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

When you are in the throes of your day-to-day job, balancing the to-do list taller than you are, a few records of data might not seem that important. Maybe there is a system rule that Zip Code is required for new prospects and instead of finding the correct value to input, you think to yourself, I’ll just input 12121 to save some time.

You might consider the impact of having marketing believe that Melrose, NY is a veritable hotspot of activity.

Having reliable, accurate, timely data in all areas of the business is critical to an organization’s success.

Even the smallest bit of incorrect, unreliable data can cause a rift in trust with consumers of that information. When senior management looks at dashboards/reports and sees Melrose, NY having an influx of new prospects, they may make decisions off of that bit of information.

Consider the impact your actions. What if your shortcut caused marketing campaign funds to target that specific region? That decision would be based on false pretenses. Even the smallest pieces of data can have a powerful impact on an organization.

It is important to note that everyone should be aware of why we track the data we track. Why do we want to know the zip code of prospects? If individuals can not answer the question on why a particular field is important to the organization they need to highlight that and find out.

If you have a strong understanding of why a piece of data is important you are more likely to put in the effort to validate the quality of the data you input, resulting in the business be able to produce the information it needs. Knowledge is power. If the business can not easily establish why a piece of data is important and how they use it, that brings into question if inputting that data into the system is worth the time it takes for employees to enter it.

Maybe you are thinking “It’s not my job to focus on data quality,” or “Sales Operations takes care of that,” or “My IT/Admin will fix any data issues.” The truth is that those roles can not catch everything. Instead of looking to your left at Sales Operations, or to your right at IT/Admin groups to find out who your data steward is, look in the mirror. Be your own data steward. Own it.

It is true that there are benefits to having a department and/or individual(s) accountable for the overall data quality of your system, but my belief is without each and every one of us holding ourselves accountable to data quality, success will not be obtained.

Are you going to embrace your inner Data Steward?

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