8 Salesforce Data Governance Best Practices
Salesforce environments contain and create massive amounts of data. This data can be used to inform future business decisions. Other types of data such as customer and team member personal information will need to be protected.
However, you can only use and protect your Salesforce data if you know where to find it. Otherwise, you’re left to broadly guess where particular data sets can be found.
Salesforce data governance is a combination of methods and standards that are designed to maintain data quality.
A proper data governance strategy will provide a series of benefits including simplifying planning, heightening accountability, informing future improvements, and more.
There is a range of success with Salesforce data governance depending on the practices a company uses to address these important issues. Taking the time to work through these practices before rehauling Salesforce data governance policies can save time in the long run.
A little intentional forethought can go a long way.
Here are 8 best practices for Salesforce data governance:
1. Clearly Define Goals
A Salesforce data governance strategy can provide a variety of benefits. Which weak points in your current way of operating would you like to address? Understanding your needs is the first step toward addressing them. Simply instituting new processes without a thought to what you hope to accomplish will only lead to a situation where you accidentally solve your problems.
Analyze your current data handling strategies to find areas in need of improvement. Make a list of these areas and prioritize the most urgent aspects of your system.
Use this list to establish a roadmap for how to proceed. All of the following best practices should be implemented with these original goals in mind.
2. Create a Salesforce Governance Framework
Now that you have a direction in which you’d like to go, it’s time to put together the outline of your strategy. A Salesforce governance framework establishes the rules and processes for collecting, storing, and using your company’s database records. This will also define the team members assigned to each role as well as the expectations of that role.
Setting forth clear definitions of roles and processes ensures uniform handling of data.
Utilize your identified goals to build out the Salesforce governance model. This includes how the data will be discovered, the execution of essential process components, and how these processes will be monitored.
3. Assign Roles Based on Needs and Skills
Your data management team will be in charge of making sure your data governance goals are addressed. Protocols and strategies can be put in place, but nothing will happen without talented team members actively working to incorporate them.
There should be three levels of team members to oversee the processes of data governance:
- Manager: A senior executive that oversees the data governance system.
- Department Leaders: Each department should have a designated individual to oversee data governance efforts to keep processes consistent.
- Advocates: Various roles within each department that monitor, analyze, and interpret the collected data.
4. Communicate Expectations of Roles
Assigning these roles is the first step. The next part of this is to make sure each member of your Salesforce data governance team understands not only the expectations of their role, but how their role fits into the larger strategy. This helps them know which information provides the greatest benefits to their surrounding team members.
Clear communication, continuous updates, and an open environment to encourage questions guarantees team members have everything they need to accomplish the expectations of their roles.
Facilitate this open environment of communication by enabling your team members to freely talk and discuss their work.
5. Address Data Protection and Privacy
The scope of data and information included within your governance strategy has a few considerations to keep in mind. The most pressing of these considerations is that of properly handling and protecting any sensitive data your team members might come across.
Maintaining backups, minimizing exposure, and using secure passwords are just a few measures your team must take in order to properly protect this personal and sensitive data.
This could include personal identifiable information (PII), financial information, or medical information. The handling of this data is likely to be covered by data security regulations.
6. Balance Backlog with New Projects
Your Salesforce environment likely possess a large amount of data. These pools of data will continue to grow as your incorporate new updates and applications and serve new customers. However, it’s important to categorize and organize existing data before addressing new data.
Organizing your backlog of information creates the structure to which new data can be mapped.
Take the time to find, analyze, and manage existing data sets according to your governance strategy. Not only will this clean up your existing information, it provides direction for future processes.
7. Include Metadata in Your Salesforce Data Management Best Practices
Customer data management inclusing sensitive data and network information can take priority because it is easy to see and understand. However, these aren’t the only areas that need to be protected, arranged, and organized within your data governance structure.
Metadata plays a massive role in your Salesforce environment. It needs to be handled and protected with as much care as other types of data.
Linked fields and objects described through metadata. Data security regulations often also include metadata in their scope. Be sure to include this valuable type of data in your Salesforce data management strategy.
8. Monitor for Successes and Areas for Improvement
Our Salesforce environments are always changing. New updates and extensions are introduced. New customers are brought onboard and new customer data is created. Our pools of data and the way we use them are constantly evolving, and so should our data governance strategy.
Monitor successes and areas for improvement through your Salesforce platform governance strategy and make changes to refine processes.
An outdated governance strategy won’t provide the benefits you need to accomplish your stated goals. And as time goes on, these goals can change as well. Working to keep everyone’s attention directed in the most beneficial way will provide advantages that can be seen across your entire Salesforce environment.
Salesforce data governance is a combination of methods and standards that are designed to maintain a quality pool of data.
- Proper coverage
- Data protection/privacy
- System data/metadata
- Organization of data sets
- Protecting internal systems