We used to operate in data silos. The accounting department had their files and databases while sales kept their contact information in spreadsheets and homegrown CRM databases. In order to do any data analysis, we had to manually combine these pieces of information, organizing and manipulating the data to get the results that we wanted. With the adoption of SaaS applications, we have a new freedom and power to get much more from our data. But, as a wise man once said, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
API’s have given us the power to connect our data across departments without sacrificing features and functionality. Our marketing automation system now syncs to our CRM, which is integrated with our accounting records. Everything links together, creating a beautiful web of data to tell a holistic story of sales cycle, channel performance and ideal customer profiles.
Consider for a moment how many applications you have integrated into your Salesforce instance. Now consider that more than 3 million apps have been developed for Salesforce and that there are 1,800 available in the Salesforce App Exchange. That’s a lot of connections and data passing through all of your systems. It doesn’t take long before that beautiful web gets tangled and there is no longer one view of the truth for your data. It gets increasingly complicated when the data in one database now has the capability to overwrite what’s in another.
We’ve figured out how to powerfully integrate our systems, but now we need to take responsibility for the data in our charge. There are lots of best practices advising companies how to manage their data. Here are three easy to implement steps to at least get you started.
1. Restrict user permissions to only what’s needed: Limiting access helps limit a potential data disaster.
2. Keep a second, secure copy of all data: Safety first! Data loss happens in the cloud so it’s best to use a third-party Salesforce backup tool. There are backup solutions for other systems as well.
3. Be careful with third-party app installation: You can easily integrate third-party apps, but should you? Often times a third-party app can overwrite data in your existing systems. Be cautious and only allow your admin or IT pro to start installing these third-party apps.