Checklist for Saleforce.com Admins to Prep for 2013

Another year is quickly coming to an end. And what a year it’s been–Chatter improvements, Touch released and even Analytics updates. You might have been so preoccupied this year with staying up with release enhancements that you haven’t even thought about year-end tasks. But time is running out so here is a short checklist of year-end items for Salesforce.com Admins.

1. Dashboards. Take screenshots of dashboards and reports that contain YTD and PYTD information before the year switches.

2. Reports. Run a “Report Last Run” report and get rid of reports that have not been run by anyone in some time. Rather than just deleting, I like to add them to a private folder called “Reports to Remove” for future deletion—just in case someone comes asking for it in a month.

3. Custom Fields. Do you have any custom annual fields such as “2012 Ranking” or “YTD Sales” that need to be updated or replaced? For YTD fields consider running a report and archiving before the year ends.

4. Campaigns. Deactivate any campaigns from the year that are no longer generating activities.

5. Email Templates. Review your email templates to see if there are any old ones that are no longer being used.

6. Fields. Got any fields that aren’t being used? There is a great app on the AppExchange called Field Trip that can help answer that question. Remove any unused fields from the page layout and consider deleting.

7. Copyright. Do you have a force.com site or other website that needs the Copyright updated to include 2013?

8. Leads and Contacts. A new year is a great time to review and archive old leads that might not have current contact information. Consider sending Stay In Touch requests for contacts.

9. Fiscal Calendars. If using Fiscal Calendars this is a good time to add another year.

10. Travel budget. Now is the time to get that Dreamforce conference on the 2013 budget.

11. Users. Do you have any licenses that are no longer being used? Take an audit of last log in and inform users and managers of any seats that have not been used recently.

12. Salesforce.com Releases. Now is a great time to review the 2012 releases to see what you might have overlooked or postponed. And with Spring ’13 right around the corner take a look at what’s coming.

13. Year in Review. Take an hour or two and review your accomplishments for the last year and type them up for you next performance review (or resume). Have you added any custom objects, workflow rules, formula fields, new reports, conducted any training? These are all impressive items to add to your list of 2012 achievements.

Happy New Year!
-ST

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Data is King

We’ve heard it all before…you’re only as good as your data. But users get creative and sometimes they will put things like a contact’s nickname and mobile phone in the zip code field. Which, for some reason, the post office doesn’t seem to appreciate their resourcefulness.

So what can you do to ensure consistent data that is easy to report and filter on? Validation Rules!

With validation rules, Salesforce admins can specify which values make the cut and get saved and which ones are rejected.

Going back to the postal code example, as an Admin you can specify that a postal code must be either 5 numbers or 5 plus 4 numbers if the country is USA. When your user tries to put in a 10 digit phone number in the postal field they will receive an error message that tells them it can only be in the 5 digit or zip plus 4 format.

Pretty cool huh? Here are some other common validation rules that many admins use:

  • Opportunity Close Date Must be Current Month
  • Opportunity Name Format
  • Mailing Address is required
  • Account Number must be a specific size
  • US Phone has 10 digits

Salesforce has put together this handy little cheat sheet filled with hundreds of useful validation rules.

http://login.salesforce.com/help/doc/en/fields_useful_field_validation_formulas.htm

 

There are a lot of powerful things you can do with validation rules to make sure your data stays squeaky clean.