Salesforce Admin Prep Notes - Data Management

In the world of Salesforce, managing data doesn't have to be a puzzle. Imagine having the power to effortlessly back up, import, export, and update your data, all while keeping things clean and organized. In this blog, we're breaking down the basics of Salesforce data management, making it easy for everyone. Learn how to safeguard your info, tidy up your records, and make the most out of your Salesforce journey. Let's dive in and simplify the way you handle your data!

Back Up Data

Backing up your data in Salesforce is an important step to ensure that your information is secure and can be recovered in case of unexpected events. Most people do not realize this, but Salesforce, as of this writing, does not back up your data. As an Admin, you are solely responsible for backing up your data. However, Salesforce provides  tools for backing up your data, and here's a quick guide on how to do it:

Salesforce Data Backup:

Data Export: Salesforce offers a built-in Data Export feature that allows you to export your data on a scheduled basis.

  • Navigate to Setup > Data > Data Export.
  • Choose the objects you want to export, select a time, and Salesforce will generate a downloadable file containing your data.

Weekly Export Service: Salesforce provides a Weekly Export service that automatically backs up your data on a weekly basis.

  • Available only in Enterprise, Performance, and Unlimited Editions.
  • Go to Setup > Data > Weekly Export.
  • Enable the service and choose the objects to include in the export.

Data Loader/Data Salesforce Data Loader is a desktop application that enables you to export data in bulk. Data is their cloud solution for performing the backup task.

  • Download and install Data Loader, log in, and select the objects you want to export. Available  for Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, and Developer editions.
  • Choose a CSV file as the output format and run the export operation.

Use External Tools:

  • Explore third-party backup solutions designed for Salesforce, in the AppExchange. These tools often provide additional features and flexibility for managing your backups.

Best Practices:

Regularly Schedule Backups:

  • Set up regular schedules for data exports to ensure that your backup is up-to-date.

Include All Relevant Objects:

  • Identify the key objects and data relationships critical to your business processes and include them in your backup strategy.

Test Data Recovery:

  • Periodically test your backup data to ensure that you can successfully recover information when needed.

Document Your Backup Process:

  • Document the backup procedures, schedules, and any specific configurations to streamline the recovery process.

Import, Export, Update Data

Importing, exporting, and updating data are common tasks in Salesforce, and the it provides several tools to facilitate these tasks. Here's a brief overview of how you can address them:

Importing Data:

Data Import Wizard:

  • The Data Import Wizard is a web-based tool in Salesforce that allows you to import data from various sources.
  • Navigate to Setup > Data > Data Import Wizard.
  • Follow the guided steps to map your fields and import records.

Data Loader:

  • Salesforce Data Loader is a desktop application that supports bulk data operations.
  • Download and install Data Loader, log in, and choose the "Insert" operation to import new records or "Update" to update existing records.
  • Map your fields and execute the operation.

Exporting Data:

Data Export:

  • Salesforce provides a built-in Data Export feature for exporting data.
  • Navigate to Setup > Data > Data Export.
  • Choose the objects and set the export parameters. Salesforce will generate a downloadable file.
  • Can be scheduled and an email is sent when the files are ready.

Data Loader:

  • Data Loader can be used for both importing and exporting data.
  • Choose the "Extract" operation in Data Loader, select the objects and fields you want to export, and run the operation.

Updating Data:

Data Import Wizard:

  • Use the Data Import Wizard to update existing records by specifying the record ID and mapping the fields to be updated.
  • This is particularly useful for smaller-scale updates.

Data Loader:

  • For bulk updates, Data Loader is a powerful tool.
  • Choose the "Update" operation, map the fields, and execute the update.

Best Practices:

Data Preparation:

  • Ensure that your data is prepared and formatted correctly before importing. This includes addressing duplicate records and validating data integrity.

Backup Data:

  • Before making significant updates, consider exporting data or using Data Loader's query feature to create a backup.

Field Mapping:

  • Pay attention to field mapping during imports and updates to ensure data aligns correctly with Salesforce fields.

Use External IDs:

  • When updating records, using external IDs can simplify the process and eliminate the need for Salesforce record IDs.

Mass Delete and Mass Transfer

Salesforce, Mass Delete and Mass Transfer  tools allow users to manage and manipulate data in bulk.

Mass Delete:

  • Purpose: Mass Delete is used to remove multiple records at once, helping to declutter and maintain a clean database. The tool will alert you if child records are impacted.
  • Objects: It can be applied to various standard and custom objects within Salesforce, such as leads, contacts, accounts, and custom objects.
  • Conditions: Users can set specific criteria to define which records should be deleted. For example, you might delete all closed opportunities older than a certain date.
  • Caution: It's crucial to use Mass Delete with care. Proper permissions are required to execute mass delete operations. Best practice is to create a backup before moving forward with a Mass Delete. Deleted records are stored in the recycle bin for 15 days, unless you opted to choose Permanently delete.

Mass Transfer:

  • Purpose: Mass Transfer is used for the bulk reassignment of records from one owner to another. This is particularly handy during organizational changes, role adjustments, or when redistributing workload.
  • Objects: Like Mass Delete, Mass Transfer can be applied to accounts, leads, service, contracts, and custom objects, providing flexibility in managing ownership changes across different modules. You may be able to transfer related records, however, this is dependent on the type object.
  • Criteria: Users can define criteria to select the records they want to transfer. This helps in targeting specific sets of data for the ownership change.
  • Considerations: Mass Transfer is reversible, but it's important to ensure that the new owner has the necessary permissions to access and modify the transferred records.

Data Quality and Cleansing Tools

Field History Tracking: Allows you to track changes to a particular object over time, providing a historical record of modifications made to the data. Track changes for up to 20 standard or custom fields on each object.


  • Field History Tracking is used to keep a log of changes made to specified fields on an object. This is valuable for auditing, compliance, and understanding how data evolves over time.


  • Admins can enable Field History Tracking for selected fields on standard and custom objects. Once enabled, Salesforce automatically tracks changes to those fieldd, logging the date and time of change, the user making the change, old and new values excluding multi select picklists and large text fields. .

Fields Tracked:

  • You can choose which fields you want to track, focusing on the most critical data points for your business processes.


  • Field History Tracking captures details like the old and new values, the date and time of the change, and the user who made the modification. This level of granularity is essential for thorough data analysis.

User Interface:

  • Users can view field history directly on records in Salesforce, providing a transparent view of how specific data points have evolved.

Reports and Dashboards:

  • The captured field history data can be displayed in reports and dashboards, providing insights into trends, patterns, and user behavior.


  • Field History Tracking respects Salesforce's security model, ensuring that only users with the necessary permissions can access and view the historical data.

Data Validation and Custom Validation:
Are tools to ensure the accuracy, integrity, and consistency of the data within the platform.

System Data Validation:

  • Out-of-the-Box Checks: Salesforce has built-in system validations that automatically check certain conditions before allowing data to be saved. For example, required fields must be populated, and unique constraints must be satisfied.
  • Object-specific Rules: Each standard and custom object comes with its own set of system validation rules to maintain data integrity based on Salesforce's standard behavior.

Custom Validation:

  • User-Defined Rules: Salesforce allows administrators to create custom validation rules to enforce organization-specific criteria .
  • Complex Conditions: Custom validation rules can include complex conditions, formulas, and logic to meet specific organizational requirements.
  • Preventing Data Issues: Custom validation rules can be used to prevent common data entry issues, such as invalid formats or ranges.
  • Error Messaging: When a record fails to meet a custom validation rule, Salesforce displays generic error messages unless a custom error message is provided.

Merge Duplicate Leads: The process ensures you data remains clean and free from redundancy.

Identify Duplicate Leads:

  • Before merging, identify the duplicate leads you want to merge. A message tells you if duplicates exists. Click "View Duplicates" to see them.

Select Leads for Merge:

  • Once duplicates are identified, select the leads you want to merge. Salesforce allows you to choose a master record (the one that will be kept) and merge it with one or more duplicate records.

Initiate the Merge:

  • Open the lead record that you want to designate as the master record. Look for the "Merge" or "Merge Leads" button. Clicking on this button will initiate the merge process.

Review and Confirm:

  • Salesforce will display a preview of the merge, showing the fields from both the master and duplicate records. Review the information to ensure accuracy. You may have the option to choose values from each record to include in the final merged record.

Duplicate Management: Proactively identify, prevent, and manage duplicate records within their Salesforce. Here's an overview of the Duplicate Management process in Salesforce:

Enable Duplicate Management:

  • Salesforce administrators can enable Duplicate Management from the Setup menu. This involves activating matching rules and duplicate rules for specific objects (e.g., leads, contacts, accounts).

Matching Rules:

  • Matching rules define the criteria for identifying potential duplicates. Salesforce comes with predefined matching rules, one for business accounts, one for contacts and leads, and one for person accounts.

Duplicate Rules:

  • Duplicate rules use matching rules to identify duplicates and enforce actions when duplicates are detected. Actions can include blocking the creation of duplicate records or allowing creation with a warning.