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Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Data Maintenance Best Practices

I am working on an initiative to improve our data maintenance and data quality and was looking for any help from the community. Can you share some details of what works for you and your company when it comes to maintaining your data and improving the quality of it? Also are there are Tips and Tricks you would be willing to share? Some areas I think this breaks down in to are below:

- Training/process versus validation/enforcement

- Reports and Dashboards

- Explaining the importance of this initiative to leadership

- End user understanding and adoption of data maintenance/quality related process

- Management oversight of the data maintenance, review cadence

The plan is to use Salesforce for the above but if there are other solutions you use then please share your experiences of them as well.

Thank you in advance for your insights.

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Message 1 of 12
11 Replies
Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

Michael Majerus​, Rob van Waveren​, Adam Cooper​, Brenden Burkinshaw​, Casey Palmer​, Hans van Mil​, Dan Schiess​, John Welisevich​, Russell Jacobs​, Nick Sauer​, Sonia Genesse​, Scott Willis​, Alex Langston​, Mark Taylor​, Mark Varley​, Ralf Fickert

I have at mentioned the top community collaborators to kick start the conversation.

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Message 2 of 12
Sushi Chef scott_willis
Sushi Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

Richard Lewis,

What great questions. I will try to keep this as high level as possible, as my tendency to get in the weeds turns into exponential tangents.

- Training/process versus validation/enforcement

In terms of training process, for technicians, we try to keep things as a flow as much as possible. One task leads into the next, with the 80/20 rule applying to when we add catches that will loop a technician back in based on the parameters established over time. Doing this makes training WYSIWYG in an understandable way that leaves room for little question. We focused a lot of energy on how the app flows for the end user to make sure their time is spent billing hours and not trying to figure out what to click next. The validation is a key part in establishing whats available to the user and when. Enforcement has never been an issue because we took away all of the options a user would be able to select to deviate from the SOP.

If you have branded or in house published help documentation, upload the sections pertinent to each task and then use the url back to the document as the help file when they do seek answers in the app.

- Reports and Dashboards

We built our reports around giving field management information to make sure their commitments are being made, high level financial to keep upper brass in the know utilization and bottom line wise, and we use dashboards to put automated visuals on tv's (we leveraged PowerBI for this, it has a built in SFDC connector and allows one to easily manage multiple displays from a remote single endpoint)  to keep a competitive spirit among coordinators and technicians without them having to be inundated with data points or readouts in their inboxes.

- Explaining the importance of this initiative to leadership

The two key talking points with leadership is offering them all the data they don't realize is there and letting them decide whats important to them to foster good business, and second to make sure you let them know there's more to the app that they have yet to take advantage of. i.e. If a service outfit is not selling SLA's but knows that MTTS is less than 6 hours (80/20 rule again), then that is a service they can offer that literally costs nothing. You offer the 6 hour MTTS as a premium and ensure the 20% doesn't fall by the wayside. A lot of gems hiding in plain site.

- End user understanding and adoption of data maintenance/quality related process

Data Maintenance --eesh . Keep as much seed data as you can read only and only modified in the system of record (preferably the ERP for accounting and inventory reasons) and leverage work flows that are as autonomous as can be through either batch imports or API calls for what you absolutely have to write back.

- Management oversight of the maintenance, review cadence

If you pull off a sustainable maintenance scheduling protocol, this falls under reporting and dashboards.

Good Morning and Happy Tuesday

Message 3 of 12
Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

Thank you Scott for all of your insights!

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Message 4 of 12
Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

I have been playing with the Salesforce Trailhead feature to create your own customised trail. They call them Trailmixes.

I have created one called Dirty Data Diving to explain to our business teams the importance of having good data and give them the tools to start their journey towards it.

I haven't issued it yet so I would be interested to know what you all think of it before I do...

Regards, Richard

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Message 5 of 12
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Roast Chef mark_v3553
Roast Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

Hi Richard, hope you are keeping well.

I hope I am able to give you some information that you will find of use, covering each of your points below:

1. Training/process versus validation/enforcement

Initially we met with all our technicians and trained them on the correct process for using the platform, and hold quarterly meetings where we recap, and refresh people on new developments and new enhancements we have deployed. Along with that we wrote our own 100+ document (what is referred to as our "Bible") which basically covers all aspects of the platform and what is expected from our engineers. For our back office teams around Europe initial training is completed with small workshop meetings, and then users are set to test it with the Sandbox area to get familiar with it, with us from the management team reviewing the quality of the data being tested, then this allows the training to focus on areas where further education was required. We have, in each country, a super user, who is part of a collective team of people who are in a super user group and receive more intense training but then they also allow us to coordinate training locally, in local language in each country. The super users participate in a monthly conference call where we discuss open points and review data Europe wide to ensure we are using the system to its full potential.

2. Reports & Dashboards

We have a series of dashboards and reports, generally we have a dashboard by country which each country has set as their home dashboard, all of these are pulled into one European dashboard which allows a very macro view of the overall status of our current position. These dashboards are tailored specifically to what each country's back office are tasked to maintain, quantity of work orders and in what status, age bucket reports of open work orders, quantity of open quotations, Timesheet (SPM) figures relating to Utilisation of engineers (performed time versus contracted hours) but then split further down between Productive Time and Non-Productive Time (defined as you see is appropriate), FTF, MTTR, MTTC, and this allows us to provide an overall picture of our performance as a business on industry KPI's and allows us further to drive efficiency and improvement to our overall position as a service provider within our industry. We have also a series of reports on a schedule basis which are key items which are required to be monitored more attentively, such as revenue and overall quote conversion and performance against customer SLA's.

3. Explaining the importance of this initiative to leadership

Our leadership from both EU head office and our ultimate head office in the US have been supportive of the reports and monitoring we do, this allows us to have full and concise information on our performance as a business. Leadership are always of the opinion that if we cannot see it, we cannot manage it, and with that philosophy we engage each super user, and me from a central perspective to monitor and develop new enhancements that allow us to better our performance. This also allows us to focus on key areas requiring any improvement. This allows us to drive engineers for better efficiency and better utilisation of their time and furthermore enables us to drive the back office with their own efficiency and ensure (for example) that scheduling of work is performed in a more efficient fashion reducing driving time and what we consider non-productive time which in the long run has a positive impact on our profitability as a business ensuring we keep cost low, which has a positive impact on our overall performance.

4. End user understanding and adoption of data maintenance/quality related process

As with managing any data the accuracy of it is vitally important, its hard to ensure all the teams irrespective of position understand the impact of the data quality, but through our quarterly meetings and monthly conference calls we show examples of where data isn't great and guide the super user network and the engineers on how we improve this. It helps us to show the people how things impact and show them the results of poor quality information versus excellent information. All of the data held within the platform is interfaced back into our ERP system and we show them also how the data back into ERP is seen and what actions it takes behind the scenes within ERP which is where our business is audited from. I find it helps people to see the result and then talk through how we could have done better, that said - some of the dashboards, reports and exception triggers we have allow any data which is deemed not complete/inaccurate to be managed from the outset before interfacing into ERP.

5. Management oversight of the maintenance, review cadence

The dashboards and peoples understanding of them helps you have greater management ability with the platform. As I mentioned before our philosophy is without seeing it, we cannot manage it. So ensure you build reports and dashboards to look at key areas of what you need to focus on as a business and this will help you drive improvement, efficiency - because you can see it. We find that regular conference calls and where required regular workshops help, although they come with a cost (taking people out of the business) I feel if we can educate people accurately and cover all scenarios it will help drive improvement further down the line.

Hope that this is helpful for you, just let me know if you need any additional information/support - its easy for me to tell you how we conduct things, it is about whether you can see benefits of others that will assist you and your business.

Have a good day!

BR, Mark

Message 6 of 12
Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

Thanks Mark this are great insights in how you wrangle your data.

Regards, Richard

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Message 7 of 12
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Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

Hi Warren Halberstadt​ and Andy Wade​, this is one of the posts I was discussing with you yesterday. Do you have some data maintenance gold to share with the community?

Regards, Richard

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Staff Chef richard_lewis
Staff Chef

Re: Data Maintenance Best Practices

Hi Omar Rodriguez Thanks for the links. I will check them out.

Regards, Richard

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Message 10 of 12