July 30, 2015

How to deliver high quality data: Tracking Errors

TaroWorks Team

How to deliver high quality data: Tracking Errors

Recently, we co-hosted a webinar with Kevin Zeigler of TechnoServe about data quality.

After the webinar, we realised that there was a lot of learnings to unpack around the subject of data quality. We will be publishing a series of blog posts on this topic over the coming weeks. See part 1 here.

Track your errors

If you read our last post on running negative reports in Salesforce.com, you’ll know how to identify problems in your data very quickly. That will speed up the process of cleaning up your data. But that’s really only the first step.

Cleaning data is a necessity, but it’s still a chore. Speeding up that process is only going to improve the quality of your data to a certain extent — you’ll still be spending a lot of time cleaning up mistakes.

So what’s next? Tracking what is actually going wrong so you can figure out how to fix errors more permanently.

Start your spreadsheets

Since reading the last post, you now run automated reports to find errors.

Every week, you get the email with a list of errors at which point you can export the report as a .CSV file. You can upload these to a Google Sheet (using the relevant Salesforce IDs to make sure the data matches when you import it back into your instance) where you can edit the records quickly and easily. Read up on the Data Import Wizard here.

First of all, you fix all the errors. Every time you fix an error, copy the record to a Tracking Errors spreadsheet and add a new column – ‘Date Cleaned’.

Now, you have a list of errors related to Salesforce IDs and the date you fixed the error. This is a pretty powerful resource to take your data quality processes to the next level.

Tracking errors in a spreadsheet this way means you can investigate errors in a number of different ways. What you’re looking for now are trends that help you identify the causes of errors.


  • Tracking field staff. There is no need to re-train all your field staff because of errors. If you track using spreadsheets like this you can see which field staff are having problems. Maybe they missed the training or they’re a new hire or they have minimal experience with technology. With error tracking spreadsheets, you’re in a better place to work out how you can help your field staff.




  • Tracking by project. Some of your projects might end up having more problems than others. In that case, it’s possible that the issue is to do with how the jobs have been designed. Are they confusing? Are there particular questions that people make errors on? 


  • Tracking over time. This is a great frame of reference for the other ways you track errors. Even by itself it can be very useful. Ideally, this graph should be a nice downwards curve but it doesn’t always work out like that! When spikes happen, you’ll know when to look into your trainer data and your project data.


Now you can cut down errors before they happen by taking aim at the causes of errors. The data cleaning process should get faster and faster as you bring in this error tracking process. You could move this all onto Salesforce by making error objects, but using Google Sheets is simple and easy. Even better, you can share this around to your team without Salesforce licenses.

Do you track errors? Do you use it to do other things? We’d love to hear about it! Always feel free to get in touch.


Want To Demo TaroWorks?

Many TaroWorks customers previously used paper and spreadsheets to collect data, analyze metrics and run field operations. Let us show you how TaroWorks’ offline mobile field service app can help scale your business by digitizing sales and supply chain management, increasing agent network productivity and analyzing data in real-time for business insights.



About the author...

TaroWorks Team

TaroWorks Team

At TaroWorks we envision a world where it is as easy to manage across the last mile as it is across the first.



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