With Sonar’s Data Dictionary feature, 6Sense was able to completely eliminate the manual effort their team was previously dedicating to updating their Excel-based metadata dictionary.
With Sonar’s automated Data Dictionary, 6Sense successfully:
- Freed up 20+ hours per month for the four team members responsible for those updates.
- Saved 6Sense countless dollars reallocating those team members time to more important business functions.
- Developed a more cost-effective and compliant way to protect sensitive data and PII.
- Obtained a holistic view of their Org’s metadata owners, changes and definitions across all Objects, fields and properties
“Love Sonar. Data Dictionary is one of the strongest features ever launched by Sonar. I can say it’s saving our team huge amounts of manual effort and time. Previously, we were using 6-7 resources to manually maintain our Data Dictionary. Now, the process is completely automated. Sonar, thank you for the huge win!” -Pravin Kudale
The Problem: Burdens of a Manual Salesforce Data Dictionary
Pravin Kudale is the GTM Systems Manager at 6Sense. A critical part of his role is to optimize his Salesforce Org for his GTM teams. This means overseeing all implementations, building of automations, and integrations while also ensuring the health and enhancement of their Salesforce Org.
As the manager of a team of admins who each wear a variety of hats, it’s important to have a holistic view of the changes happening within the Org. That’s why he originally developed a Salesforce Data Dictionary for 6Sense using Microsoft Excel.
This manual Salesforce Data Dictionary provided a variety of immediate benefits from a strategic level. It allowed Pravin and his team to:
- View all metadata changes happening in their Org in one place
- See all Object fields and their parameters in a centralized location
- See what percentage of data is populated in fields and how those fields are being utilized to drive business decisions
- Help streamline cleanup activity for Objects not being utilized
But regardless of these benefits, the problems that come with maintaining it manually quickly crept in. Shortly after implementing the data dictionary, Pravin realized a variety of core issues:
1. Time allocation
Maintaining the dictionary manually quickly became a burden as the 4 people managing it were spending 20+ hours per month updating metadata into the Excel spreadsheet.
Pravin explained their previous process in detail, saying, “We would start by copying the fields in Salesforce classic and pasting them in a corresponding tab on our Excel file. Then, we’d do the same thing for validation rules, formula fields, flows and apex code – copy and pasting them manually. Fields would be copied on a monthly basis and metadata automations would be copied on an adhoc basis any time changes were made in their production org.”
Because the data dictionary entailed a manual updating and review process, errors did occur. For example, sometimes admins would quickly make a change in Salesforce before reviewing the data dictionary and breaks would occur. The team would then spend countless hours investigating to reverse engineering the break on top of going back and updating the data dictionary. Admins would also occasionally forget to make updates to the spreadsheet, causing other team members to make changes blindly and again, causing breaks that otherwise could have been avoided. Human error happens– but in this case, it was costing 6Sense additional resources, time and ultimately, money.
3. Limited view of the Org
Due to the manual effort it took to keep 6Sense’s data dictionary updated, they were limited on their bandwidth in terms of how many Objects they could track. To save time, the team agreed to manage only 4 of their primary Objects. Even then, the team was spending 20+ hours per month keeping this limited amount of metadata updated. So while Pravin and his team got a better view of the changes occurring within their Org, it wasn’t the whole picture.
Keeping record of Salesforce metadata changes was a must-have for 6Sense… but Pravin knew he couldn’t justify the cost of keeping a manual data dictionary for much longer. That’s where Sonar’s dynamic Data Dictionary feature came in to help.
The Solution: Sonar’s Automated Data Dictionary Feature
A valued customer of Sonar’s, Pravin reached out and expressed the challenges he and his team were experiencing while maintaining their Data Dictionary. Sonar’s mission is to provide customers the blueprint for managing change within Salesforce, in every way. This pain point got our team thinking– what if we could automate the process of tracking, documenting, and defining metadata within their Orgs?
That’s where the Sonar Data Dictionary was born. Pravin and his team participated in a 6-month Beta program as Sonar’s engineering team brought this ‘wish list’ item to reality, and today, Pravin and his team are thrilled to be saving time and enhancing productivity.
“Pravin and the 6Sense team were outstanding partners and advocates for the development of our data dictionary – providing regular feedback and invaluable insight into the application and adoption of a Salesforce data dictionary.” – Jack McGlinchey, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer
Pravin’s team now has a holistic view of their entire Org, without the manual labor that was previously required— ultimately saving 6Sense countless dollars in wasted resources. With Sonar, his team can now:
- View and track all fields, Objects, and parameters in one place– not just 4 primary ones
- Dedicate the additional 20+ hours per month previously spent manually updating excel spreadsheets to higher-impacting projects
- Tag fields and assign field owners, giving a big picture view of where they are referenced
- See the percentage of data populated on each field
- Maintain historical metadata changes
- See all Metadata like Validation rules, Flow, Apex , Fields and filter it out by Objects
- Set owner on any sensitive data and PII fields
- Create tasks in Sonar for Field Cleanup and assign tasks to the correct user.