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New GTM team members come and go and changes are constantly being made to your Salesforce org. With your org undergoing a constant state of change, it makes it really challenging to keep up with metadata, where it’s being used and how to train new team members on it when onboarding. 

Without the proper documentation to guide your team as they make CRM changes, you’re leaving your organization vulnerable to major risks such as breaks that bottleneck your entire GTM team’s workflows and even revenue loss.

That’s where having a data dictionary for Salesforce or other CRM is critical. Below, we’re covering everything you need to know about implementing a data dictionary for your Salesforce org and why it’s so beneficial. 

What Is a Data Dictionary?

A Salesforce data dictionary is a collection of the names, attributes, and descriptions of the data objects or business logic of a data model to ensure all business users or stakeholders are consistent in how they refer to these items. 

Oftentimes, a data dictionary is a centralized metadata repository. But it should also be where all CRM changes are documented so that your team can quickly conduct impact analysis and make future changes without fear of breaks. 

5 Benefits of a Salesforce Data Dictionary 

There’s a variety of reasons your organization may want to implement an automated data dictionary. A few examples might include if you’re:

  • Maintaining a manual data dictionary
  • Managing data governance programs for compliance
  • Ramping up new operational team leadership
  • Implementing a new Salesforce instance

 A Salesforce data dictionary will help you ensure consistency in process and execution, build accurate and complete reporting, ensure data quality and understand data sensitivity. 

Here are the 5 core benefits of implementing a data dictionary: 

1. Increased Agility

There’s nothing worse than the paralyzing fear that comes with making a change in Salesforce without knowing what all it touches. Ok… maybe there is something worse. The scope of work required to fix everything you broke after publishing those changes! 

A data dictionary can help. The problem, however, lies in the fact that many businesses dedicate valuable hours, manpower and resources in an attempt to build and maintain their dictionary. Using an automated data dictionary can save your organization time, improve accuracy and reduce frustration 

An automated data dictionary captures changes as they occur , giving your team time back in their day and security as they make changes within your instance. Plus, with this knowledge, your admins can spend less time manually updating your dictionary and more time making revenue impacting changes and decisions. 

2. Data governance

Poorly managed change in your Salesforce instance can lead to serious repercussions for your organization as a whole. One of the biggest risks is it leaves you vulnerable to data corruption and loss. This of course could impact your GTM teams downstream and could mean paying huge violation fees… that’s a big no thanks! 

A data dictionary will allow you to monitor sensitive data more closely and set up a framework for compliance. With your data dictionary, you can add documentation based on data sensitivity and processing standards. This allows your team to quickly pinpoint PII, gain visibility into sensitive data and pinpoint any data leakage that may be slipping through.

3. Transferable across business units

There’s a catch-22 with businesses having complete faith in their operational leader’s intimate understanding of how Salesforce functions, yet very little insight into the documentation and upkeep surrounding these processes. In turn, communication and collaboration across business units can be stifled and a single point of failure may be unintentionally created.

With a data dictionary, everyone within the organization is kept on the same page regarding critical CRM changes. This gives business leaders peace of mind and Revops leaders the opportunity to focus on what they do best– supporting business growth.

4. Quicker onboarding

Ramping up new admins and developers can take months. The challenge isn’t in learning a new tech, but rather adding context to an orgs metadata, workflows, process builders, triggers and more. 

With a data dictionary, you can provide new hires all the database and CRM documents they need to get up to speed on your Salesforce org. 

5. Language consistency

The average Salesforce admin is responsible for managing 10-25,000 records in Salesforce and their #1 challenge is duplicate records. While removing duplicates as a part of regular Salesforce data cleanup isn’t something you can completely avoid, a data dictionary can help make it a less dreadful task. 

With a data dictionary in place, you can ensure your revenue operations team is speaking the same language in terms of how they’re referring to fields, how those fields are being used, and ensure admins aren’t creating duplicate fields. This will make quarterly CRM cleanup quicker and easier while also ensuring your reporting is more accurate.

Safeguard Your Salesforce With Data Dictionary

Having a data dictionary in place is critical for fostering improved data integrity, reducing the risk of data leakage and ensuring consistency in data use. As an outcome, your business is able to become more agile in your decision making based on reliable data.

Ready to give your revenue operations team the tools they need to scope more quickly? Sonar delivers the Ops toolkit you need to make Salesforce changes with precision. Spend less time troubleshooting and more time delivering high-growth projects. Try Sonar free today.