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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Custom Fields Gone Wild...

Have you ever stepped back and looked at all the custom fields that exist in your org? If your org is anything like my current org and the org of most of my past clients, that number can be daunting. One of the major hurdles in managing all of these custom fields is getting a grasp on their usage. On a quarterly basis I run some data quality analysis on 5 of my biggest objects in terms of fields. I use a custom app called The Inspector which I listed in My Toolbelt post. The app is very easy to use and it allows you to create custom reports against its "Object Statistics" records which are the field analysis runs that you can perform against your objects. Here's a screenshot of one of mine.

In this screenshot, you can see that there are only 479 records with data in the "911" custom field, which represents 0.4 of my total lead records in the org. How valuable is this field? This is the type of question that you can begin to ask your users. To get more detailed information, click on the ID for the record. In this case it's FS-250. You now have more granular information about this field and its usage.

You can now see when the field was first used, when it was last used and the number of days since it was last used. This is the kind of information that will allow you to build a case for deprecating a field.

I know it seems like a lot of work, but sometimes you need to get down in the weeds to make sure that you keep your org clean. This very valuable information for a system admin. In this post I have given you a small glimpse on one of the ways you can start tackling your "custom fields gone wild". Hopefully this has given you a good starting point to begin your clean up. Keep in mind that this is an ongoing process. This is not a "one and done". Good luck.


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  2. This looks like a pretty useful App but the link above does not work. Do you know if it's still available? Perhaps it got renamed?
    Thanks in advance!