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  • Writer's pictureRenee Jones-Sparks

Leveraging Formula Fields to Improve Data Quality & Accuracy

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

Formula fields can be a huge contributor to data quality and accuracy. Sound a bit grandiose? Hear us out!

What Can You Do with Formula Fields?

Update Records: 

Formula fields can be used to make formula based conditional changes on records. Let’s say you needed to identify all opportunities with the following criterion so they could be targeted for a special outreach campaign by the Inside Sales team:

Opportunity Probability = 50% or greater

Opportunity Close Date = within the next 30 days

Opportunity Owner = Jane Doe

You could create a custom checkbox formula field that would set the checkbox to“true” if the above criteria were met. You could then run an opportunity report to identify all the opportunities that had the checkbox set to true.

Calculate Data: 

Similar to an Excel formula, you can use a formula field to calculate numerical data automatically based on criteria you set. For example, you need to calculate the expected revenue of an opportunity based on the opportunity probability.

If opportunity probability = 50% and the opportunity amount = 2500.00, the expected revenue would be 1250.00

Formula:  2500 / 0.50 = 1250.00

Increase Data Accuracy:

Formula fields are created by admins. They’re read-only, and the results presented are based on the formulas that have been established. Your formula is controlling the data in the field, so if the fields and/or calculations in the formula are correct the data in that field will always be correct.  

Display Identical Data Across Objects: 

If you want to display the same value from one object across multiple objects, you can do this by creating a formula field on each of the objects where you want the field to appear. For example, if you had a custom field on the Account object (Account Size) and you wanted that same field to appear on the Opportunity object, a formula field would be an ideal solution.  

Using a formula field would ensure that the Account Size field on the Opportunity object would always match the value on the Account object.

Things to Consider Before Using Formula Fields:

  • If the field that you are copying from the source object should be editable on the target object, you should not use a formula field. The field on the target object will be read-only.

  • If you want or need to track field history, a formula field should not be used.  You cannot track field history changes on a formula field.

  • If you want to retain the original value on the target object when the value on the source object is changed, you should not use a formula field. The value on the target object will automatically change whenever the value is changed on the source object.

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