Spring Cleaning Your Act!

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Michelle has been an Act! Certified Consultant since 1999, and an Act! fanatic long before that. Whether implementing an Act! solution for a company with 1 user or 150, the heart of every project is to solve the business need. You can find more by Michelle at 3Leaf CRM.

What comes to mind when we say Spring Cleaning?  Throwing open the windows and letting in the fresh air, ditching the clutter, and organizing, right?  This spring, be sure to include your Act! database in your clean-up routine!

Things to consider:

1.)  Plan for clean up -  Before you start pruning your database, define a plan.  This is a good time to pick up the phone and call your Act! Certified Consultant.  You don’t want to fall into a database rabbit hole, from which you may not recover.  An expert in your corner is a great idea.  (Check out the Act! CC listings to find one in your area.)
2.)  What and how will you clean up?  With the Act! “Yes/No” field type, create a  “clean up” checkbox field.  This allows you and your users to mark the records for deletion or archiving.  From there, set your date for cleanup and simply right-click in the checkbox to create a Lookup.  Now you can review the records before permanently deleting them.
3.)  Delete or archive?  Are you are going to archive the data you clean up, simply delete, or a combination of the two.  For archiving, create an empty copy of your existing database and then export your “purged” records to that empty copy.  With an archive database, you always have the option to retrieve the culled records.

You may choose to just delete the records altogether.  Just remember, deleting records is permanent.  The other option is a bit of both.  Delete the truly “garbage” records, and archive the ones that may have future value.

What is your definition of useless?

If we were cleaning out our wardrobe, the organization experts say, if you haven’t worn or used it in a year, put it in the toss pile.  Define similar criteria for your database.  Is a Contact still valuable to your business if you haven’t made contact with them in a year, two years, or longer? (Use the Contact Activity Lookup to find records you have or haven’t touched in a defined length of time.)

What about incomplete records?  For your business, is a record useless if you don’t have a phone number?  Can you deal with just a Company name but no Contact?  Be specific and define what it means for a record to be incomplete.

Consider the other Act! entities that might be cluttering up your database.  What about your Opportunities?  Add the Days Open column to your Opportunity List View. Define how long an Opportunity should really stay open and stay viable.  An Opportunity that’s been open for more than a year may fit your sales cycle, or it may be time to cut it loose.

Duplicate records might be something you focus on.  (There are a couple really great add-ons to make this task easier!)

Take the time to define your database spring cleaning routine. 

Along the way, you’ll find keys to keeping your database clean.  Your database Spring cleanup could lead to a more efficient database moving forward.  Of course, your friendly neighborhood Act! Certified Consultants (ACCs) are here and happy to pull on the work gloves and dig in alongside you if you feel overwhelmed by the task!