purge CRM data

How to Find Low-Quality Data and Delete in Bulk

Your team is running into junk data that's affecting their ability to search and segment, and making personalization unreliable. Cleaning out bad and outdated data from your CRM is an important part of a strategy to maintain the accuracy and quality of your database.

The Bulk Operations module makes it easy to quickly surface low-value records and bulk delete them.

Process Summary

  1. Use filter to find records to delete.
  2. Choose records to delete.
  3. Preview and then delete records from the CRM.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Set Up a Filter to View Only Records to Delete

Navigate to Data Management > Bulk Operations.

Select the database and record type from the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need.

When you're looking to clean up specific values, use the filter to work only with an appropriate subset of your data. You can filter your data using any field in your database.

In Step 1 under the Filter tab, select the Field to work with. Use the Condition to set the rule that the data in the selected field must meet.

In the example below, we're looking for contact records that do not have an email address. 

Bulk Operations Step 1

Click Search to see the records that match this criterion at the bottom of the page in the Record Viewer. If you make changes to the filter, click the Search button again to update the Viewer. Add columns to the view from the Layout tab under Step 1.

Record Viewer

Step 2: Choose Records to Delete

Under Step 2, select the Delete tab.


There are no further configurations or settings for Delete. You already found the records you want to delete in Step 1. When run on your database, this will delete all records that appear in the Record Viewer.

To select individual records to delete from the database, in the Record Viewer click the checkbox for a record row.

Select individual records

Step 3: Preview then Delete Records from Your CRM

Preview Changes in a CSV Report

With the filters and delete option set, you should review the deletions that will be made in a CSV to verify only the expected records will be purged before making the change to your live database.

Under Step 3, click the Review button. Then, in the Bulk Delete popup, select Preview and click Next.

Bulk Delete Preview mode

On the Notify tab, add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). You can add colleagues and additional context here.

On the When tab, click Run Now and select which records to apply the change to (in most cases this will be All), then click the Run Now button.

Bulk Delete Run Now tab

Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the list of records that will be deleted. If any records appear that you didn't expect and don't want to delete, return to Step 1 and make adjustments to the Filter, then Preview again.

Preview Delete CSV

Apply Changes to Your CRM

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and move forward with deleting the CRM records.

Under Step 3, click the Review button, and this time select Update mode.

On the When tab, you should use Run Now the first time you apply these changes to the CRM.

Once you confirm the change, the update will be applied to your CRM. The Bulk Delete Result popup will list all of the deleted records.

Bulk Delete Result

Save a Template and Set Up Automation

After you've seen the results in the CRM and are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template. Then you can set up automation so this delete operation runs on a set schedule.

This will save you time and delete records that do not provide value on an ongoing basis. 


Tips for Deleting Data

This same process can be used to delete records that meet (or don't meet) various criteria, such as:

  • Contacts with undelivered emails
  • Invalid form inputs
  • Clearly fake data
  • Low-quality data (such as business contacts using free email providers)
  • Outdated and decayed records (last update before a certain point)
  • Incomplete records

Advanced How-Tos

Create a Backup Export of Your Data Before Deleting

When you use the Bulk Operations delete action, the entire record is permanently removed from your CRM. If there's any chance you'll need to refer to this data or restore it later, you may want to export a Preview report that could act as a backup.

The CSV only includes fields that are visible in the Record Viewer. Use the Layout tab under Step 1 to add more fields and preserve all the data that might be needed.

Step 1 Layout

If your cleanup effort requires deleting a large volume of records, best practice is to do a data export directly from the CRM. This will be more comprehensive than what the Insycle report provides.

Using the Preview Email as an Automated Alert

You can use automated templates as an alert system for critical details you want to track. 

Save the configuration as a template and set up automation so the template runs on a set schedule.

Under Step 3, click Review.

You can select Preview mode if you just want to be notified of the issue, or use Update mode to be notified and change all the records in the CRM.

On the Notify tab, you can tailor the alert message to get your attention. Enter a subject line like “[ALERT] Contact with No Email.” Add recipients who should follow up, and add additional instructions or context to the message. The CSV export will be attached to the email whenever it is generated and delivered to the emails you provided.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I restore deleted data?

Yes, but not directly. You can access the deleted data in the Activity Tracker and re-import the partial records if needed.

How can I identify bad data to purge?

The Health Assessment tracks many types of invalid and low-quality data that make great candidates for purgeable data.

Additional Resources

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