How To Analyze and Clean Up Field Variations

You know you have inconsistencies in your data, but you aren't sure what the variations are. It's important to understand the full picture you have before trying to make changes.

The Cleanse Data module makes it easy to drill down into specific fields in your database and review them, record-by-record. You'll get a clear picture of the variations and clutter in your database and spot opportunities for consolidation and standardization. Then, you can update records in bulk.

Process Summary

  1. Choose a field to analyze.
  2. Explore the values found in the field.
  3. Make changes to CRM records.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Explore Fields and Their Properties

Before standardizing and making your data consistent, you need to know what is currently in your database.

In the Cleanse Data module, select a database and record type from the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need.

Under Step 1, all fields for the record type are listed. This is not the record data itself but the meta-information about the fields in the database.

The Viewer shows the properties for each field, including the field's name, type, if it's editable, how many different values there are, and how many are empty. Learn more about interpreting these properties in the Advanced How-Tos below.

To narrow down the list of fields, use the Search.

In the example above, we searched for "industry." Looking at the properties, you can see that the Industry field has 20 unique values that can be explored further.

Step 2: Explore the Record Values for the Field

Under Step 2, select a field to explore from the Field Name dropdown. (This does the same thing as checking the box by the field name in Step 1.)

Once selected, the different values found in this field will populate the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page.

When you explore the different field values, you may notice some opportunities for cleanup. In the example below, there are several seemingly redundant technology-related industries. The "Tech" values could be updated to "Technology," while "Information Services" and "Computer & Network Security" could be looked at for overlap or misuse.

Click the checkbox to expand a value set. You can select multiple values to see the records for several values together.

This opens up a secondary Viewer below the first, where you can review the individual records that have the selected value(s). The field you have been exploring won't automatically appear here, so you may need to add it to the layout. 

If you'd like to see more information for each of the resulting records, you can alter the fields in the Viewer by using the Layout tab in Step 2


Step 3: Select Records, Specify Changes, and Update CRM

In the Record Viewer, check the box for the values you want to update. Or to make more granular changes, select individual records in the secondary Viewer.

Under Step 3, specify what the selected field values should be changed to. In this example, all the records that have an Industry of "Tech," will be updated to, "Technology."

Click the Update button and confirm the change. Note that there is no preview step here. Once confirmed, the update will be applied to your CRM.

To review changes after applying them in the CRM, use the Activity Tracker.

If you are satisfied with the updated results in your CRM, you can save the configuration for future use in a Template.

Advanced How-Tos

Understanding Field Properties

Looking at the information about each field can provide clues on data cleansing opportunities.

Country field properties

Field Label vs. Name

The Field Label is shown in the CRM interface while the Name is the column header in the database. 
If two fields have a similar Field Label, such as "Phone" versus "Phone Number," looking at the underlying field Name may reveal different information that clarifies the actual purpose. You may want to update one of the Field Labels to reflect the difference.

Type, Value, and Writable

  • Type – Field type, such as a picklist, number, text string, date, timestamp, true/false (boolean), etc.
  • Value – Describes the type of data stored in the field such as text, number, date, true/false, etc.
  • Writable – In the Insycle app, checked = True, indicating the field can be edited. 

Unique Values

This is the count of different values that appear in this field across all records. This is a great place to look and see if there is data worth exploring. You could answer a question such as, "How many different job titles do we have?" It can also indicate a problem in fields where only a few values should be used, such as Industry or Product. This is especially relevant on fields that should be limited to a picklist or Yes/No values.

Empty Values

This is the number of records that don't have any value in the field.

Any field with a high number of empty values could indicate the field is unused or abandoned and needs cleanup. Or, it could indicate a syncing issue between Insycle and your CRM. If you see data in your CRM but the empty values number is high, contact Insycle support.

Export All Field Properties

You can export the information for all fields in your CRM by clicking on the Export button in Step 1. This will include all the field information, not the records. 

Step 1 Export button

Viewing More Columns in the Record Viewer

If you'd like to see more information for each resulting record, you can alter the fields in the secondary Record Viewer by using the Layout tab in Step 2.

Step 2 Layout tab

Tips for Cleansing Data

Cleanse Data is a great tool to use if you want to make bulk changes but don't have a clear idea of what values already exist. First, use Cleanse Data to discover and note the inconsistent variations. Then you can use the Transform Data module to change all the variations into a consistent value in a single task. See the Additional Resources below for further instructions.


Seeing High Numbers of Empty Values for a Field You Know Is Regularly Used

If you know a field in your CRM is used regularly but the empty values column for the field is high, this could indicate a syncing issue between Insycle and your CRM. Contact Insycle support for help.


Records Aren't Showing Up in the Viewer

If you are sure a field contains data in your CRM but aren't seeing the values or records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page, it is often due to the Filter settings under Step 2.

Here are a few things to look into:

  1. Ensure there isn't anything in the filter you didn't intend to be. This often happens if you start with an existing template.
  2. Ensure that your filter is accurate and not too specific. For instance, if you are using the "is" operator in your filter, you might broaden the condition using "contains" or "starts with" to identify other records with slight differences.
  3. Make sure that you have clicked the Search button.

Step 2 Filter

If you still don't see the expected data, it is likely a field syncing issue.

To refresh the data in Insycle, navigate to Settings > Sync Status, select the account, and click the Refresh Accounts List button. Alternatively, you could log out of Insycle and then log back in.

For help re-syncing a specific field, contact Insycle support.

For a complete guide to troubleshooting issues with Insycle, please refer to our article on Troubleshooting Issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a Unique Value or Existing Value of -1 mean?

A "-1" shows up when values for a field are currently not stored in Insycle. It indicates the CRM field is not syncing with Insycle. Note the Value column also shows, "not stored."

Fields with Empty Values = -1

CRMs limit the number of fields that can be synced between Insycle and your database, so at a point, some will need to be excluded. If you discover a field that you need to sync but isn't, contact Insycle support for help. Fields can be prioritized to ensure the necessary fields are syncing.

Additional Resources

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