How to Clear Incorrect Values in Bulk

Your team is getting distracted by confusing junk data in your database. It's affecting their ability to search and segment, and making personalization unreliable. Purging bad and outdated data from your CRM is an important part of a data maintenance strategy to lift the accuracy and quality of your database.

The Bulk Operations module makes it simple to identify garbage, low-quality, and outdated data, clear the fields in bulk, and provides the option to enter new text.

In this article, we'll walk through cleaning out role-based emails from records. Addresses such as  "," "," or "," can find their way into contact records and may even set a first name value like, "Info," or "Marketing."

Process Summary

  1. Filter your records down to those you want to update.
  2. Specify the fields you want to clear values from.
  3. Preview and then apply the changes to the CRM.

Step-by-Step Instructions

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

Navigate to Data Management > Bulk Operations.

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

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

In this example, the filter will look for contact records that have a First Name value starting with "info," "help," or "support." 

Step 1, Filter

The bar "|" character (above your keyboard's Enter key), is used to separate multiple values and acts as "OR."

When you click Search, Insycle will list matching records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page. Add columns to the view from the Layout tab under Step 1.

Record Viewer results

If you make changes to the filter, click the Search button again to refresh the results in the Record Viewer.

Step 2: Configure Rules That Will Clear the Field Data

Under Step 2 in the Update tab, tell Insycle what changes to make to the records found in Step 1.

Step 2, Update one field

To clear the errant values, select the field you want to update from the Field Name dropdown (in this example, First Name) and leave the New Value field blank to clear the existing data (making sure there are no spaces in the field).

To make additional updates to another field, click the + Field button.

In this example, a new Contact Owner who will be responsible for examining these records and updating them is entered.

Step 2, Update two fields

Step 3: Preview and Apply Changes in Your CRM

Preview Changes in the CSV Report

With the filters and functions set up, you can preview the changes in a CSV file. It's important to verify that your changes are working as expected before those changes are pushed to your live database.

Under Step 3, click the Review button, then select Preview in the popup.

Step 3, Review, 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 also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

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.

Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the (Before) and (After) values for each field. If the results don't look the way you expected, go back to your filters and functions and try making some adjustments before previewing again.

Preview CSV report

Apply Changes to the CRM

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and move forward with applying the changes to the live CRM data.

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

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

Step 3, Review, When tab, Run Now settings

Save Templates and Setup Automation to Maintain Formatting

After you've seen the results in the CRM and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save your configuration as a template, and set up automation so this formatting operation runs on a set schedule.

By automating with a template, you'll save time and ensure that your fields are consistently cleaned up on an ongoing basis.


Advanced How-Tos

Viewing More Columns in the Record Viewer

If you'd like to see more information for each of the resulting records, you can alter the fields in the Record Viewer by using the Layout tab in Step 1.

Step 1, Layout tab

Using the Export Email as an Automated Alert

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

For example, you have saved a template so if the terms "info," "help," or "support," are found in the First Name field, the value is deleted. If you set the template to run automatically on a regular basis, when it runs Insycle will send you an email.

Tailor the email message to get your attention in your inbox. Under Step 3, click Review. On the Email tab of the Bulk Update popup, enter a subject line like, “[ALERT] Contact Needs Fixing.” 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.

Step 3, Review, Email setup

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I filter using one field and update the values of a different field?

Yes. While it is most common to filter by and update the same field, you can filter by one field, then update another.

For example, when the First Name is "info," "help," or "support," the Contact Owner field can be assigned to someone who can follow up and figure out how to resolve the issue. The First Name will remain unchanged.

Step 1, Filter settings


Can I restore values once they have been cleared?

Yes, though not automatically. Insycle generates a CSV detailing all changes, showing you relevant data before and after the update. You can use this CSV file to re-import the data back into your database if needed.

How do I tell Insycle to delete data in a field?

Under the Step 2, Update tab, select the field that you would like to clear, and leave the New Text input blank.


Additional Resources

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