Most companies eventually run into data storage limitations within SalesForce. Purchasing additional storage is not always economical. Deleting data is also not a good strategy. The solution is to develop an effective data archiving strategy.
Creating an Archiving Policy
It’s important that you carefully plan out your archiving policy. You should involve the relevant stakeholders in this discussion since archiving can negatively impact Sales, Marketing, and other departments. The following are some best practices to keep in mind while creating your archiving policy:
Don’t be Overzealous: only archive when necessary to avoid data storage limitations. You never know what data will be valuable to others in the company.
Archive These First: it’s usually best to archive records in the following order: attachments, tasks, notes, and chatter conversations (and chatter files).
Tip: just because these records are archived doesn’t mean they can’t be visible in SalesForce. Many companies will create custom objects or iFrames that display archived data in SalesForce. For example, you might have an iFrame that displays archived tasks, files, or sales history on the account page layout. Most users won’t even know that the data isn’t stored in SalesForce.
Don’t Archive These: The following records should not be archived if at all avoidable: leads, contacts, accounts, opportunities, cases, and campaigns. Archiving these records will make it impossible to report accurately.
Tip: it’s possible to hide records from certain users without archiving them. For example, many sales reps prefer not to see leads they’ve already rejected. Instead of removing these records from SalesForce altogether, it’s better to create a workflow rule that reassigns them to a person or queue for Marketing follow-up and reporting. If you’re interested in this, please check out our free soft delete app for SalesForce that automatically reassigns “deleted” records to a specified individual or queue.
First in, First out: in general you should always archive older data first. You’ll want to check first with your stakeholders to determine what timeframe is typically used for reporting. It’s usually safe to archive data older than 3-5 years old. If possible, avoid archiving anything less than 3 years old.
Be Mindful of Dependencies: many records in SalesForce have dependent records. For example, an account might have numerous contacts and/or opportunities associated with it. These dependent records must be archived prior to archiving the parent record. You’ll also want to ensure you archive the relationship to other objects. This is not a problem if you’re backing up your entire database.
Data Storage Limitations
You can view your data storage usage and limits by navigating to Setup | Data Management | Storage Usage. Not every record in SalesForce counts towards your storage limits. Click here to view a list of records that count towards your limit. Most records count for 2 kb’s of data storage. You can view a list of exceptions here.