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Empty custom fields: streamlining your Salesforce org

Empty custom fields: streamlining your Salesforce org


Director of Product Strategy

Last Updated:

September 6, 2022

Fields are a critical component of any Salesforce org as they hold the transactional information that drives your business forward. While Salesforce provides a wide range of standard fields, most organizations choose to add custom fields to their orgs to hold information unique to their business.

However, not all custom fields are created equal. In fact, we’ve found that approximately 10% of all custom fields on the most important objects in most orgs (Account, Opportunity, Case) are empty. This means that a field was created but never used.

Furthermore, custom fields installed from packages have an even higher rate of being empty, with up to 32% of all custom fields being unused.


“When examining our clients’ orgs, we found a surprisingly large amount of empty custom fields. Eliminating these can be an easy quick win for Admins looking to tackle technical debt and speed up project delivery.” — Susanne Lake, Founder & CEO, Slake Consulting


Why empty custom fields are a problem

Empty custom fields might seem like a minor issue, but they can cause significant problems in your Salesforce org. Here’s why:

1. They make report-building harder

Even if a custom field has never been used (not even a single record has a value in it) it will still show up in the dropdowns of the report builder. This increases the cognitive load of your users trying to find the correct field to add to their report.

2. They make your org harder to maintain

Custom fields that have not been utilized constitute technical debt that makes your org harder to maintain. As your org grows and evolves, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to manage and optimize the performance of your Salesforce platform.

3. They indicate a lack of alignment

Custom fields are just that…custom, which means Salesforce teams spent time planning, developing, and maintaining those fields and at some point felt they were important for their business process. Therefore, empty custom fields can indicate a lack of alignment between the business and the Salesforce management team.

4. They slow down project delivery

Eliminating empty custom fields can be an easy quick win for admins looking to tackle technical debt and speed up project delivery. By streamlining your Salesforce org, you can focus on what really matters - driving your business forward.


What you can do about empty custom fields

Identifying and eliminating empty custom fields is simple. In the context of Salesforce’s Well-Architected framework, it’s critical to keep your org simple for users to engage with from both a record-reading and a reporting perspective. 

Here are some recommendations:

1. Identify unnecessary custom fields

Take a closer look at your custom fields and identify those that are not being utilized. Focus on the objects that are most important to your business (Account, Opportunity, Case), review the field’s use case (e.g., it might be brand new) and delete any fields that are not being used.

2. Get rid of them

Once you’ve identified unnecessary custom fields, get rid of them. Removing these fields will help streamline your Salesforce org and make it easier to maintain over time.

3. Use the Field Utilization Dashboard

To help you identify empty custom fields, we’ve made our Field Utilization dashboard available for free in Hubbl Essentials. With this tool, you can quickly and easily see which custom fields are not being used and take action to eliminate them from your org.

Hubbl Diagnostics' Field Utilization dashboard

Don’t let empty custom fields slow you down

Empty custom fields might seem like a minor issue, but they can cause significant problems in your Salesforce org. By taking action to identify and eliminate these fields, you can streamline your Salesforce platform and make it easier to manage and optimize over time. So, take the time to review your custom fields today and start streamlining your Salesforce org for a better tomorrow.

Identify your empty custom fields for free

Ready to streamline your Salesforce org? Scan your org for free using our Field Utilization dashboard.

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