How to Clean Your Data in HubSpot [and 11 Tools to Keep It Clean]

With so much data floating around your systems, how on earth do you go about keeping it clean, structured, and useful? There are several ways HubSpot can help.

A few years ago, HubSpot coined a new term: Franken-systems, a name used to describe the modern-day monsters created by companies when they keep bolting platform after platform on top of app after app. The result is costly and clunky and every bit as terrifying as Shelley’s eponymous monster when you look at how it impacts your data management.  

In its 2021 earnings report, Amazon announced an $888 million EU fine due to data violations. WhatsApp, an application owned by Meta, also received a $271 million fine for alleged GDPR infringements. If Franken-systems themselves aren’t enough to scare you, the costs associated with dirty data should. And the consequences extend further, impacting your ability to market effectively, business-wide decision-making, and your reputation.

“54% of companies say their biggest challenge to data-driven marketing success is the lack of data quality and completeness.”The Importance of Data Driven Marketing

That's where HubSpot comes in. As a leading CRM platform, the product development teams at HubSpot have made it their mission to deliver solutions with tools that help businesses keep their data clean and usable. In this article, we'll dive into 11 ways HubSpot achieves this goal and why it's essential for any business looking to stay ahead of the game.

To create a comprehensive data hygiene dashboard that ticks all your boxes, take a look at our blog 'Creating a Data Management Dashboard in HubSpot'.


How does HubSpot help clean data when it enters your database?


1. HubSpot Insights database fills in gaps

HubSpot Insights is a powerful database that HubSpot uses to gather information about companies. The database is built by combining data from third-party sources, web crawling, and crowdsourcing, and it’s updated in real-time, so you can be sure that the information you receive is always up-to-date. 

Basically, if you add or import a company record with a domain name, HubSpot Insights will automatically update the record with the latest information. HubSpot Insights can also populate company information in activities where a domain name is included, such as when a contact submits a form. 

This feature is incredibly useful for businesses looking to gain a deeper understanding of their customers and prospects but also for businesses with gaps in their contact records. Missing or outdated information can be automatically populated by HubSpot Insights to give you more complete records and more accurate data on the contacts in your database. 


2. Form validation

As buyers, most of us won’t think twice about using a dud email account to sign up for something. You want the perk but you don’t want the emails that as sure as the sun shines will follow it. As a company leveraging inbound marketing, this makes life more complicated — especially when all these unwatched email addresses start to detract from your results.

You could spend time and effort manually crawling your database — and there will likely come a point when you do want to schedule this activity, if only for good housekeeping’s sake — but a better tactic is to prevent buyers from using these emails in the first place.

There isn’t a failsafe way of doing this, but with form validation, HubSpot does offer a means of not allowing free email addresses. You won’t catch every burner email address used but this is a good way of reducing the amount of meaningless contact details added to your database, and it will make tidying up your database much easier when you get to it.

HubSpot Hack: How to reduce incorrect email addresses from website leads


3.  Using workflows to screen and delete dirty data 

HubSpot’s workflows offer a powerful solution for screening and deleting unwanted data as it comes in. 

By setting up custom workflows, you can automatically identify and remove incorrect, incomplete, or outdated information, ensuring your database remains clean and accurate. For example, you could capitalise the first letter of all first names to keep your marketing emails polished when addressing people, or round up any numbers to keep them uniform.

And because the process is automated, you’ll save time and resources while maintaining the integrity of your data. If you're looking to improve the quality of your data, HubSpot’s workflows are an effective way of streamlining the process and achieving better results.

Check out our hack for how to build a simple workflow for setting non-marketing contacts.

How does HubSpot help keep your data clean day-to-day?


4. Playbooks to ensure salespeople capture key data while on calls

Playbooks have applications as long as the day. One of them can be to ensure your salespeople are capturing key contact data while they’re on a call.

This might sound simple, but documenting this process in a playbook is an effective way of keeping it front of mind. At the same time, the playbook can outline step–by-step how to reflect any key data they’ve captured in HubSpot, making your salespeople’s lives so much easier (and, if they’re not HubSpot natives, their productivity much faster).

Playbooks are available in Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise, and anyone with a paid seat can view them. All your reps need to do is bring up the relevant contact, company, deal, or ticket record when chatting with a prospect and the playbook will be visible as a kind of interactive content card, prompting them through all the right steps of capturing clean data.


5. Automation to create records

Automation is inarguably HubSpot’s Thing, and it naturally has applications spanning data hygiene. 

If you’re just getting started with this, use it to create records (eg. deals or custom objects) at certain stages of the contact lifecycle. As well as keeping admin down and reducing the likelihood of human error, this ensures records are only created when they need to be, helping you to keep your database tidy and your data clean. 

See how we automatically create Contract records when a deal closes in this HubSpot Hack

6. Automation to flag missing data

Another way you can use automation in HubSpot to keep your data clean is to flag when certain essential data is missing.

Perhaps a contact record is incomplete or a form hasn’t been filled out correctly. Set up an automated alert to notify the relevant person so they can quickly go into the right place and update it. This is a great way to stay on top of day-to-day data management and use automation to make the whole task of sorting and cleaning your data so much easier.


How does HubSpot help to give you overall control of your data quality?


7. Duplicate management tool

HubSpot's duplicate management tool eliminates the need for manual data entry and reduces errors by automatically identifying and merging duplicate records

Duplicate records can cause all kinds of mischief across your business. By using this tool, companies can save time and enhance their overall productivity, but crucially you’ll be improving the accuracy and the quality of the data you’ve gathered. If you need to keep your contact records within a certain limit, the duplicate management tool can also help you to streamline your data, reducing bloat and helping you to stay within the threshold. 


8. Data hygiene dashboard

A data hygiene dashboard is the ultimate tool for monitoring and improving the health of your data. CRM housekeeping never looked so easy, and HubSpot has all the tools you need to set up a dashboard tailored to you, your data requirements, and your business.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of a data hygiene dashboard, it’s essentially a custom dashboard that provides whoever looks after your data management with immediate insights into how your HubSpot portal itself is performing — and where it could use a tidy up.

Read this article to learn how to make one


9. Field locking

HubSpot field locking allows administrators to lock specific fields in their HubSpot CRM to prevent users from making changes that could introduce errors or inconsistencies. 

This feature is particularly helpful for companies with large datasets or those that rely heavily on customer relationship management (in other words, their CRM). By preventing unauthorised changes, field locking ensures that data remains consistent and reliable, which can help you to make more informed decisions and improve overall performance. 

Additionally, field locking can help you comply with industry regulations and protect sensitive information from unauthorised access. 


10. Subscription management

On the subject of regulatory compliance, HubSpot's subscription management tool allows companies to manage their subscription lists, segment their audience, and send targeted messages to specific groups. This not only helps to keep your data organised, but it also ensures that your messages are reaching the right people at the right time — specifically, those who have subscribed, signed up, or otherwise opted into your marketing.

  • Easily remove contacts who have unsubscribed so they’re not accidentally emailed
  • Manually add new contacts
  • Track your engagement
  • Automate your communication workflows

All together, this tool will save you time, enable compliance, and help you keep control. 


11. Data quality command centre

We couldn’t wrap up a conversation about cleaning your data in HubSpot without mentioning its data quality command centre. Available to Operations Hub users (Professional and Enterprise levels), the command centre provides a complete overview of how your data is stored in the HubSpot CRM. Critically, it also surfaces potential areas where you might experience issues with the existing way you store and manage your data. 

As you can imagine, this is so helpful in terms of planning or reviewing your data management strategy and improving the overall quality of your long-term data management.

“[...] evaluate possible issues with your properties, records, data sync integrations, and workflows. From the command center, you can also drill down further into each asset and take action to improve the quality of your data.”Use the data quality command center’, Knowledge Base, HubSpot


Could HubSpot help you to keep your data clean?

HubSpot offers a range of tools to help businesses keep their data clean, from automatically updating records with the latest information to using workflows to screen and delete dirty data. 

With features such as playbooks, record customisation, and subscription management, HubSpot empowers businesses like yours to take control of your data quality and improve overall performance. 

If you haven’t read Frankenstein, it doesn’t end well for Shelley’s monster — or his creator. Don’t let a continued reliance on bolted-together Franken-systems drag down your data management. Take advantage of HubSpot's solutions today to keep your data clean, structured, and useful.

To create a comprehensive data hygiene dashboard that ticks all your boxes, click the image below to download your copy of our data hygiene checklist — available now. 

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