How To
Jan 5, 2024

How to Use Salesforce History Tracking

In Salesforce, your field values keep on changing. New sales, new payments, and fields keep on getting updated. It leaves you wondering what was the last field, when it changed, and who changed it. 

To prevent losing track of these modifications, Salesforce came up with history tracking. Field history tracking in Salesforce gives you a log of this data - it shows you what has changed since you left, so you’re always on top of all changes in your data. However, the built in feature has limitations.

In this blog, we’ll see how you can use history tracking in Salesforce and show you a way to capture your entire field history. Let’s dive in.

What’s field history tracking in Salesforce? 

History tracking is a feature in Salesforce that allows you to track changes in your data. When you enable history tracking for specific fields in Salesforce, it automatically maintains a historical record of changes that anyone makes to those fields. It’s like watching a before and after view of specific fields so you can see how your data has been modified over time. You can track history in Salesforce with features like reporting snapshots

New Reporting Snapshot Salesforce for reporting snapshot salesforce

Why is Salesforce history tracking important for your business?

History tracking gives you a bird’s eye view of your data changes so you can make informed business decisions. Here’s how history tracking in Salesforce benefits your business:

1. Keep a Clear Record

Since history tracking records every change that anybody makes to specified fields, you can see who changed what and when. This clear record helps you meet compliance requirements and regulations.

2. Hold Users Accountable

With history tracking, all your data users know that their actions are tracked. So they steer clear of any accidental or unauthorized changes to crucial data.

3. Understand Changes Over Time

With history tracking, you can view past values of fields to analyze trends and changes in your data over different periods. This lets you make decisions based on how records have evolved.

4. Quick Troubleshooting

With history tracking, you can quickly trace back changes and find the source of data discrepancies or errors.

5. Evaluate Performance

History tracking lets you evaluate individual or team performance over time so you can track metrics like sales or project milestones to recognize achievements, address challenges, and set realistic goals based on historical data.

6. Useful in Legal Matters

In legal situations or disputes, having a comprehensive history of changes can be crucial as evidence. The recorded data in history tracking serves as documentation to help resolve disputes or meet legal requirements.

Limitations of Salesforce History Tracking

Although Salesforce history tracking is quite useful for maintaining records with features like reporting snapshots, it comes with certain limitations. Let’s check out some history tracking limitations and use cases where they’ll hamper your analysis:

You can track a maximum of 20 fields

Suppose your company wants to track changes in various details of their Opportunity records in a Sales Cloud implementation. These include fields like Opportunity Name, Amount, Close Date, and several custom fields. If the number of tracking fields exceeds 20, they would need to ditch tracking for some fields. This limitation can be challenging for organizations with complex business processes that involve tracking a wide range of details.

You can’t track the original and new values for Text Area (Long), Text Area (Rich), and Picklist (Multi-Select) type fields.

Consider a scenario where your company uses Salesforce to manage support cases, and they want to track changes to a "Description" field, which is a Text Area (Long) type. If a support agent updates the description of a case, the history tracking won’t capture those changes, defeating the purpose of historical analysis.

You can’t track all standard objects, for example, User, Task, Event, Campaign, and Quote.

Suppose your company has important information related to their marketing campaigns stored in the Campaign object. However, since history tracking is not available for the Campaign object, the marketing team won’t get the historical view of changes made to campaign details over time. This limitation will prevent them from analyzing the effectiveness of different campaign strategies.

You can’t track some fields like the Formula field, Roll-Up Summary, auto-number fields, Created By, Last Modified By, and Expected Revenue fields on Opportunity.

Imagine your sales team depends on a special Formula field in Salesforce to calculate a weighted amount for Opportunities. Because history tracking doesn't work with Formula fields, the system won't record changes to this calculated amount over time. This limitation might affect the team's capacity to analyze shifts in the weighted amount and understand what factors drive those changes.

Instead, Use Gigasheet for Salesforce History Tracking!

Historical data analysis is super easy in Gigasheet. You can schedule your reports or entire objects to import directly into your Gigasheet library. The best part is that it avoids all of the limitations of salesforce history tracking. Track every field of interest! Here’s how: 

1. Connect Gigasheet: 

You can import Salesforce data into Gigasheet without any admin permissions or installing the Salesforce app. In Gigasheet, you’ll authenticate to Salesforce via SSO and provide read-only access to your reports and objects. That’s it. Then, you’ll import your data, and you’re ready to track changes.

2. Select and Schedule Your Report or Object Snapshots

Once you schedule your Salesforce data export, you can analyze hundreds or even thousands of records in Gigasheet. Its scalability ensures that you’re never limited by the volume of data you need to track. Simply select the reports and/or objects you want to track and schedule how frequently you’d like to snapshot them.

3. Automated Change Reports

Gigasheet takes the hassle out of change tracking. It automatically generates change summary reports, providing a detailed history of data modifications, including who made them and when. 

field history tracking Salesforce using Gigasheet

Gigasheet lets you track the history of your data without going through extensive steps. Also, there’s no row limit in Gigasheet. You can track and analyze millions of rows at a time. So, sign up for Gigasheet today to start tracking your data history. 

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