Technology Blog – Volume 1, Issue 1: Clean Data is Happy Data

Clean Data is Happy Data

Nora Keenan, AVP Business Consulting
The Financial Services Network

Welcome to the inaugural edition of my technology blog.  I’ll use it as a forum for ideas, commentary and industry updates.

As you may know, a big part of my job is getting systems to share data so that your offices can be more efficient. Unfortunately, sometimes I get an office set up and the data doesn’t look like the advisor envisioned.

When this happens, often it is because the underlying source data is unstructured and cluttered.  Duplicate contact records, stale data and uncategorized clients are a few examples.  It’s easy to see how this messy data would be hard to work with.

Sometimes I see offices get discouraged at this point and postpone the work necessary to clean up their data.  It seems overwhelming and with everything else that’s required daily, it often doesn’t get done.

But fear not!  I will give you a plan that you can implement over time.  And once your data is clean, it will need nothing more than a quarterly sprucing.

Here are my Top 3 Tips for Data Cleanup

  • Remove Duplicates (Consolidate): When the same person is added twice (or more!) into your CRM, each version will collect their own appointments, notes and activities over time. Instead of deleting the extra copies, consolidate those contacts into one to maintain your activity, appointment and note history.  Redtail offers this functionality within the Bulk Actions menu.  Review this helpful article for detailed instructions:



  • Periodic Maintenance: Now that your contact records are clean and segmented, keep them that way with some periodic maintenance.
    • Run the Contacts by Duplicate Names report in Redtail quarterly. This report shows you what contacts have the same first and last name.  Note that this report can list John Smith Sr and John Smith Jr as duplicate contacts.  Use your knowledge of the client base to do a logic check here. Redtail: Contacts by Duplicate Names Report
    • Update mail and email addresses in both Redtail and at the custodian consistently.
    • Run the Personal Profile Form from Redtail as part of your client meeting preparation. This form provides a summary of all contact information you have in the CRM for the client. Give them the opportunity to review and update the data periodically.  This form is available from the Common Tasks icon in the contact record in Redtail.


I hope I’ve renewed your enthusiasm for your CRM.  Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and videos in future issues of my monthly technology update.  Don’t hesitate to contact me at with any questions or suggestions for future topics.


The company names and information mentioned herein was for educational purposes only. It was not a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell that company nor an endorsement for their products/and or services.