It is often useful to know how much do the users actually use that field(s) that have been added over the months or years.

This is where Field Utilization tool of XL-Connector will come in handy. First, open an empty worksheet in Excel, then push the button with the pie-chart iconography.

When the dialog box comes up, use the first picklist to select the object for inspection, and then the fields you want to know the utilization percent for. Hold down Ctrl key to select multiple fields. Note, long-text or rich-text fields (like “Description” or “Comments”) will not be presented in the list because they can’t be queried.

Next, in most circumstances you do NOT push the > button in the middle of tool. Instead, just push the OK button at the bottom of the dialog box to get your results.

The utilization for each field is run separately, so give the tool more time if you want to get the utilization data for more than one field. The more fields there are, the more times the tool will need to reach out to Salesforce for data.

NOTE: please be patient if the object you’re running the utilization tool for has a lot of records. Sometimes you can get a timeout message because Salesforce is not able to calculate how many empty fields there are in the allotted timeout period. In this case simply run the tool again, it runs much quicker the second time around since Salesforce has already calculated most of the utilizations when you ran it the first time.

Now, if you’re a serious SOQL geek…can optionally specify filters for the analysis. This is handy if you want to determine utilization only for a subset of data (e.g. only for a specific record type or record owner). Here’s how:

  • click the > button in the middle of the wizard
  • figure out which field(s) you want to filter on
  • figure out which fields are text vs numbers, so that your Booleans don’t blow up
  • type the portion of the SOQL query that comes after the WHERE keyword, including ORs, ANDs, NOTs, LIKEs…pretty much any valid SOQL string. Some people even claim to use subqueries here. Seriously?? They must have weirder situations than you and me 😉
  • if you want to keep the filter criteria, highlight it NOW and ctrl-c it!
  • click OK to run the analysis and clear the dialog box.