How to Check Field History Tracking in Salesforce

Last Modified: February 12, 2024 - 5 min read

Hannah Recker

Field history tracking in Salesforce is a critical feature that offers visibility into the lifecycle of field data within an organization’s Salesforce environment. 

It allows users to track the changes made to specific fields in Salesforce objects, recording information like the change date, the user who made the change, and the before and after values. This functionality is important in maintaining data integrity, ensuring compliance, and providing insights into data modifications for auditing purposes.

Here, we’ll walk through how to check field history in Salesforce, best practices, and solutions to common challenges. 

Let’s dive in! 

Step-by-Step Guide to Enabling Field History Tracking

Follow the steps below to enable field history tracking:

Step 1: Accessing the Setup Menu

Launch Salesforce and access the Setup Menu.

Accessing the Setup Menu after launching Salesforce

Step 2: Navigating to Object Manager and Selecting the Desired Object

Locate and open the Object Manager in the Setup Menu.

Locating and opening the Object Manager within Salesforce's Setup Menu.

Find and select the specific object (e.g., “Accounts”) you want to enable field history tracking.

Selecting the 'Accounts' object to enable Field History Tracking in Salesforce.

Step 3: Enabling Field History Tracking

Within the Object Manager, click on > Accounts.

Accessing 'Accounts' in the Object Manager for Field History Tracking.

Then >“Fields and Relationships” for the chosen object.

Navigating to 'Fields and Relationships' for the chosen object in Salesforce.

Instead of searching for “Set History Tracking,” click on the specific field you want to track.

Scroll down to the “Account Field History “ section.

Step 4: Selecting Fields to Track

If prompted to switch to Salesforce Classic due to cross-domain cookies, follow the relevant steps based on your Salesforce setup.

Click on “Set History Tracking” for the selected field.

Clicking on 'Set History Tracking' for the selected field in Salesforce

Note: The limit of 20 tracked fields is a general guideline; check your Salesforce edition and configuration for precise information.

After enabling history tracking, view changes in the “Account History” list on the record page.

Viewing changes in the 'Account History' list after enabling Field History Tracking.

How to Check and View Field History

Click the gear icon and choose Setup. Under “Objects and Fields,” select > “Object Manager.”

Select the object you want to enable field history tracking (e.g., “Transactions”).

In the left sidebar, click on > “Fields & Relationships.”

Locate and select the field for which you want to enable field history tracking.

Scroll down to the > “Account Field History” section.

Viewing changes in the 'Account History' list after enabling Field History Tracking.

Click the “Account Field History” button to see the history tracking for that field.

If field history tracking is not yet enabled, click the > “Enable Account History” button.

Choose the fields you want to track, then click “Save.”

How to Create a Historical Trends Report Based on Field History

Although Salesforce does offer a simple Historical Trending report type, there are several key limitations.

  • Salesforce retains data only for the current month and previous 3 months.
  • Each Historical Trend Report can only accommodate up to 11 fields.
  • Formula Fields are not supported.
  • The Summary report format is not supported.
  • The Report Wizard is not supported. Historical Trend Reports can be created only with the Report Builder.

To navigate these blockers and build flexibly, you can use a tool like Coefficient.

Coefficient offers a 2-way sync between Salesforce and your spreadsheet, whether you use Google Sheets or Excel.

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To create a historical trending report, you’ll import the data you’d like to track with a simple visual sidebar extension, and schedule data snapshots – daily, weekly, or monthly.

Here’s a quick walkthrough of how to snapshot your Salesforce data and build your historical trending report.

This dashboard below shows an example of how you can use this functionality to track changes on your sales forecast. You can grab the free template here.

Best Practices for Field History Tracking

Here are some easy-to-understand tips and tricks for making the most of field history tracking in Salesforce.

  1. Plan Ahead

Before turning on field history tracking, think about which fields you really need to keep an eye on. Tracking too much can slow things down and take up more space.

  1. Be Selective

Focus on tracking important fields that are key to your business. Avoid tracking everything unless it’s necessary to avoid cluttering up the history records.

  1. Watch Data Storage

Tracking history can use up your data storage. Keep an eye on how much space you have, and consider getting rid of old history data if needed.

  1. Write it Down

Make a list of the fields you’re tracking, why you’re tracking them, and how it affects your business. This can help future administrators and developers understand your choices.

  1. Check Regularly

Take a look at the history data every so often to make sure it matches what you need. This helps catch any mistakes or surprises in the history records.

Common Challenges and Troubleshooting

  1. Manage Data Volume

History tracking can create a lot of data over time. Use strategies like archiving or tools to handle large amounts of data.

  1. Think About Performance

Keep an eye on how tracking affects performance, especially if there are lots of transactions. Consider doing background tasks when possible to keep things smooth for users.

  1. Find Changes Easily

When figuring out what went wrong, use the Salesforce Setup Audit Trail along with history tracking. This helps trace changes back to specific users and times.

  1. Use Reports

Create your own reports to look at history data. This makes it easier to spot trends or issues, helping with problem-solving and decision-making.

  1. Teach Users

Make sure everyone knows about history tracking and what it means. This helps them understand that their actions might be recorded, creating a sense of responsibility.

Conclusion 

Field history tracking in Salesforce ensures data is accurate and keeps an audit trail of changes that occur.

By following these steps, organizations can proficiently manage their field history data within Salesforce, improving accountability and data integrity.

If you want to make Salesforce work even better, check out Coefficient today! 

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Hannah Recker Growth Marketer
Hannah Recker was a data-driven growth marketer before partying in the data became a thing. In her 12 years experience, she's become fascinated with the way data enablement amongst teams can truly make or break a business. This fascination drove her to taking a deep dive into the data industry over the past 4 years in her work at StreamSets and Coefficient.
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