Mass data change mistake .. what happened, how to correct it, how to avoid?

Hi Everyone,

We’ve just discovered that about a month ago, we managed to mistakenly change a huge amount of information in a multiple-select column. It’s a mystery, because not all entries are changed… but it looks like maybe 4/5ths of the data are now incorrect. It looks like it would have taken a lot of thought to do this and we cannot fathom how it was done by mistake.

In case this clarifies it at all, the column is for countries (in which orgs work). All countries plus a few broad regions are listed there, and orgs have anywhere from zero to 20 or more countries listed.

It appears that all INDIAs have become SPAIN, all CHINAs have become JAPAN, GREECE has remained GREECE in some places but become POLAND in other records, WORLDWIDE has remained WORLDWIDE, BOLIVIA has become AUSTRALIA (and on and on).

Some orgs with single entries in the country column are still correct - others are wrong. Some with multiple entries in that column are all wrong, and in other cases, some remain correct and some are wrong. Some (though few) remain all correct.

We can see who made the change and when, but we cannot tell the mechanism by which they made this change. It seems like it would take a lot of work to do this!

This is really important, not only because we need to correct it (looks like it may have to be done one by one, and there are hundreds of records) but we definitely need to know how to avoid making such a mistake in the future. It’s worrisome that such a major mistake can happen so easily, and unnoticed.

Any hints, tips or advice on this? Of course, being careful is important… the amazing thing is that we both remember being very meticulous that day…

Thanks in advance - I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this!

Hi @CAW_International

My first reaction: it isn’t difficult to bulk change “china” to “japan” via a multiple select field. You just type “japan” where “china” stood. The fact that some are changed and others not, well… that’s something different. eg “greece” became “poland” in some records > this should mean that there was an option added since it is a select field. The person in question could have used a filter or 2 to change some records, but not all. It might be an explanation, but I’m just wild guessing here…

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