|Posted: 2017-08-14 12:49|
A lot of people struggle with importing data, either when trying to update existing information or bringing new information into their database. There are a few simple steps that you can take to reduce the likelihood of errors and warnings.
Check our Knowledge Base
We have a number of Forum Posts and Knowledge Base pages that will not only guide you through the Import Wizard, but also contain examples for specific types of imports, like the import of Campaign Memberships.
Check previous Imports
If a similar import has been done before, it may be that you can use the ‘Use mappings from previous import’ option. This will require you to have an Import File that has the same column headings as the previous Import File. You can Export this from the previous Import to have a look and see how the data has been formatted.
Check your data
This is the most important thing you can do to help with a smooth import process; bad data will cause problems either in the import or once it is in your database.
1. Check for duplicates
As your data will be in a CSV file take advantage of Excel’s Duplication Tool. Simply highlight a column where you are likely to find duplicates that could present issues, such as Name, Description or Email Address.Then select the Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cell Rules > Duplicate Values.
This will highlight cells with duplicate information in them.You can then run your eye over these - are they actually duplicates, and therefore can you remove the extra rows?
If your data is of a poor quality, duplicates can still get through, like the example below:
We can see that these records are almost identical, except the first row has a double space between the first and last name. A duplicate check will not recognise these rows as duplicates based on the Name column, but would have if we did the duplicate check using the email address. If you are doing a large import with a lot of information we would recommend checking for duplicates on as many columns as possible. Think ahead: which fields are you going to use to identify duplicates in the Import? This needs to be something unique - if it is not, then the import will update an existing record rather than creating a new one. For example, if you are de-duping using the Subject field, and you have multiple rows with the same Subject, then the import will overwrite the data from the previously imported row. If we do want the Subjects to be the same, identify another column that can also be used when de-duping - in the above set of data, we might de-dupe on both Subject and Due Date.
2. Check for bad values
3. Check you have all of the required data
4. Mapping to DLIs