6 Tips for preparing your data for import
- Work from a copy - Make a copy of your data before you make any changes to it. You may need something to refer back to if mistakes happen.
- Get Familiar with Excel functions - It is helpful if you have someone that knows Excel or spreadsheets in general. It’s much easier to use the functions available for handling several thousand records. Or it may be necessary to hire a temp with Excel experience.
- Review the Data - Make sure all the columns make sense. Several users entering in data over the years will have information in the wrong fields or may be missing. Separate phone numbers into their own fields, such as office, fax, and mobile.
- Check Formatting - address or phone numbers may be formatted in a variety of ways, so choose a format and change the data to follow it.
- Identify Data Relationships - You may have separate data for parent companies, properties, and contacts. You will need to find a common relationship in the data so you know what properties go to their parent company and which contacts go to their property and/or company. If the data doesn’t match to each other, that record won’t import properly.
- Not all fields can be imported - Please see our import template for the fields we can import to. Your data needs to fit within this template (FCS_Import_Template.xlsx).
When submitting your data for importing, these are the guidelines that we follow:
- Data in fields are imported as is, so your data must be formatted the way you want to see it. We do not search and replace.
- Imports have a 7-day turn-around after the import file is accepted by the development team.
- Test set of records may be provided to initiate training.
- Not all fields from your original data can be imported. If you wish to include data which does not have a field in the template, you should include it into the notes field.
Building the Import
You will organize your data into 3 categories: Companies, Properties (or buildings), and Contacts. The data file you receive will be different from system to system.
Attached is a link for the template we use for importing your data. The categories are separated into tabs.
Before submitting your data for import, you should review it and make sure your properties and contacts will match up with the parent companies. This document will give you some tips for doing that.
From your companies, you will want to look for a ‘Company ID’. If there is no column for ‘Company ID’ or if it’s blank for a record, you need to create one. Each ‘Company ID’ can be alpha, numbers, or a combination, but they should be unique.