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Tuesday
Oct162012

Import Your Data into Salesforce

 

 

The right way...

Most new Salesforce users have existing data in legacy systems. An important milestone when first using Salesforce is to properly import your data. The initial data migration to Salesforce is a one-time effort—so be sure to get it right the first time! Below are four steps to import your data into Salesforce:

1. Pick The Proper Migration Tool: Salesforce CRM provides two tools for importing data.

  • Salesforce Import Wizard: this tool is aimed for the “general user”. The import Wizard allows you to import up to 50,000 records at a time. It also does an initial scan of duplicates.
  • Salesforce Apex Data Loader; however, is designed for the heavy/technical user. This tool not only provides you with the ability to mass Upload, Update, and Delete of records into your Salesforce org but also to schedule imports/export of data. Keep in mind that this tool is only available to Enterprise and Unlimited Editions of Salesforce.
  • Use Cloudingo: Cloudingo has the ability import large batches of records into Salesforce without creating duplicates. You can filter on many different standard/custom fields.

 

2. Prepare for The Import: the Salesforce Import Wizard is designed to work with CSV files in                      Microsoft Excel.

  • Collect and organize your data into a single CSV Excel file.
  • Review the Excel file and make sure all data fields are properly mapped to corresponding Salesforce fields.
  • Assign the right owners of the records. If an owner is not assigned, Salesforce will assign the person importing as the owner.

 

3- Test and Validate your Data:

  • Before committing to importing all of your data, you might consider doing an initial test of importing 10 records
  • Create a report and make sure the data is mapped correctly and that it matches the original data in the Excel file.
  • Make necessary changes to your records and test again; if all goes well, proceed to importing your records

 

4- Analyze and Clean your Data: it is highly critical that data is clean and duplicate-free. There are many Data Quality tools in the Salesforce Appexchange; my favorite one is Cloudingo (mentioned in Step 1). Cloudingo not only scans and dedupes your entire database (including Leads, Accounts, and Contacts), but also gives you the ability to decide what determines the “winner/master record” and then merge the losers into it. For example, do you want the winner to be the oldest record, the newest, or the most populated one? Don't take my word for it though, they even offer a free trial that will let you see how the product works and shows you a report of your duplicate records, too.

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