Wizard Systems have been involved with setting up new CRM solutions for 20 years and have a wealth of experience in migrating different types of data into CRM systems. Here are our top 10 tips of areas to consider when carrying out your own database import project.
1. Format of the data. The most common format we come across at Wizard Systems for data migrations is Excel, so you have to check your CRM system can import directly from Excel or whether the data needs to be converted to some other format before import. Check to see if there is one file containing all data to be imported or whether it’s split over multiple files, e.g. one for the Company names and one for the People. If your data is in Excel, check for blank rows and that columns have the same format of data (i.e. if you had a City column, that column just contains Cities and no data from other columns has ‘slipped’ in). If your data is in ‘CSV’ (Comma Separated Variable) format, you may need to remove commas from the data you’re importing as they could corrupt your import.
2. How will you use the data once it’s in your CRM system? For example, are you going to send some marketing communications to them, have someone from sales call them, etc…
3. How up to date is the data? Nothing’s worse than taking the trouble to import your data, only to find out the companies don’t exist, people have left, or email addresses are out of date. When was the data last verified or updated by anyone? Does it have a ‘last update’ field for example?
4. Check for duplicates: You might assume that the data you are importing is fairly clean and does not contain duplicates, but do you have some of those records already in your CRM database, and if yes, how are you going to handle those duplicates – Most good CRM systems have a way of checking for duplicate records on import.
5. How will you import? Does your CRM system have an import facility or do you have to rely on a 3rd party tool / utility to do the job for you, which could add to the time and expense of the project.
6. Does your CRM system have the correct structure for the data to be imported? E.g. If the data to be imported has a turnover field for the Company, do you have a Turnover Field in your CRM database already? If yes, and there’s data in that Field already, is the format identical to existing records? You might be storing Turnover as a ‘number’ field, but maybe the data you are getting stores Turnover as text or a range.
7. Does your CRM system have the capacity for storing the extra records? Check that you don’t have any upper limits on number of records and that it will not impact on the performance of the system having extra data.
8. Security: Will all Users of the CRM system have access to this data or do some Fields / Records need to be hidden or made ‘read-only’ to some users?
9. Is this a one off migration or will you be subscribing to updates of the data? If you’re going to receive regular updates to your data, you will need to check that you’re tracking and importing a ‘Unique Record identifier” or a Field that contains a unique number for that record against which you can match & append future updates.
10. Ownership: Do you own the data, or if you start using it in your CRM system, is a 3rd party out there likely to launch a legal action against you? Ensure you abide by local data protection legislation and observe any ‘opt in or opt out’ flags for mailings or telephone calls
If you have a database import project you would like assistance with, please contact us at Wizard Systems.