Data Migration 2: Using the Data Import Templates

Links to other Data Migration Articles: 

The purpose of this article is to provide extra instructions on going through the Data Import Template specifically. If you want some import best practice guidance be sure to check out our article on Data Migration: Overview of Importing your Data

Where can I find the templates?

To make the process as simple as possible, we have provided a step-by-step site where you can upload your sheets as .csv files. You can find it by going to " Your Company Name"  Then click on "CSV Data" 

For our example in this article, we're going to be using the Entities Import Template.

How do I use the templates?

Whether you are importing from another system or from a collection of spreadsheets, you can use the Data Import Template as a way to bring over your data. Filling out the data import template structures your data in the way MonkeyPod knows it. Usually, all you need to do is restructure your data in the way the Data Import Template knows it!

The easiest way to show this is to walk through an example. (Want to practice with this example?!?!?! Download The data itself with explanation can be downloaded here !)

So, let's say my current entity data looks like this:

There are a couple of things that are going to need to change here:

  1. The column names are not the same as the MonkeyPod Data Import Template
    1. Account Type should be Type
    2. Related to should be ParentID
    3. Company should be Company Name
    4. Phone Number should be Phone
  2. The columns are not in the same order
    1. ParentID should be after ID
    2. Email should be after Type
    3. Job Title and Company Name should be switched
  3. The addresses for IDs 2 and 3 aren't formatted correctly
  4. I am missing the Roles column

And there are a couple of things I need to consider:

  1. Juana Danson (ID: 2) is listed as an individual but has a company we want to bring in the company?
  2. Do I want to bring over any custom attributes?

Once these things are corrected, the import template matches the template from MonkeyPod and looks like this

Want to check out this example with more detail? Check it out here

Bringing over Custom Attributes

If you want to bring over custom attributes it's quite simple! You will follow the instructions for the data import template exactly as above, then add the custom attributes to the end of the spreadsheet. 

There are two tricks to adding custom attributes

  1. Make sure you create the custom attributes and have them all set *before* you bring in your data!
  2. When you add the custom attributes to the spreadsheet, be sure to name them exactly as they are named in the system.

Let's say, in our example system from above, I have the following attributes in my system

  1. Dog's Breed
  2. Dog's Favorite Toy
  3. Dog's Name

And this is the way they look in my system:

All I need to do is add these as columns to my Data Import Template, and I'm ready to go!! 

Once your data is ready to go

  1. Go back to "Your Company Name"
  2. Click on "CSV Data"
  3. Then click on the name of the Import you're performing
  4. Check the box for "I followed the instructions from the template"
  5. Hit "START IMPORT!" 
  6. From here, you choose the CSV file that you want to import from, then select from the following two options for how to handle duplicates
    1. Delete & Replace: This option means that any accounts that are already in the system (or further up in the spreadsheet) will be replaced by the most recent account with that same email address. Be very careful with this option. If you choose this option and someone in the system already has giving history etc.. it will all be deleted and replaced.
    2. Ignore and move on to the next record: This option will ignore the new information and keep the old information
    3. Allow duplicates of existing email addresses to be treated as new records: Checking this option means that you will be allowing duplicates of the same email address in the system.

7. On the next screen, you will see a table that shows you what the data import will look like. As shown below,  it is import to check this because it is a good place to check any last small errors. For example: If you accidentally switch the first and last name columns, this is where you can see that the data isn't matching.

How do I use the other templates?

In general, the other templates work similarly to the entity import template - if you have any questions on a particular one, be sure to email

Data Import Template FAQs

  1. Do I need to put something in the ID field?
    1.  If you are planning on importing any donation history you should have something there. The ID field is what connects your entities to their donation history import
  2. Can I bring over Custom Attributes? 
    1. YES! You can bring them over, but you need to make sure you've made them and have them ready to go before putting data in them!
  3. What is the ParentID field? 
    1. The ParentID field is the way that we bring over entities that are householded. The trick here is to make sure that any references to a ParentID are referring to a row ABOVE the current ID row!
  4. Can  I undo an import if I mess up?
    1. Yes! We *STRONGLY ADVISE* that you take your time and do it right the first time, but if you need to, you can always undo an import

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