Transition Guide - Import

Import Data - Transition Guide

We have revamped the import functionality, capturing more attention to the details and making it much easier to use. With refreshingly light weighted new user interface, this import functionality’s revamp focuses on providing you the right options and the key information required to import data into your CRM account.

What is new?

Drag and drop - It’s pretty easy. You just need to drag and drop the import files instead of browsing through the list and uploading them.

Sample data from the file - When you have to map the columns from the import file to the fields in Zoho CRM, you can quickly refer to sample data for help. Ideally, the first three records from the file are listed as sample data. In case the first three record do not have all the information in the fields, the next records with maximum field values will be listed.

Auto-detection of character encoding - This is another step towards keeping your database clean, without garbled characters. You no longer need to manually set the character encoding.  Zoho CRM automatically detects the correct character encoding while importing your data file and ensures that proper data is pushed inside Zoho CRM. 

Auto-detection of Field format - Certain fields like the registration date, annual revenue, quantity, delivery data, etc, need to follow a particular format to maintain consistency in the way data is stored and used in Zoho CRM. If your import file has different formats for a field, Zoho CRM auto-suggests a format based on the first 10 rows in the file. If the values are not available in the first 10 rows, then Zoho CRM checks or the subsequent rows.

You can choose to keep the format, which will be appropriately applied for all the values in that field to ensure there is no data corruption inside Zoho CRM. You can change this format too, as per your requirement.

Create new fields - Do you suddenly realize that you have an extra field in the import file and you do not have the same in your CRM account? You need not abandon the import activity that you started. Using the option to create fields during the import action, you add the new field in CRM, map it and continue with your import. Whenever, there is a new column in the import file, Zoho CRM automatically populates these fields and their type (text, integer, date, etc.) to help you easily create them.

Update only the existing records - This option is a great time saver. At times you may just want to update the existing records and avoid creating new records while importing. With this option only the existing records in your account will be updated with the values from the import file. Duplicates can be identified and skipped based on two elements Record ID, Email Address or any other unique field. For records like, accounts or products that do not have an email, the record’s name or other unique fields can be used to identify duplicates. 

Skip empty values in the file: "Do not update empty values” - This is new and very helpful. Earlier, when you updated records using the overwrite option, there were chances that the empty values were overwritten for fields that already had values. But with this new option, that is eliminated. This option helps you inform Zoho CRM not to overwrite the empty values from the file. The import action updates only the other fields from the import file that has values in it. 

Associate lookup records using a unique field - Unique fields are those whose value cannot be duplicated for another record. For example, no two email addresses can be the same, So the Email field is a unique field. Similarly, user IDs or record IDs are unique values.

Importing records and associating them to their parent record is essential and should not be a complicated thing. These unique fields help us associate records to one another. For example:

  • Notes are meaningful only when they are associated to the contact they are relevant to. That’s why we have provided the option to choose User ID, Email address of the Owner or any other unique lookup field. This helps you map the parent records for easy association without the confusion for duplicates
  • Deals are associated to Contacts. In cases when these deals are imported with just the email addresses of the contacts, it can be easy for you to import them based on the unique Email field.

Reset mapped fields - If at any point you feel confused about the fields that have been mapped, you can always refer the Mapped and Unmapped tabs. If that too does not work out, then you can reset whatever you have mapped and start over.

Above all, when you initiate the import, you can resume work and forget all about importing. Once it is done, Zoho CRM will inform you about the import status. 

What has changed?

Skip, Overwrite and Clone options - This is one major thing that has changed! We have revised the Skip, Clone and Overwrite options. The new ones with similar functions are: 

Old optionsNew optionsNew option's description
SkipAdd as new records
& Skip existing records based on a Value
New records are imported. Duplicates are identified based on the unique field that is selected and they are skipped during the data import.
CloneAdd as new records
& Skip existing records based on a None

All the records are imported and added as new. Duplicates are not identified during the data import.

OverwriteBoth & Find existing records based on a ValueNew records are imported. The existing records are identified based on a unique field and are updated during the data import.
-Update existing records only & Find existing records based on a ValueThis is an addition to the existing options where you can just update the existing records only. No new records will be added to your CRM account. The existing records are selected based on a unique field.
  • Add as new records - Records from the import file are added as new records. Duplicates can be identified and skipped based on any unique field, like the Record ID, Email or any other unique fields. For records like, accounts or products that do not have an email, the record’s name or other unique fields can be used to identify duplicates. 
  • Update existing records only - Data from the import file is updated in the existing records. Duplicates can be identified and skipped based on two elements - Record ID and Email. For records like, accounts or products that do not have an email, the record’s name will be taken into consideration. 
  • Both - This is a combination of both the above options. New records are added to Zoho CRM and the existing records are updated.

Mapping fields - Earlier the CRM fields were listed and you had to map them to the fields in the file. Say for example, your import file has 6 new field values and these fields are not available in your CRM account. Earlier, you could not identify it easily and your might have to cross check the fields to make sure all the data is imported without missing any information.

To address that we have swapped the fields that are listed. The improved import functionality lists all the columns from the file. So you need to map the fields from Zoho CRM to these columns. When there are additional fields that are not available in your Zoho CRM account, you can quickly create them too.

Mapped and Unmapped fields - A complete list of fields that are mapped and the ones that are unmapped will be available during the import. You need not wait to find out the list of columns from the import file that are not mapped with the CRM field. As you are mapping fields, you can click the Unmapped tab to view the fields. It also shows the count of unmapped fields.

Assigning users in the end - We have moved some options to the end so as to finish off with the important task of field mapping and then moving on to the other options like assigning owner, tasks and lead source.

Assigning Owner - Earlier there were two options: Import My Records and Import my Organization's Records. With these options you could assign owners to the record. This is now achieved through a single feature to import with options to assign users in three ways.

There are threes options to assign owners to a record that is imported. 

  • User - This option is new. You can select one user who can be the owner of all the records that are imported. So the options - Import My Records and Import Organization’s Records have been removed. Instead, the option to assign one user to all the records has been added.
  • Assignment rule - Based on an assignment rule you can assign users to the records that are imported.
  • Field mapping (as in the Import file) - When owner is mentioned in the import file, you can use that to assign record ownership. You have the option to choose User ID or Email address based on which users will be mapped and associated.  

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