by Shawn Rahmani, Data Specialist, Salsa
Unclean data is very ugly. We have all experienced a bad import, weird data coming from a sign-up page, or the occasional human error bulk updating a field. Below are some common questions we receive and answers that include how to avoid the unsightly data errors.
How do we keep our data clean?
- Export your whole list. This can be done in the supporter management function. Go to Supporter Management, navigate to query/export, and click ‘Select my entire list’. If you perform this function one to two times a month, you will keep good backups of supporter data incase of a bad import or some other unfortunate data loss.
- Build a custom report or use a custom report of supporters using source details. A report called ‘List of supporters per source details’ could be very beneficial. In order to build this report, create an Aggregate Report and choose supporter object. Choose the data fields: First Name, Last Name, Email, and Date Created. Grouping by Source, Source Details and the Supporter KEY.
Upon completion of one or both of these tasks, review your exported lists and note any discrepancies or weirdness. Keeping these spreadsheets is advisable in case you need to repair corrupted data or just compare past data to current.
How do we keep our imports clean?
Keeping the imports clean is very important. Not only is this crucial information for your organization, but a poor import can also affect how the system interacts with the data.
- Format your excel files and save as a Tab Delimited Text (.txt) file.
- First time doing imports? Have support review them.
- Check your field mapping on the second step of the import process.
- Import into groups.
At Salsa we take data integrity very seriously and would like to ensure that you, our clients, keep the best data possible.
If you have any concerns about your data please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org