Importing/Cleaning Data

How To Import And Clean Data

Your data is one of, if not the, most important resources of your business. However that does not mean that all your data is of high quality. When you are going to import your data into any system (obviously I am focused on Infusionsoft here) then it is important that you cleanse your data before you do your import.

Cleansing Your Data

Before you do your import, export your data from your current system into a CSV file. If you are using an email system, such as MailChimp then I would recommend the export has unsubscribers from your old system filtered out. During an Infusionsoft import you will choose an option that reads that all the contacts are either marketable or non-marketable. Therefore a mixed list will cause you issues.

Once you have your CSV file, start by looking at the columns of data that you have exported. There will be some data that simply is not worth bringing into your new Infusionsoft system. For example, some systems take a guess at the latitude / longitude of the contact based on their IP address. This data is normally not going to ever be used by most companies, so why import it? Any columns that you simply won’t be using, delete. If you think that you might use it, then leave it in.

The next thing to do is not to panic if you have a field with both first and last names in. Infusionsoft during the import will split that automatically into two, be aware that it will split it at the first space, so Bob & Mary Smith will become a first name of Bob and a last name of & Mary Smith.

Email is a vital field inside Infusionsoft, so we want to make sure that we only have email addresses in that field. To do so I tend to use the filter tools inside Excel (other spreadsheet softwares are available) and look for entries that don’t contain an @. Other tests I perform on columns include looking for non-numeric entries in phone fields.

One of the pieces of data that people often wish to import are the notes from their old systems to Infusionsoft. There is a infinitely large field called Person Notes that you will be able to import this data to. So this will be possible.

Importing Your Data

Now that you have cleansed your data, you are now ready to import it into Infusionsoft. For Pro go to Infusionsoft Logo > Admin > Import > Contacts > Go. For Current click on contacts on the left hand side and then choose Import on the right.

The first thing to do is locate your CSV file for upload. If you get a UTF-8 error at this point this means you have a non-European Standard Character in your data, this could be an emoji, a Chinese character, etc. You will have to locate this in the CSV file and remove it before going any further.

On the next screen you will then get to match the data from your CSV file to the location that you want to put it into inside Infusionsoft. You will have options such as ‘split name to first, last’ and do not import the column. At the top (Pro) or bottom (Current) of the list you will find an option to create a tag off the column.

Once you have matched your fields up, press next and you will be asked if you have permission to market to these people. A ‘Yes’ response will single-opt in all of your list, a ‘No’ response will bring them into the system as non-marketable.