When you're first getting started with a platform like Accelo - or if you're an existing user who has a set of new or updated info to enter in bulk - being able to import a list or spreadsheet of companies and contacts is essential. The most standard format of information in the world is the humble CSV file, and Accelo has long supported CSV imports.
However, for all of that long time, our import wizard was pretty damn unfriendly to users. Even for power users like our implementations team, the previous import wizard was hard to use correctly, and because by definition an import of a lot of information is something that affects a lot of data, mistakes made a big mess and were super frustrating.
It was long since time that we improved our CSV import wizard, and we're excited to announce that from today we've released a brand new CSV import wizard for Companies and Contacts, with other CSV imports soon to follow.
By combining powerful design creativity with years of UX experience, we've successfully delivered a much simpler, faster, and more flexible import wizard. Here's how the new wizard will work to streamline and automate your operations so that the import process is no longer a chore:
The new drag & drop screen gives you a chance to think about which fields in the CSV belong to a company, a contact, or an address. More importantly, you'll have the ability to add more contacts and addresses - so fields for Contact 1 can be distinguished from fields for Contact 2. This initial categorization means field mapping on the next step is much more straight-forward.
There's also the ability to let Accelo automatically categorize fields by selecting the option at the top of the screen if you haven't already started dragging and dropping.
That's right, if there's data in the CSV which doesn't correspond with any of the built-in fields in Accelo, you can now take care of that by creating a new custom field (for a Company or a Contact) without leaving the screen. Use the “Create New” option in the drop-down to build a custom profile field on-the-fly that will then be available in the fields mappings.
If your new field happens to be a selected (drop-down) field, another bonus is that you won't need to tell Accelo about all the possible options. Our intelligent software will automatically detect them in the CSV data and build out the possible select field options accordingly.
Match & Merge options are powerful as they instruct Accelo to check for duplicates, which fields we use to check for duplicates, and what to do when we find them. These new features are a huge step above our previous offering, where we only had one set of rules for detecting duplicates (which was very inflexible).
As you'd expect, the first time you use the wizard you'll see Accelo's recommended/default settings in place - such as 'matching companies by name.' But now, users have the option to be more specific with their Matching & Merge settings - such as matching on Website as well as Name (provided that field was mapped).
By accepting any file formatted as a CSV, the import process is susceptible to all kinds of hazards - such as unusual character encodings, country/region specific data, and of course any number of bad/incomplete data sets exported from other systems. This doesn't pose any risk to the data already in Accelo, but when new records are being imported and we run into a problem, we can now be a lot more verbose about the issue - such as the row that failed and even the field(s) which we couldn't process. Then, if everything runs smoothly, the logs will show this too:
Whether you're new to Accelo or have been with us for a while, we hope this import administrative feature will make importing and updating data no longer a chore, and allow you to get back to doing the work you love! We should also let you know that this new import layout will be applied to our other CSV import tools - such as the Sales/Prospect and Project imports - in the very near future.