After purchasing Microsoft Dynamics 365, it is very common to want to bring in data previously stored elsewhere. Recently I completed my first data import into Microsoft Dynamics 365 from an Excel spreadsheet. The most important aspect of a successful and useful data import is to have clean data. Clean data generates good data. Messy data may still import but there is no point having all the Accounts and Contacts but with incorrect information linked to them.
I have mentioned ‘clean data’ a few times now, but what does that actually mean? There are a few key factors that contribute to this:
- Individual Categories – every field needs its own category. For example, you do not want the email address and email type in the same field (Home firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Consistent Data – if there are capitals in one name, all names should have capitals
- No Duplicates – the import will not work if you have duplicates (eg. Total CRM in twice)
- Accurate Spelling – it will be imported into CRM exactly as it is!
While these are only a few factors, if you can get this right you are a long way towards a successful import! If the data you have gathered is just too much, you can always get a professional to complete this task for you.
Once your data is clean you may need to do a couple of different imports. Separate imports for Accounts and Contacts are generally required. When you have all the imports organized, Dynamics CRM will do the rest for you! All you need to do is map the import columns to the correct fields in CRM and it will upload the data right to them.
In summary, importing data from Excel can be very easy, depending on one thing – clean data.
Best of luck for your data import!