The Self-Service Upload tool is a great way to quickly get info into your Databank system...if you use it correctly. Here are the most typical missteps folks make when uploading their data as well as a quick fix for each.
1. Using the wrong file type
There's a good chance that the data you want to upload is in an Excel sheet. That's totally fine! However, a lot of people will try to upload their data directly as an .xlsx which does not work.
Quick fix: Save your file as a .txt, .tab, or a .csv.
2. Tricky Commas
Speaking of .csv files, we see commas trip people up all the time.
For example, let's say that we are uploading a list of organizational donors to your system. If you had a comma in the name of a company, like thedatabank,gbc, it would separate the value in the middle. Funny how one of the most common punctuations marks happens to regularly be used to delimit data!
Quick fix: Remove the commas or try using a .tab file instead.
3. Hidden Characters
You gotta be careful when you copy and paste; sometimes there are invisible characters that will throw your data off. This is fairly common with mailing addresses in microsoft documents. The hidden characters are used to format the text but will mess things up in your upload.
Quick fix: Paste into a text editor to clean up the hidden characters. If you run on Windows like me, I'd recommend Notepad++. Proud Mac user? Try TextWrangler.
4. Forgetting to de-dupe
After you complete your upload it's so easy to save duplicate merging for a later date.
Unfortunately, later sometimes means never. These pesky records can stack up quickly so it's important to clear them out on a regular basis.
Quick fix: Take 10 minutes a week to de-dupe. Simple enough, right?
Quicker fix: Use the EZ-Merge tool. There's a reason it has the word easy in it's name.