It's a good idea to "clean" your database before you import it. The quality of the data that you import has a profound impact on the quality of your Donor Tools database.
Garbage In Garbage Out
Data quality is extremely important. If your data is extremely consistent (e.g. first names are in the "First Name" column, etc.), then consider yourself lucky! Most data ends up with some irregularities - information in the wrong fields, missing information, etc. If this is the case, we'll need to spend some time normalizing your data before we can begin. The more you can clean up your data yourself, less time you'll have to spend importing it and fixing problems afterwards. This means validating email addresses, fixing spelling and formatting errors, and making sure that data is in the right fields.
Data Quality Tips
- Look for consistent formatting in columns.
- Make sure date columns (e.g. Received Date, Check Date) have full, correct dates.
- Look for inappropriate text in numeric columns (e.g. Amount).
- When importing donations, make sure the three requirements are met: each donation must have a Donor ID (or Legacy Donor Id), a Received Date and an Amount.
- Make sure names are in the correct columns, and don’t overlap or interchange data in columns (in other words, don’t put the last name in the first name column, or vice-versa).
Following these tips (and reading the rest of the User Guide) will help you have a successful data import each and every time.