Salsa Scoop> Your Top Five Data Import Questions Answered

Your Top Five Data Import Questions Answered

It took some finagling, but you finally got the money and the buy-in from the big wigs at your organization to switch to Salsa. The ink has hardly dried on your contract and you are already itching to get your data transferred. (We can't blame you, Salsa is pretty cool!)

Like most new members, you probably have a few questions about getting your data into Salsa. I thought I would take this opportunity with my first "Getting Started with Sarah" blog post to help alleviate your import fears. (And stay tuned for future posts which will also provide tips and resources to our newbie Salsa users.)

Your Top Five Data Import Questions Answered:

1. I am really freaked out about transferring over my data. Talk me down!
We have brought data into Salsa from basically every type of vendor you can think of. Whether it is Convio, Get Active, Kintera, or even a custom-built database, as long as you can export the data into a standard data format (such as comma delimited, tab delimited, Excel, etc..) we can import it. We do this all the time so we know how best to standardize your data along what might cause a snag (and how to fix it). And we always give you the opportunity to take a look at the data and give a final nod of approval. If you have any concerns, we start over and make any adjustments as needed. We know your data is gold and we treat it as such!

2. Can I talk to another Salsa member who has made the switch from my previous vendor to see if they have advice?

Definitely. We are slowly building a list of members who are willing to serve as references and help answer questions about the switch to Salsa. This information will soon be available on the New Users section of the Salsa Commons.

3. I have separate lists for each of my email groups. How does Salsa handle multiple lists?
The best way to handle multiple lists is through the use of groups. Groups allow you to create a "subset" of your list. Your contacts can be added to a particular group upon import, and it is also simple to query supporters and add them to a group at a later time. Read more about how groups work.

4. Can I create custom fields? How many are available?
Yep you sure can! We have 150 custom fields available for use and in a variety of formats (such as date/time, numbers, text, radio/drop downs, etc...)

5. How long will the data transfer take?
(Or, can you transfer all my data by tomorrow/before my contract is up/before my ten-year-old custom-built database explodes?)
It depends on what type of data you have (support contact information, donations, etc...) and also what type of shape your data is in. While the import itself is usually pretty straight forward, the time spent prepping your data for import can vary. We recommend that you export your data as soon as possible and factor that process into your data transfer timeline. It is hard for us to give an estimate of how long the transfer will take until we can take a look at your data. We will also do our best to meet any deadline you have on your end.

Any other questions you have about transferring your data to Salsa?
Check out this section for more information, and also feel free to post comments/questions or write me directly at sosmer (at) democracyinaction.org.

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