Many clients come to Get Connected from other systems, and clients often want to bring their data with them. Although there are a few cases where data are incompatible or better left behind, importing data is often one of the best ways a new site can start on the right foot. The following article addresses the following topics:
- Import policy for new clients who wish to import data
- What types of data can be imported, and what types are not a good fit for the system
- Import guidelines and process
- Information on who imports the data
Import Policy for New Clients
New sites are allowed one import each of their users, their agencies, and their current/future needs during site launch. Imports are done via our import template. Contact us for more information, or to request an import template.
As a paid service, we will provide additional imports and imports involving the following:
- historical data
- user hours
- user imports that include more than three custom data columns
Contact us to request a quote.
Get Connected can accommodate the following types of data:
- Needs (limited to ordinary needs and Advanced Event needs)
- Need Responses
Note: Galaxy Digital can only import data that matches a field in Get Connected. The exception to this is User data, where fields that do not have a match can be imported as “Extra Data,” which appears as part of the user's account.
When data are imported, certain information is required. If the required information is not present, the client will need to obtain the missing fields and resend the data, placeholder data will be used, or the data will not be imported.
- Users must have a first name, last name, and email address.
- Agencies must have a name and at least one agency manager who has at least a first name, last name, and email address.
- Needs must have an agency, title, and description.
- Need Responses must have the user and the need they connect.
- Hours must have the user and need they connect, the date the volunteerism took place, and the number of hours served.
- Companies must have a name and exactly one manager with a first name, last name and email address.
Note: Get Connected uses email addresses as a unique identifier. Users will enter their email address when they log in and managers will use email addresses to distinguish users from one another. For this reason, Get Connected can only support one account per email address.
Sometimes data cannot be imported because something is missing, the data are not complete, or there are errors. Although the following is not a comprehensive list of problems that would prevent a data import, they are the most common.
- Data cannot be imported if prerequisites are missing.
- Needs cannot be imported unless agencies are already present, and the agencies whose needs are being imported must have a name matching what exists in Get Connected.
- Need responses cannot be imported unless needs and users are also imported and the responses’ users' emails and needs' names match what exists in Get Connected.
- Hours cannot be imported unless needs and users are also imported and the hours’ users' emails and needs' names match what exists in Get Connected
- Data cannot be imported if the process of manipulating, reorganizing, and importing them will threaten their integrity.
- This not common, but it is sometimes the case that by formatting data so that they fit Get Connected’s fields the data will become unrecognizable and therefore not worthwhile.
- This is usually only a concern with need responses and hours.
There are also times when data should not be imported even though they can be. Often when a client comes over from another system, they want to import needs and responses for “historical” or “record keeping” purposes. In most of those cases the process of importing data reduces the accuracy of the data and makes it more difficult to look up. In these cases we encourage clients to keep their data offline.
Although they are not always imported into Get Connected, unique identifiers from your old system are often very helpful when it comes to the import process. If you include unique identifiers you have for your data, Galaxy Digital staff can use those to make sure that your data are accurate when they are imported. Please include them if possible.
The following steps will guide Galaxy Digital staff as they work with clients to import data into the system. These steps will vary on a case by case basis, but they are a good example of how a process typically goes.
- Clients who are importing from a previous system will have a call about their data with Galaxy Digital staff.
- In this call clients will be asked to articulate their goals.
- Galaxy Digital will have a technical resource and a customer care resource present.
- The client will have a decision maker present and, if possible, a data expert present.
- The client will be sent a template they can use to organize their data. Most clients will choose to copy and paste their data into this document.
- The client will send Galaxy Digital their data by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Galaxy staff will review the data.
- If the data are formatted correctly, nothing is missing, and the data will accomplish the goals of the site manager without compromising data integrity, then the data will be imported, and a follow up call will be scheduled with the client to discuss the results
- If Galaxy Digital staff have any concern or questions about data, they will schedule a call to go over their thoughts and discuss next steps.
- The client will be informed of the results of the import.
- The client will inspect their data to make sure that it was imported without errors.
- The client will let Galaxy Digital know that the import is complete.
While clients retain the ability to import their own data, Galaxy Digital encourages you to work with us on imports. Often a wrinkle in the data can throw things off, and those wrinkles are identified and handled more easily when everyone is working together. If a client is interested in importing their own data, Galaxy Digital staff can train them on the process so that mishaps are avoided.