Spreadsheets were designed for budgets, not databases. If you’re drowning in Excel files, CSV exports and Google Docs – this is your way out.

Though it’s easy to import CSV files into Kepla, you normally can’t do it straight from your spreadsheets. Often a little work is required to make sure everything is clean and orderly before it goes into your Kepla account.

Here are 4 tips that will help you get your Excel and Google Sheets spreadsheets ready for import into Kepla.

1) Tidy up your columns

When you import any spreadsheet, you need that spreadsheet to be as simple as possible for a computer to understand. That means rows are for individual records and columns are for data fields. Sometimes we make our spreadsheets a little fancier, for example this:

An example of a spreadsheet with a title above the column names

Here we have a merged field for the title and some extra data in row 1. If you imported this, Kepla will interpret the first column as the headings, then get pretty confused about what was underneath.

Before we import the spreadsheet, we need to make it as straight forward as possible. You should have labels in the first row then one record for every row after. It should look something like this:

2) One piece of information per cell

If you’ve been working off your spreadsheets manually so far, it’s pretty common for the information in the cells to get a bit messy. For example, I might write a note in the Email column with an alternate email, or the email of someone’s assistant. Or, I might say that for this phone number it’s best to call after 5pm.

This is great when humans are looking at the spreadsheet, but makes it harder for a machine. For example your sheet might look like this:

In the yellow cells, we’ve added some extra notes related to each columns. If we imported this spreadsheet into Kepla, then the first email would be invalid, and we wouldn’t be able to geocode the suburb on row 4.

You should go through and tidy up these cells, either adding a column for notes or more email addresses. The golden rule is to have one piece of information per cell

3) Keep spreadsheets separate

When you’re getting ready to import your data into a CRM, it can be tempting to combine all your spreadsheets into a big, single master spreadsheet. We’ve done this too, it makes the import seem easier but it often ends up making it more difficult.

When you combine your spreadsheets you have to match rows, comb through what is often inconsistent information and somehow record the source of that data.

Lets say that you had 5 spreadsheets containing the petition signatures of 5 different campaigns. If you combined those into the one sheet, you would loose which campaign that person signed – often stored in the file name of your spreadsheet.

Instead, you should import each spreadsheet into Kepla separately and add tags or activity based on where that data has come from. You can do this in the Advanced Settings box of your import.

4) Tag your imports

Spreadsheets are easy when they’re all separated out, clearly named and you know where each came from. Once you’ve imported all that data into a system, it will be deduplicated and combined. This is good, all your data will be in the one place, but you do lose the original file names of each spreadsheet.

The best thing to do is to add a Kepla tag or activity for every import. Tags are great to record the source of a record, or where they have come from. Activity are good to record things that they have done in the past. 

You can add tags and activities in the Advanced Settings section of your import screen.

At the very least, if you add a tag you will be able to find those records and run batch operations once they’re in Kepla.

Wrapping Up

If you follow these steps you should have no problems importing old spreadsheets into Kepla. Once you import them, matching up spreadsheet columns will be a breeze and you’ll always know where the data is going.

If you’re just starting out, we’re always happy to move data in for you. Or if you’re having trouble with an import, contact us and we’ll help you find out what’s going on.