Part 7: All about Data Import and Data Export
In Part 7 of our series Salesforce Administrator Guide: Propelling your Career Forward, I want to talk about Data Import and Export. There will inevitably come a time in your Salesforce Admin career when you will need to handle large amounts of data. Fortunately, this does not mean you will have to spend hours upon hours painstakingly updating each record individually. Whether you will be asked to update large batches of records, or store records periodically for auditing purposes, knowing how to import, export, and manipulate data correctly is a crucial skill to learn early on. Let’s take a look at a few native Salesforce tools that you can utilize to perform these tasks.
Importing data is when you take data from another source, such as an excel spreadsheet, and bring that data into Salesforce, matching it appropriately on the records you have already existing. This is referred to as an update. You can also use data import tools to create brand new records, as well.
The Data Import Wizard allows you to import data for both standard and custom objects, as long as the batch sizes are less than 50,000 records. If you have more than that, you can still make updates, but must break down your import into separate batches.
Image: Data Import Wizard
The Data Import Wizard is fairly easy to use, as long as you have your data appropriately prepared beforehand, and know the API names of the fields you wish to adjust. You can find this tool by searching for “Data Import Wizard” in the Setup > Quick Find menu.
There are a few ways to export data from Salesforce into various locations. Although not a tool, per se, an Admin with “Export Reports” permission can choose to create and filter reports to identify necessary information, and export as a .csv file on their computer. This is actually a commonly used step to manipulate data for updates, to be imported back into Salesforce.
There is also a Data Export tool which allows you to set up exports on a schedule. This is great for allowing large amounts of data to be pulled at convenient times of day, such as off-peak hours late at night, so as to not interfere with functionality of your Salesforce org.
And then there’s Data Loader…
Data Loader is also a native tool that does both importing and exporting of data into and out of Salesforce. This is great for loads that the Data Import Wizard cannot handle, and can accommodate up to 5,000,000 records! Data Loader also allows you to update, create or delete records and can be used for objects not available to the Data Import Wizard, as well.
Image: Data Loader Installation. Find it by Searching “Data Loader” in the Setup > Quick Find menu.
This is not the “end all, be all” list of ways to import and export data, however, it’s a great list to get you started with highly functional tools that are very useful in making the most of your Salesforce journey!