Importing Data into A Data Extension

How do I add Data to a Data Extension?

  • There are 4 ways to add data
    • You can import a file containing subscriber data via the import wizard
    • Can use an import activity to bring in your data
    • You can automate your import activity via Automation Studio
    • Can bring in your data via the API

How do I prepare a file to import into a Data Extension?

  • Four steps for importing data
    • Prepare your file
      • Before you import your file, you must prepare your file before it can import successfully
      • When naming your files, do not use any of the following characters: / \ : * < > | ? “
      • Delete columns from your file that are not being used in the import
      • Move the “Email Address” field to the last column of your file so the application can tell how many columns your file has
      • A header row is recommended for mapping purposes
        • If the labels of your header row matches exactly with the fields in your data extension, the application maps the data for you by default
    • Source File Location
      • A source file can be located on your desktop or it can be stored on an FTP site
        • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another host over the internet
      • In order to use the import wizard, your account must be configured to use ExactTarget Enhanced FTP
      • The file must be comma delimited, tab delimiter, or other delimited file
    • Import your file
      • The import wizard takes your data and loads it into a Data Extension
      • For your import to be successful, you need to define the following:
        • Where is the source file?
        • What is the file name?
          • The file name must EXACTLY match the source file name on the FTP site
          • The name MUST include the file extension (.csv or .txt)
          • The Date format will be set to the account default but can be changed
        • Will the data be updated, added, or overwritten?
          • With data extensions we can:
            • Add Only
            • Update Only
            • Add and Update (default)
            • Overwrite – will delete all data in a data extension and then bring in new data
        • What mapping will be used?
          • Can map by header row (default option)
          • Can map by ordinal
            • Should be used when the source file does not have column headings or column headings do not match
          • Can map manually
            • Often used when naming conversions of your source file do not match the fields in your data extension or list
        • Who will be notified when the import completes or errors?
    • Review your results
      • Evaluate
        • Is required information missing?
        • Is data length correct?
      • Fix
        • Add required information to records
        • Delete all other records
      • Import
        • Re-import the file

How do I review the results of the import?

  • Once the import process has been started, you will be notified that the import has been successfully started
  • You will be notified via email when the import process completes
  • A notification will appear letting you know that the import was successful
  • Click on the data extension to view the information
    • You will immediately see the data extension properties from the properties tab
      • Under properties you can:
        • Review creation date
        • Owner
        • Data extension fields
      • Under the Records tab you can:
        • Review records
        • Export Records
        • Import Records
        • Clear data
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