Data Import Guidelines

Things to consider when preparing your CSV file for import.

Good data is the key to understanding. Below are common areas to keep in mind when reviewing data before importing it into Guidon. To ensure the most accurate data is applied to the contacts, please check the steps below before importing:
  • All imports must have the following minimum identity information included in the file:
    • Full name or First Name and Last Name
    • Residential/Mailing address and/or Email
    • Phone number (if available) 
  • When possible, include the Unique ID generated by the CRM for each record. This is helpful when matching the Guidon enriched data back to the CRM data. 
  • Remove any duplicate records to ensure the personas, insights, and custom guidon results are not skewed. Typically duplicate data is found in address and/or phone number.
  • Remove any corporations or organizations (we can only identify and enrich individuals). 
  • Remove any records with significant identity information gaps or fill in those gaps before upload. 
    • Examples of identity information gaps include:
      • blank first name and/or last name
      • anonymous name
      • blank contact information (i.e., if the record has no email and no physical address listed). 
    • Our system will attempt to enrich any records with partially complete identity information, which will count towards the overall record usage. However, the likelihood of our system correctly identifying an individual decreases without at least the minimum identity information listed in the first bullet (i.e., full name + residential/mailing address and/or email). 
  • The platform only accepts CSV files, with no special formatting (there should be no colors, wrapped text, formulas, bolded font, etc.). If using Microsoft Excel, detailed instructions can be found here. For Google Sheets users,  click File, then Download, then Comma Separate Values (.csv)
  • The platform cannot upload files with duplicate column headers. If the file has duplicate column headers, rename them. For example, if multiple 'Phone Number' columns exist, an error message will appear when uploading it. Instead, rename the duplicate columns to 'Phone Number_2', "Phone Number_3', etc. 
  • Check to see if the name column contains a first name, family name, or includes multiple names and make corrections in the data accordingly:
    • First Name: James AND Last Name: Smith = good 
    • Full Name: James Smith = good 
    • Full Name: Smith Family = unusable 
      To correct this, use the primary contact's name only and provide a first name and last name. 
    • First Name: James and Patricia AND Last Name: Smith = unusable 
      To correct this, choose one of the two names. 
    • First Name: James and Patricia AND Last Name: blank = unusable 
      To correct this, use the primary contact's name only, and provide a first name and last name. 
    • Full Name: James and Patricia Smith = unusable 
      To correct this, choose one of the two first names. 
    • Full Name: Smith household = unusable 
      To correct this, use the primary contact's name and provide a first name and last name.
    • Full Name: Mr. and Mrs. James Smith = unusable 
      Use the primary contact's first and last name only to correct this.
  • If the file contains emails, phone numbers, and/or addresses, make sure they are in the correct columns so that the platform reads them correctly. Here is an example of usable vs. unusable formatting: 
    no yes
  • If the file contains emails, phone numbers, and/or addresses, make sure any gaps in information are left as a blank cell. See an example of an incorrectly formatted file below -- in this example, anything with ‘0’ or ‘none,’ or anything incomplete like ‘123’, should be deleted and left blank:
step 9
  • Use the abbreviation name column if the state is both written out and abbreviated.
  • Delete unnecessary or blank columns. A file with too many blank columns will either not upload or affect the performance of the file once it is uploaded.
  • Ensure each populated column has a header.
  • Ensure both the file name AND column headers do not contain special characters such as commas and quotation marks (use dashes and/or underscores if necessary).

Next Step: Now that the data is ready, the next step is to Import Your Contact List