Importing data from excel into Dynamics CRM can be a challenge depending on the amount of time that it will take you to clean up the data in your spreadsheet. The items that I will discuss are stemmed from exporting data from your ERP or other system that you are going to be using as your master data and how to transform this data to be imported into CRM.
The first example of data manipulation is to break out Contact names into a First name and a Last name field if your data export is not configured to do so. In the example below we are going to take a spreadsheet with a Contact Full name field and break them out into the 2 different fields for First name and Last name.
The first thing that you need to do is insert a new column to the right of the Full name field. Name the field last name as when you complete the following steps the last name of the contact is going to be moved into this field.
Once you have added your new field you can begin to transform the data by going to the Data tab in your spreadsheet and selecting the Text to Columns function. Upon selecting this you will get a popup wizard that will walk you through the steps to complete.
- Select Delimited as the option for transforming and hit Next
- In the Delimiters column by default Tab will be selected however you need to change this and select Space as the way to transform. This will break out the data based on a space. Example: Jim Doe will get broken out to First name Jim and Last name Doe.
- Click next and move on to the final step of the wizard. You do not have to do anything at this step. Now click finish.
- Once you have completed these steps your data will look like the screen shot below where you have the date broken out into 2 columns. At this point I would recommend renaming the first column to First name as this will make it easier to find when you are doing your data mappings.
The steps above can also be used to break out Comma separated values by selecting the comma delimiter in the delimiters option selector.
The next tip is going to be for breaking out Address, City, State and Zip. As you can see in the screen shot below we have an address where the Street Address is in one column and the City, State, Zip are in one column. Dynamics CRM is not setup to extract this data from the spreadsheet like this so we need to break them out into their own separate columns. To do so we will use the text to columns function like in the last example except this time we will be completing a couple of more steps.
- I have gone ahead and added my 2 new fields to account for the breaking out the State and Zip. Go ahead and select the data that you wish to transform and again select the Data->Text to columns function. Again select the Delimited option and click next. Now this time due to the data being setup as City comma state and zip we are going to select the Comma delimiter option to keep the City in the current column and move the State and Zip to the next column. Go ahead and complete this action to move the data. Now our data looks like the screen shot below.
- Now to get the State and Zip broken out we need to complete the same steps as above to use the space delimiter. Once you have run the Space delimited function on the State and Zip your data should be clean enough to import into CRM.
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