February 26, 2013 1 Comment
We’ve talked about the general philosophy of centralizing data in Salesforce, and the advantages and challenges of making your CRM system your analytics platform and “single source of truth.” In this series of short blog posts, we focus on some of the use cases of apps to integrate data into Salesforce, both obvious and surprising.
What do you do if you want to integrate data into Salesforce, but don’t have the budget or IT resources for a data integration platform?
In many cases, someone in marketing is armed with CSV files, and manually imports data into Salesforce on a daily or weekly basis.
After all, Salesforce provides import wizards for Leads, Contacts or Accounts. And for importing data to other objects or custom objects, the Salesforce dataloader (or newer tools like Dataloader.io or Jitterbit) works pretty well.
But what happens if you forget to run the import, or are out sick?
And how much time are you spending preparing the CSV files, doing manual imports on a daily or weekly basis?
A new class of enterprise applications, like those Salesforce apps published by CloudAmp, make it simple to automate the importing of data into Salesforce. These apps also provide the data model (objects and fields) to receive the data, as well as reports and dashboards to display and make sense of the data.
These apps typically use modern webservices APIs, as well as OAUTH, so you can install them and get the automated data imports up and running in just a few clicks. Data is imported directly from the source into Salesforce, with no configuration or data connectors needed. And when data is being synced to Salesforce automatically, you can schedule reports or dashboards to be refreshed and/or emailed just after the import schedule, resulting in reporting that always shows the latest data with no human intervention needed.
For a small monthly subscription you not only save a lot of time, but the quality of your reports and completeness of your data improves as well. So put down those CSV files, and go check out the AppExchange today.