Data Uploader

CSV Importer: 6 Benefits of Self-Serve Data Ingestion

Written by 
Katrina Kirsch
October 19, 2021

For SaaS companies, a seamless customer data onboarding process is a crucial part of setting users up for success. It gives people a taste of your overall customer experience and is an opportunity to start building a long-term relationship. 

But all too often, data onboarding is a frustrating process for both customers and companies.

One major sticking point is the data upload. Your job as a company is to ingest customer data into your operating system and integrate it into your workflow. This helps centralize information so you can use it to make better business decisions that benefit your team and customers. On the other hand, customers upload data in order to get value from your product or service.

When the data upload process is inconsistent and complex, neither side is satisfied. This can lead to a poor user experience, higher churn, and stifled growth.

It's possible to ensure your customer data onboarding is a simple process with smart CSV importers. As the amount of ingested external data soars, using a self-serve CSV importer is increasingly important, because they help customers upload consistent, validated data that matches your system without bogging down your engineering teams.

Here's a look at common issues many companies run into during data onboarding and how you can improve your process with CSV importers.

Customer Data Onboarding Challenges

A survey by Dataversity found that more than 75% of companies "sometimes or often" have problems with their data onboarding process. This is alarming considering that 90% of respondents reported the need to transfer data from one system to another.

If data doesn't migrate properly, customers usually can't access the features of a platform or get any value from it. For example, a real-estate company loses sales if they don't have a way for property owners or realtors to cleanly upload new listings. An eCommerce company has an inaccurate product catalog if it's not able to ingest data from its distributors and vendors. Or a manufacturing business can't engage customers if it's not possible to migrate marketing data into its EDI system.

Companies are left troubleshooting these errors, which takes valuable time away from their engineering, support, and product teams. Data teams often have to manually clean messy CSV data, ensure consistency in format and values, and create custom scripts to help ingest customer data. This process can take days, weeks, or even months.

When customers have to wait to see the value a company provides, they tend to look for another solution.

Meanwhile, your Customer Experience team is scrambling to support the customer and manage expectations. But having your engineering and data teams prioritize customer data onboarding over more building products is unsustainable in the long run for a number of reasons.

  • You have a wide range of customers who want to upload data in various formats. Their data lacks consistency and organization, so it requires manual cleaning and transformation before being ingested into your system. Even worse, the lack of data formatting and validation prevents a successful import causing.
  • Unstructured data needs to be validated before it can become usable data. This forces your engineering team to focus on data wrangling to make sense of the data rather than other valuable projects.
  • Customers may ask for specific data requests and configurations when uploading data, which takes support from engineering, product, and customer service teams.
  • Churn can increase when customers have paid for your product, but are unable to use it effectively. This frustration and dissatisfaction from the beginning slows customer momentum and results in higher churn.

The ultimate goal of data onboarding is to seamlessly ingest customer data into an operational system so the customer can successfully use that product. By working with hundreds of companies across various industries and sizes, we've found several benefits to using a CSV importer to streamline the process.

CSV Importer: 6 Advantages for Onboarding Customer Data

Every company's data onboarding process is different. So we're going to focus on what makes the Osmos Uploader unique by sharing the benefits of helping companies improve their data onboarding process with CSV importers.

1. Self-Serve Data Ingestion

Customer data onboarding shouldn't take weeks or months to complete. That's why we made it possible to onboard new customer data in a matter of minutes. You can create a custom CSV importer that will clean, validate, and ingest data directly into your system.

CSV importers enable product teams to quickly build upload buttons and embed them into any web property. Osmos Uploader comes with pre-integrated destination connectors including databases, SaaS applications, and filestores. You could also POST the data to an API, save in any databases, or applications - the possibilities are endless, and all without writing a line or code, or wrangling data!

2. Improve User Experience

The Osmos Uploader provides a self-serve experience that's better than your top-tier service. With our intuitive interface, non-technical users can quickly clean up data to match your destination schema using column mapping, formulas, and training examples.

3. Clean Data with Clicks, Not Code

Our no-code data transformation automates as much of the data cleaning process as possible for your customers. Empower your customers to quickly transform and map their data directly into your operational system while matching your schema with only a handful of clicks – no code required. When an end-user imports data, their data gets cleaned to align and show up in your destination system.

Osmos no-code data transformation engine

4. Control How Data is Received with Data Validations

Fresh, usable customer data means your customers can start seeing value from your products faster. A simple process for uploading data increases the time-to-value for customers, so they can fully utilize your product and get results. Plus, your access to their data drives future collaboration and empowers your customer-facing teams to be more effective when engaging customers.

As a part of the Uploader setup, you may also choose to send parameterized values (such as user ID, upload ID etc.) as well as validate the end-user entered data in real-time.

Osmos data validations

Our Data Validators are called every time a user enters any input in the transform table even if the field that is being validated didn't change. This is done in order to facilitate contextual validation, where the validity of a field depends on the values of other fields.

5. Customized Styling

Style the button appearance to match your product and brand colors. You can change the theme of your Osmos Uploader by adding a small section into your JavaScript snippet embedded in your HTML.

CSV importer customized styling

6. Complete Data Visibility

Accurate data is essential for powering your product and data ingesting. The Osmos Uploader shows how accurate your data is and how much it's growing through a streamlined dashboard. Users see when their upload is a success, and companies can keep tabs on the amount of data that's ingested into their systems. It's also easy to setup recurring data onboarding with scheduled data pipelines that let you choose the upload cadence and control incoming data.

CSV Importer for No-Code Customer Data Onboarding

A simplified data onboarding process is crucial for activating and retaining customers. Without it, customers won't see value from your products, and you won't have the data you need to engage customers.

Using smart CSV importers, like the Osmos Uploader, for customer data onboarding makes importing data seamless. In a few simple steps, customers upload their information and you have access to the one thing that keeps your company competitive – clean, ready-to-use data.

Should You Build or Buy a Data Importer?

But before you jump headfirst into building your own solution make sure you consider these eleven often overlooked and underestimated variables.

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Katrina Kirsch