Data Onboarding

Smart Data Uploader: How to Onboard Data From Customers and Third Parties

Written by 
Katrina Kirsch
October 11, 2021

SaaS companies often have a wide range of customers that want to upload files in various formats. There is often no consistency in file format, number of fields, and values within the cells. Often data needs to be validated before being accepted. Plus, larger clients end up asking for unique data requests and configurations, which end up taking a lot of engineering time to support.

For example, you just landed a new customer who's ready to send data your way. The problem is, you have no idea if their data files align with the format and schema of your systems. Rather than quickly onboarding and activating their data, you worry about the time it will take to clean the data, track and fix errors, and manage time-consuming workflows.

Using a smart data uploader takes those worries away. Data uploaders allow your company to quickly create a simple self-serve experience for customers and third parties to send data directly to your systems.

In this post, we'll walk through the process to onboard usable data with the Osmos Uploader. You'll learn how to create your own Uploader, configure fields, and see how intuitive our no-code data transformation empowers your end-users to quickly clean, map, and validate data.

By the end, you'll know that any data entering your database matches your schema and is ready to use.

4 Steps to Onboarding Data from Customers and Third Parties

Before embedding the Osmos Uploader to your web page or app, you need to create a destination connector. The destination connector is where you want to ingest the data, such as Amazon S3, BigQuery, Snowflake, or Google Sheets.

Once the connector is built, you can create and connect the Uploader so customers can send clean data directly into the destination. Let's dive into that process.

1. Create a Data Uploader

It only takes a few seconds to set up the Osmos Uploader

In the Osmos platform, click the New Uploader button. A list of Destination Connectors will appear, grouped by Source types. The destination is where the clean data goes after a customer or third-party upload. You can connect to various systems using Osmos, such as Amazon S3, Google BigQuery, FTP, Google Drive, MySQL, Snowflake, and more.

Choose a Destination Connector for the incoming data, and then add a Name and Description for the Uploader. 

Osmos Destination Connectors

Once you save this information, the Configuration screen will pop up. 

2. Configure and Style the Uploader Button

Once you save the Uploader, a simple JavaScript snippet appears where you can see all of the fields for the Destination Connector. 

Configure and Style the Uploader Button

This snippet can be embedded into any web property through a simple copy and paste. But before doing so, you can customize it to ensure the data you receive is clean, relevant, and useful. Take a few moments to pass hidden parameters or change the display name and description for each field. 

You can also add custom validation functions to the schema fields in the code snippet. This step ensures the data you receive is properly formatted so your databases are more useful and functional.

If you want to validate multiple fields, you must add a validation function to each field because the functions only work for a single field. Go ahead and run any code you want in the validation function, such as making network requests. But if the function takes a long time to run, the user uploading data may not be able to continue until it returns.

Keep in mind, the users won't be able to view or access these fields at any point in time.

3. Embed the Uploader

Once you've made modifications to the snippet, the Uploader is ready to embed. For more information on how to copy and paste it into any web property, you can follow the configuration instructions on our webpage integration page.

When the Uploader is displayed on your page, users can begin to onboard data into your operational system. We've designed this process to be highly intuitive, so it requires little technical skill.

Customers simply click the "Upload" button, and then drag and drop the file they want to send. Next, a side-by-side view of the uploaded data appears. One side shows the format of their data, and the other side outlines how you want to receive the data (the predetermined schema).

side-by-side view of the uploaded data

Within this interface, users can quickly map, clean, and transform the data to fit your destination system’s schema. This can be done using column mapping, training examples, and formulas

quickly map, clean, and transform the data

When the user finishes mapping their data and clicks Continue, a screen appears to let them know the data has successfully uploaded.

4. Enjoy Clean, Usable Data

Every time a customer or third party uses the Uploader to onboard data gets sent to your destination system. 

The customer data is now ingested into your system and ready to use. So the next time a customer or third party needs to send you data, simply refer them to the Osmos Uploader. Not only will they have a positive experience uploading the data, but you'll enjoy the benefits of clean data and a more efficient collaboration. 

To test the Uploader and view the data, navigate to Uploaders in the Osmos application. Select the Uploader you created, and click View to verify that the data is properly recorded and formatted.

Enjoy Clean, Usable Data

With Osmos Uploader, you can accelerate your customer data onboarding and get a faster time-to-value. Your end-users get a delightful self-serve experience to send you clean data every time. Plus, you save hundreds of engineering hours not manually cleaning spreadsheets or maintaining python scripts. It’s no wonder why hundreds of Osmos Uploaders are created every month. Get started today with a free account.

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Katrina Kirsch