How to import people into Populi

In Contacts, you can import a group of people from a spreadsheet or database into Populi.

  • The importer accepts spreadsheets in the .xlsx or databases in the .csv format. Most software applications can produce these types of files.
  • It maps the columns in the file to various person- and admissions-related fields.
  • After reviewing the records, you can import them into Populi—up to 5,000 at a time.

What data can be imported?

The importer can ingest information for the following areas:

  • Person information: Name, birthdate, SSN/SIN, et. al.
  • Tags: Any custom tags you want a person to have (not system tags!)
  • Contact info: Phone, email, and address fields for work, home, etc.
  • Lead info: Date added, representative, lead source and status, course of study, HS graduation date, entrance term, education level
  • Donor info: Donor representative and status
  • Custom info: Custom info fields you have already created for Persons, Admissions, Donations, and Financial

Here's how to use the importer...

1. Prepare your file

The first order of business is to prepare the records you wish to import. The quality of your import file will help determine the quality of the records that end up in Populi! Keep these things in mind:

  • As mentioned before, the importer only accepts spreadsheets in the .xlsx or databases in the .csv format. Make sure your file is in one of those two formats before proceeding.
    • Spreadsheets must contain one, single sheet. Populi cannot import multi-sheet spreadsheets.
  • Every individual item of data needs to be in its own column. A few examples:
    • You must have a separate column for First Name and Last Name; this is the minimum Populi requires to create a new person.
    • Addresses must be broken up by Street, City, State/Province, Country, and ZIP/Postal Code.
    • Course of study information (for Leads) must be broken up by Program, Degree, and Specialization.
    • We strongly advise you name each column.
  • Make sure that the file's columns are internally consistent. If you have a column with First Names that suddenly turns into phone numbers halfway down, fix it!

2. Upload the file to Populi

  1. Go to Contacts > People.
  2. Click Import People.
  3. Upload the file; when it's finished, it will take you straight to the column mapping interface (see next step).

Populi will only use the file to import people from it; after you've imported them, the file itself will be deleted from Populi. If necessary, make sure to retain a copy of the file in your own records.

3. Map the file columns to Populi fields


In this step, you'll decide how the file's columns will be entered into Populi.

  • If you wish, you can rename the import. The import's name will be available to you in the Contacts > People filter (and a few other places).
  • Populi will attempt to match certain obvious columns—First Name and Last Name, for example.
  • If the columns in this file match those from a previous import, Populi will automatically map the columns the way they were mapped to the previous file.
  • Use the drop-downs to select the Populi fields. You can import information to a variety of person- and admissions/lead-related fields (including custom fields).
  • If you choose Tag, Populi will create new tags if the tag in your file does not already exist.
  • When you're ready, click Review Records.

4. Review the records


Before importing these people into Populi, you'll have the opportunity to check for problems.

  • Depending on the file data, you'll have up to three views: All, Warnings, and Invalid.
  • Warnings appear when the file's record contains data that can't be imported OR if a possible duplicate person is found in your system.
  • Invalid records are those without a first and last name (or there's bad data entered in those columns for those people).
  • You can check/uncheck the records to be imported. You can also go back to Edit Column Mapping.
  • When you're ready, click Import Records.

5. View the imported people


The people from your file are now in Populi.

  • You can view the new people in Contacts > People by:
    • Filtering by Import is File Name.
    • Clicking the filename under the list of Imports in the right column of the screen.
  • Click to edit, rename, or delete the import. Doing so will not affect any of the people in the import.
  • If you imported lead information, you'll have additional options in Admissions > Leads.

Duplicate people

Options for duplicate people in the importer

When Populi detects people in your import who may already be in your database, it gives you a warning. Here's how the importer handles possible duplicates (scroll down to see your options for imports that you know include duplicate people):

  • Populi searches for possible duplicates by looking for exact matches with first and last name (together) and email address.
  • If it matches all three, it chooses an existing record to update with any new details from the import. Click change to decide whether to create a new person or update the matched existing person.
  • It it only matches by name, it alerts you to a possible duplicate record. Click details to choose whether to create a new person or update the existing record.
  • If you choose to update an existing record, the following information will be updated (according to your choices in the column mapping screen):
    • Person data (Name, Date of Birth, Gender, etc.) and custom info fields will be updated.
    • Contact info and tags will be added.
    • Lead data will add a new Lead Info set and mark the previous set (if any) inactive.

If you know your file includes duplicate people, you can automate how Populi matches people from the file with those who are already in your database:

  1. After uploading your file, click Duplicate options on the column mapping screen.
  2. If your file contains a column with an identifier, use the drop-downs to match that column with one of these data points: Populi ID, Student ID, or Email address.
  3. Choose whether to update current active lead info sets with any new admissions-related data (if you don't do this, current lead info with be deactivated and replaced with a new active lead record).
  4. Populi will automatically match the new info to existing people.
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