Importing Data into gCast provides you with a quick and easy 3-step method for uploading subscriber data files. You can find the import function via the ‘Import Members’ button on the gCast main menu. Alternatively, it can also be accessed via ‘Import Members’ in the Member Database section of gCast’s Administration area. Supported file formats are .csv, .tab, or .txt with a maximum file size of 4Mb.
The process for using the import feature is to firstly upload your data file, secondly map the file’s columns to gCast fields, and thirdly to import the data. The process will report on its progress and will email a separate file containing any records that were not uploaded, along with the reason for their failure.
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Step 1 – Uploading your data file To start the import process, click on the ‘Browse’ button to locate your data file:
Once you’ve selected the file, gCast will automatically move to the mapping step of the import process.
You can return to the ‘Select Data File’ tab at any point in the process without losing any mapping progress on the ‘Map and Import’ tab (note: mapping progress may be lost if a new data file is uploaded)
Step 2 – Mapping your data after you’ve uploaded your data file, gCast will intuitively determine whether the file’s columns are comma separated or tab delimited and will display the first 5 records of your file to make the mapping process easier.
If your file has column headings you can have gCast ignore them simply by ticking the ‘first row contains the column headings…’ check box.
Your data file’s columns will be displayed horizontally, for each file column displayed, use the drop-down menu to select the corresponding gCast field to map it to. The image below shows a typical drop-down menu:
gCast categorizes the fields based on the type of information that is likely to be contained in them.
Categories include personal details, contact information, primary address, postal address, and member data (this is where you’ll find any of your own demographics that pre-exist in gCast).
As you select fields to map, you’ll notice that those fields will appear in subsequent mapping selections in grey text and will not be selectable.
This is gCast’s way of preventing you from accidentally duplicating data. Using a demographic tag for your import will allow you, in the future, to target members that are included in this particular import file.
What if my file contains fields that aren’t in gCast? If your data file contains fields that don’t already exist in gCast then simply select the ‘Create a New Demographic’ option from the field-mapping drop-down list. Give your new demographic a unique reference, select the type of data you would expect to see in that field (e.g. single line of text, whole number, date, etc) and, if required, select the category that your demographic belongs to (the default setting here will be ‘Demographics’).
Clicking the ‘Add’ button will create your new demographic immediately and allow you to continue with the Quick Import process without having to stop and restart.
Step 3 – Importing your data When you have completed your mapping, click on the ‘Import/Update now’ button to import your member data into gCast. An import summary will be displayed as the import progresses. The completion percentage will increment as time passes.
When the import process is complete, the percentage will display as 100% and the ‘added’, ‘updated’, ‘no change’, and ‘errors’ figures will update. If you don’t want to wait around, just click on the ‘Don’t wish to wait’ link and gCast will send you an email when the import process is complete. Clicking the ‘Don’t wish to wait’ link will return you to the main gCast menu. Records that failed validation during the import process will be excluded from import and will instead be included in a separate file.
If errors existed during the import process, your import process notification email will include a link to the error file. The error file will contain all data for those records plus an additional column containing the reason why the records weren’t imported. You can then fix up this data separately and import again at your convenience.