The Import Process

What is an import, and when is it useful?

When you have an existing body of data that you’d like to migrate into LoanPro's Loan Management System (LMS), the import tool is an elegant means of moving that data into the system in bulk, while maintaining accuracy. To import data, essentially, you create a .csv file with the data you want to move into LMS, and then the software can check that the data works with our system before pulling it in.

Why should I import this data instead of using the API or user interface?
LMS’s user interface lets individual users create, manage, and service loans, and the API lets programmers integrate those same options with their own software or middleware. Both the UI and API are great tools for day-to-day loan management, but neither are designed to handle a huge quantity of data as quickly as the import tool. Depending on the amount of information you want to import, trying to do it through the API could take hundreds (if not thousands) of requests, or countless staff hours in the UI. We recommend using the import tool when first moving your data into LMS, and then using the UI or API from there on out. For a little more info, see our article on API vs. Import.

The Overall Process

We've just revamped the process, adding some features that will make your imports even easier. From start to finish, the process involves four steps:

  1. You fill out and upload your .csv file.
  2. LMS validates the file to make sure all the data is compatible.
  3. LMS ingests your data, integrating it into your existing data in the system.
  4. For Customer and Loan Setup imports (and others soon), LMS verifies your data and returns a report detailing the results.

Notice that your job is pretty much done at the end of step one. If there are any errors with the .csv file, though, the system will let you know so you can adjust them. The rest of this article will explain more about each step and explain how to do them within the LMS UI. If you're interested, you might also check out our article on doing this same Import Process through the API.

Step 1: The CSV File

LMS accepts comma-separated value (.csv) files, which are spreadsheets that can be viewed and edited using programs like Excel, Google Sheets, SPSS, or OpenOffice Calc. If you don't have any of these, we recommend you download OpenOffice for free.

You could prepare a .csv file from scratch, but we recommend using one of our templates. You can find them inside the LMS UI by navigating to Settings > Company > Import > Instructions & Samples. From that page, select a specific category, then download the file under 'Instructions'. Some of the most common files are also included just below in this article, and we also have downloadable files for all imports in our article Import CSV Templates.

If you are having trouble with your spreadsheet program dropping your leading zeros, read our article that describes how to Keep Your Leading Zeros.
CSV Template List

Here are the template .csv files for your most common imports:

The most difficult part of populating one of our import templates with your data will be understanding which data points correspond to each other across the two systems. We include instructions in the user interface to explain the data. We also have a few articles that walk through the most common imports:

Importing the File

With the file now full of your data and saved, navigate to Settings > Company > Import > Upload & History. Click the 'Add' button in the top right corner.

From this page, you will select the category of import that matches your .csv file. Then, there are a few other options to choose from:

  • Validation type
    • File rejection – If the file has any errors, LMS will reject it entirely, and tell you which rows have problems.
    • Line rejection – LMS will accept all valid rows, but reject any rows that have issues.
  • Import Progression
    • Manual – A human being will need to manually click through each step of the import.
    • Automatic – LMS will automatically start the next import step when it reaches the end of the previous step, including: validating, ingesting, verifying, and reporting.
    Once you've made those selections, drag and drop your .csv file and click Save.

Step 2: Validation

The particulars here will depend on whether you choose file or line rejection. If you chose file rejection and there are errors, you'll get a notification telling you what the problem is. You'll have to fix them and import the file again. If you chose line rejection, all the valid rows will be imported and ingested, and you'll be given a file with only the rejected lines. If there were no errors whatsoever, the whole file will be ingested.

Step 3: Ingestion

If you chose automatic import progression, then this step happens on its own. Just sit back and relax.

If you chose manual progression, you'll need to click the database icon to start the ingestion before you do any relaxing.

At this point, your import is complete; the next step just involves double-checking that the new data in the system matches your import file and giving you a report on the process.

Step 4: Verification and Reports

In our updated import process, LMS offers an additional step where it can compare the data from your file against the data that actually made it into the system. We plan to implement this for all of your imports soon, but we're rolling out with the two most common types of import: Customers and Loan Setup.

When your data is fully ingested and verified, LMS will send you a report comprising four documents:

  • Cover Sheet – This .pdf gives an overall breakdown of your import process.
  • Verification – A .csv file which compares your import file data against what is now in LMS.
  • Rejection – This .csv file shows any rows that were rejected, highlighting the cells with errors.
  • Original – A copy of your original .csv import file.

Our article on Import Reports explains how to access these reports and explains their contents.

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