Imports – Best Practices
If you have a large set of data to add to LoanPro's Loan Management System (LMS), inputting it manually would be time-consuming and difficult. Entering data manually can even lead to entry errors, causing even further lost time. Instead, it's much easier to upload your data in bulk with LoanPro's import tool. Imports can be incredibly useful to those who are migrating systems or who gather data via a separate system and record it in LoanPro afterwards.
This article isn't going to explain how to use the imports tool (we do that in some of our other articles). Instead, this article will cover some of our tips for importing your files flawlessly.
How Imports Work
Before we get too far, let's briefly cover how imports work. LoanPro's import feature uses .csv files to add, update, or delete information. Just about any information you can add via the UI, you can add via an import. After completing and uploading your file, the system reads it and determines if it's formatted correctly. After reading and validating, the data is added to your account.
However, most users run into issues with the validation step of the process. The system doesn't give you the benefit of the doubt if something is formatted even marginally incorrectly. This can cause some frustration at times, but it's an absolute necessity—it ensures the accuracy of the information you're adding to your account.
Let's go over some ways to ensure your imports are perfect on your first try.
Reference Sample File Instructions
The greatest source of import advice actually exists within the LoanPro software. If you navigate to Settings > Company > Import > Instructions & Samples, you will find a wealth of information for each type of import.
Each type of import is covered here, and you can navigate between pages by using the table of contents on the left side of the page. You'll see that the top of each page includes a link to a downloadable file. These are sample .csv files for each type of import, and we highly recommend using them—each file provides the formatting for your imports. (You can also find these files in our Import CSV Templates article.) A substantial portion of import errors stem from improper formatting, so using these files will already reduce the chances of your import failing.
In addition to including downloadable file samples, each page describes the data used in each file. Here, you'll find which columns are required, a description of what they do, and the formatting of the values the system will check for. Using a column incorrectly—or forgetting to include it entirely—is where most import errors are found. For this reason, we recommend checking here before uploading an import or if you run into any validation errors.
Upload, Validate, Import
Our next tip focuses on how to improve your imports workflow. Many users like to import vast amounts of data at the same time. Often, this means multiple files with hundreds of rows are being imported at a time. While this practice is certainly possible, we recommend executing it in a specific way: We recommend uploading all of your import files first and then validating them one-at-a-time. This will allow you to troubleshoot more efficiently if you run into any issues. It's much easier to address one file upload at a time instead of several, and it will help the system handle your import requests as well.
Follow the Natural Import Order
We find that import errors can be reduced by following a specific order. Here's the order we're talking about:
Action and Results
It's not strictly required to complete your imports in this order, of course, but some loan information will need to be completed before others. For example, an AutoPays import won't make much sense without completing a Payment Profiles import, and it'll be pretty difficult to start or stop interest on loans that haven't been activated yet. At the very least, following this order will help you keep all of your information straight.
Import Data While it Matches Your Records
It's important to import data that matches your records. This sounds obvious, but let us explain. A loan's status and calculation values could change daily, which means that waiting too long between creating a file and uploading it to LoanPro could lead to records that don't match. For this reason, we recommend gathering your data and importing it into LoanPro on the same day. This will ensure your imported loan values are validated as accurately as possible.
When it comes to performing really large imports, we recommend that you contact us first. Ensuring that large imports are completed trouble-free can make your life a lot easier, and we can review your files if they're exceptionally large before you upload them. We'll be able to tell you if an import is going to fail or if it will impact software performance. If you have questions or would like an expert set of eyes to look at your large import file, contact your Success Specialist.
With our imports tips in mind, you are ready to implement your own imports. We suggest taking a look at our Imports category for a list of our content on the subject.