If you manage information in your Salesforce environment, you‘ve probably received or will receive requests to migrate data from a non Salesforce database into Salesforce, make mass changes to records, or upload contact information into your Salesforce environment. Elevation Solutions’ Implementation Specialist, Van Kwan, shares a few useful tips for uploading data into Salesforce as well as a couple things to consider when choosing between Data Loader and the Data Import Wizard. 

While there are various ways to import data into Salesforce, our team typically utilizes Data Loader or the native Data Import Wizard. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that properly preparing and clean data will increase the odds of a successful data import, no matter the size. 

Prep Your Data

Before you can import anything, you must prep the data into a format that Salesforce can accept. Be sure to have your data in a csv file with no unnecessary headers and the correct Salesforce record ID (a great Salesforce-built resource can be found here). This may sound obvious but also do a quick scan for duplicates, blank fields, misspelled words, and inconsistent formats. Be sure to name each column’s header with corresponding names of fields in Salesforce for smooth mapping later. And last but not least, once you’re ready to load data in, our suggested best practice is to try out a small batch upload to confirm the mapping is correct before uploading the entire file. 

Data Import Wizard


The Data Import Wizard is a built in tool that is pretty user friendly and offers guidance through each step of the process. This is a great option for those newer to uploading data. If you’re uploading 15 – 50,000 records, Import Wizard could be a great go-to. 

Things to Consider

Objects like Contacts, Leads and Accounts are supported by the Import Wizard. We often suggest the Data Import Wizard Trailhead to our clients because it covers prepping files and launching the import wizard.


The first step in the guided Data Import Wizard is to choose which object you want to import data to.








Then, choose if you want to add new records, update existing records, or both







You will select your prepped csv file from your computer. 







The second step is to confirm your mapping. This will be auto-matched, but may require verification and additional manual mapping to ensure that each column in your file is mapped to the appropriate field in Salesforce. Keep in mind that any columns not mapped will not be loaded in. 




Finally, the last step is a confirmation page to verify your selections before importing. Clicking Start Import will begin the process.







Once the process of Data Import Wizard is completed, it shows the ‘Bulk Data Load Job’ window where you can click the “View Request” and “View Result” links to download a csv with information about your import or update.



If it was successfully created, then it will show you the Salesforce Record ID. If there was an error, it will display the message in the error column so you can troubleshoot and try again. 



Data Loader


Data Loader is powerful so if you need to import more than 50,000 records, this is the right tool for you. Also, Data Loader makes a great maintenance tool beyond the initial upload so if you know consistent uploads are or will be a requirement, take a look at this route. 

Things to Consider

Data Loader provides less guidance than the Import Wizard so if you’re newer to Salesforce, the Administrator role, or working with data imports, the Import Wizard may be the best route. Also, Data Loader requires system administrator permissions in your org and requires installing a program on your desktop. 

Hit upload and things aren’t working? Don’t panic! Salesforce will return back two files that cover the successfully uploaded file and an error file. Salesforce Data Loader and Import Wizard both return reports with clearly listed error reasons. 


We hope this helps you decide which route is best when importing data into your Salesforce environment. Keep in mind that if you’re uploading data and your team doesn’t have a seasoned Salesforce Administrator on board, it may be best to join forces with a Salesforce Partner. We’re always glad to offer insight and see if we can help! Contact Elise Hastings at booking@elevation.solutions to learn more.

Ready to power up with technology?