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Importing your data
Importing your data using smart columns
Importing your data using smart columns

Modify the format of your data without leaving the Beacon interface

Updated over a week ago

Sometimes you need to import data into Beacon, but the data in your spreadsheet isn't quite in the format that's right for you. When this happens, you can choose between two options:

  1. Modify the spreadsheet before you upload it

  2. Add a "smart column" in Beacon, translating data into the correct format for Beacon

If you only have to import your data once (like you would during a data migration), we recommend going for option 1. However, if you're importing data regularly into Beacon, you don't want to have to edit your spreadsheet every time before upload! For this situation, you should go for option 2: Smart columns.

Tip: We've also prepared some examples of smart columns to help you get the most out of them once you've read through this guide!

Using smart columns

Smart columns are just like columns in Excel. Add them in Beacon by clicking the '+' in the extra column at the end of the sample data from your import template:

You can specify any Excel-valid formula:

You'll see the calculated values in a special orange column in Beacon when previewing your import template:

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 17.49.59

Tip: Just like normal columns, remember to map your smart column to a field in Beacon. The header will turn blue once it's been mapped.

Smart column mapped

More usefully, you can pass the values of other columns into your smart columns, for example:

To insert other columns into your smart column formula, click the icon on the right of the field, and choose the column that you'd like to use:

Screenshot 2019-05-29 at 17.54.01

Just like other columns, you can then map your smart columns to fields in Beacon, and deduplicate based on them.

Template smart columns

Just like in smart fields, if you want to simply create some text based on other columns you can use a more straightforward method: A template smart column.

Templates are smart columns that don't require any formulas. They are used to join up text/values from other columns and are very useful for joining text for notes or creating labels for records.

To use a template instead of a formula, simply remove the '=' from the start of the field.

For example:

  • You have too many address lines in your spreadsheet and need to join some together

    Address template smart column

  • You want to create a label for a legacy record

    Legacy name template smart column

Frequently asked questions

My formula isn't working!

First things first, double check your formula in Excel / Google Sheets. If it works there but not in Beacon, please get in touch with Beacon support and we'll take a look in more detail.

(We support most Excel functions, but not every function)

Are there any special formulas for working with dates?

Yes! We've created some brand new formulas for manipulating dates, or formatting dates. Check out our guide article here (they will work in smart fields AND smart columns!).

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