Preparing Data for Import

In many cases, when a church switches to Shining Light Technologies software, data in an existing program or file must be imported to the Shining Light Tech directory. The following step by step instructions can be used to prepare the data for import and then import the data.

  1. If existing data is in another program, search the help documentation for the program to see how to export the data in CSV (comma separated values) format.
  2. If existing data is in a table in a document such as PDF or Word, copy and paste the table to an Excel file.
  3. If existing data is in paragraph form (e.g. the way a printed directory might appear), change the data to table form.  Note that search and replace can be used to automate the process (e.g. replace all paragraph marks with commas).  Then copy and paste table form and save as CSV or Excel.
  4. Open the CSV/Excel file in Excel.
  5. Rearrange the columns and add columns so that the resulting set of columns is:
    DateAdded,StatusID,FamilyRoleID,LastName,FirstName,StreetAddress,City,
    State,PostalCode,HomePhone,DateOfBirth,OtherInfo,AlternatePhone,
    MailingSalutation
  6. Set the StatusID: 1 = Not Interested, 2 = Visitor, 3 = Occasional Attender, 4 = Regular Attender, 5 = Active Member, 6 = Inactive, 7 = Shut-in, 8 = Absent Member, 9 = Prospect, 10 = Unknown.
  7. Set the FamilyRoleID – 1 = Family Member (i.e. child), 2 = Head of Household, 3 = Helper.  Arrange the rows of data so that the Head of Household is listed first.
  8. Set the DateAdded for every record to today’s date unless the actual date added is known.
  9. Replace all blank cells with ‘-’.
  10. Search for reserved characters (apostrophes, quotes, commas) and replace with alternative character.
  11. If birthday does not include a year (e.g. “7/18″), move the birthday to the notes column since birthdate column requires a year.
  12. If the list of people to import are in a group add a column called “Group” with the group name in each row (e.g. “Teen Sunday School”).
  13. Save the Excel file as a CSV file.
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